Chicken Diseases And Their Prevention: Keep Your Poultry Healthy And Fit

Chicken diseases

Animals can also get in contact with different diseases. Animal diseases like chicken diseases can also spread to human beings. Before knowing about different diseases of chicken and their prevention; let us just know that, what is a disease?

A disease is an illness and sickness that can be identified by specific signs and symptoms. Some dictionaries also mention that disease is the cause of bacterial and viral attacks. There are two types of diseases

Communicable diseases are those that can spread from one living being to the other. For example HIV, Hepatitis A, B and C, and Measles. Whereas, non-communicable diseases are those that aren’t passable from one person to the other.

Why Chicken Diseases are A Concern?

Chicken diseases are a great concern these days. They have the potential to destroy a poultry business. When a chicken disease strikes, it can cause a fall down in economics. Moreover, chicken diseases can also affect human beings. Owners of a poultry farm have to take great care of their animals to prevent these diseases.

Types of Diseases in Chicken

Chickens can suffer from many diseases and some of them can be very dangerous. Chicken can be used in different ways to make a variety of dishes. To keep all those dishes healthy the chicken must be disease-free. To protect the chickens from diseases the poultry owner should know about the diseases.  Having the know-how of these diseases will help poultry owners to have healthy birds. Healthy chicken is a good way of having increased profit.

To understand a disease in chicken it is very important to know its type. There are 4 common types of diseases found in chickens.

Behavioral Diseases in Chicken

Sometimes you can feel a weird behavior in your chicken. You might notice your chicken pecking other birds. Moreover, it can also act aggressive and pluck its feathers. These are the signs of stress or any health problem. Sometimes the birds start eating or pecking their eggs.

Chicken Nutritional and Metabolic Diseases

Chickens also need a healthy environment and diet. They can catch metabolic and nutritional diseases due to a lack of a healthy environment and diet.  Birds can become weak and lame. Moreover, they can develop soft bones and beaks. Apart from this, a reduction in egg production can also occur. Proper and good nutrition can solve this condition in chickens. Sometimes these conditions are the cause of other underlying diseases.

Infectious Chicken Diseases

Viruses, bacteria, and fungus are the causing agents of these infectious diseases.  Infection diseases are the most widespread diseases. Due to the ease of spreading from bird to bird they can infect a large number of chickens. However, these diseases can infect a bird in multiple ways. Infectious diseases can affect the following in a chicken

  • Skin
  • Intestines
  • Nervous system
  • Respiratory system
  • Immune system
  • Reproductive system

First and foremost it is recommended to isolate these infected birds as soon as possible. This can prevent the infection to spread to other birds.

Parasitic Diseases

These are caused by the parasites that live on or in the birds. They can also spread via contact with birds to the other. Parasitic diseases can affect birds in many ways. These parasites can be lice, fleas, ticks, mites, etc. Symptoms of parasitic diseases can be

  • Irritation
  • Skin problems
  • Feather damage

Besides you can also see these parasites in the feces of birds.

Common Diseases Found in Chickens

As we already got to know about types of diseases; let’s just talk about a few common diseases found in chickens. Besides, you will also know the symptoms, causes, treatment, and prevention of these diseases.

Fowlpox

Fowlpox Diseases
Image by Backyard Poultry

It is also known as Avian Pox. This disease is chronic and highly contagious. It is a slow-spreading disease. Fowlpox has two types.

  • Dry  Pox 

In this lesions are found on the featherless skin.

  • Wet Fox

Lesions are formed on the mucous membrane of the larynx, trachea, and pharynx.

How to Treat it?

No treatment is confirmed to treat fowl pox. This disease will go away on its own after a few weeks. However, it is recommended to give chickens some extra care to make them feel comfortable.

Prevention

Vaccines are now available for this disease. You can easily get your birds vaccinated for this disease. In case your birds still show the symptoms, you should quarantine them immediately. In addition, you should try to control mosquitoes in your chicken poultry because they can spread this disease.

New Castle Disease

It is an acute infectious disease of the respiratory system. This disease is mainly caused by a virus called Para-Myxo Virus.

Symptoms:

Symptoms of this virus include

  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Twisting of bird neck
  • Nasal discharge
  • Paralysis in legs and wings
  • Murky eyes
  • Reduction in egg production

How to Treat it?

Birds can recover from this disease on their own. But in case your chicks develop this disease, they may not survive. Although there is no proper treatment for Newcastle disease. You can give antibiotics to your chickens to avoid their contact with other diseases. Besides vaccination is recommended to save your birds from this disease.

Prevention

This disease can be prevented by vaccination. In addition to this good sanitation is recommended. This disease can spread from a person to birds by their clothes or shoes. So, having good sanitation can avoid this spread.

Infectious Bronchitis

Like us, chickens can also get cold. Due to this cold, they can have infectious bronchitis. Infectious bronchitis disease in chickens is an upper respiratory disease. It is an acute and contagious disease in chickens.

Symptoms

Symptoms of this disease may include

  • A drop in egg production
  • Nasal and eye discharge
  • Less food and water intake
  • Labored breathing

How to Treat it?

Unluckily there is no treatment for bronchitis.  But antibiotics can be given to chickens for a few days to avoid any other infection.

Prevention

Preventive vaccines are available for this disease but they aren’t a guarantee. However, using good bio-security and control can help prevent this disease in chickens.

Marek’s Chicken Disease

It is a very common disease in chickens.  Marek’s disease is caused by Herpes Virus. This disease can affect the nerves of the chickens and also it can cause tumors in different organs.

Symptoms

Symptoms of this disease are following

  • Irregular pupil
  • Grey iris
  • Paralysis of legs, wings, and neck
  • Loss of weight
  • Abnormal vision
  • Rough and raised skin around feather follicles

How to Treat it?

Unfortunately, you can do not much to treat this disease.  It is a contagious viral disease that can affect birds in large numbers. It can spread from one bird to another easily. If the infected birds survive, they will stay a carrier of the disease for life. So, it is better to remove that bird early from the others.

Prevention

While this disease sounds dangerous and scary, vaccines are available to prevent it.

Coccidiosis

Coccidiosis is a common intestinal disease in chickens. It can be deadly sometimes. This disease is caused by parasites that stuck to the intestinal lining of the bird. They prevent the chickens to absorb the nutrients causing damage to the intestines.

Symptoms

  • Loose droppings
  • Watery diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Ruffled feathers

How to Treat it?

The causing virus of this disease has six types. Getting immune to one type isn’t enough. The bird can get in contact with the other five. Antibiotics and other medications are being used to treat this disease. Medications and antibiotics help the chickens get rid of the parasite.

Prevention

Following are the prevention for this disease

  • Cleaned food areas, brooders, and coops
  • Giving unvaccinated chickens medicated fee
  • Probiotic supplements in food

Salmonellosis

Gram-Negative bacteria are the major cause of this disease. This disease is common in chickens.

Symptoms

Symptoms of this disease include

  • Weakness
  • Diarrhea
  • Poor growth
  • Dehydration

How to Treat it?

Different medications for chicken can help to treat this disease. As dehydration occurs in this disease, it is better to replace fluid and electrolytes.

Prevention

Keep on monitoring your birds. Moreover cleaning the food and living area of the birds is a very important thing. Vaccination is also available for this disease. Also, you should separate the rough dirty eggs from the fresh ones.

Infectious Coryza

Coryza is an acute infectious disease of the respiratory system in chickens. It is a bacterial disease. Haemophilus Paragallinarum bacteria is the main cause of this disease.  It is a passable disease that can be spread from bird to bird. Also, it can be consumed from contaminated and unhygienic water. Chickens that already have any respiratory disease are more likely to catch this disease.

Symptoms

Symptoms of this disease may include

  • Nasal and eye discharge
  • Swelling of face and wattles
  • Inactivity
  • Lethargy
  • Less food intake
  • Reduced and slowed egg production
  • Labored breathing

How to Treat it?

Medications are available to treat this disease. Erythromycin and oxytetracycline, these two drugs used to treat this infectious disease.

Moreover, the Medicine market also has some new drugs to treat this disease.

Prevention

The first and the most important thing to prevent this disease is hygiene. Keeping a clean and disinfecting environment for chickens can prevent this condition.

How Chickens Can Catch Diseases?

Do you know that diseases in chickens can spread in 3 different ways?

  • Direct Contact 

This direct bird to bird interaction can cause and spread the disease.

  • Indirect Contact 

Indirect contact may include the interaction of birds with contaminated water, unhygienic food, and the environment.

  • Vectors 

This includes the spread of diseases through wild animals, rodents, and insects.

Can Humans get Diseases from Chickens?

Having chicken poultry at the back of the house or on a big scale is very common these days. It is fun to have poultry of your own. However, chickens can cause several diseases and illnesses in human beings. Having chickens can spread germs. These can cause different skin conditions in people. Sometimes diseases through chickens can be deadly for human beings.

Chicken Diseases That Affect Humans

Chicken causes Zoonotic diseases in humans that may include

  • Avian influenza
  • Salmonellosis
  • Campylobacteriosis

In the last few years, there is a large break out of salmonellosis disease in humans. Children, elders and pregnant women having low and weak immunity are more likely to catch these diseases from chickens.

Salmonellosis and Campelobacteriosis

These diseases in humans can cause different symptoms.  These symptoms may include

  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain

Hospitalization is necessary if the infection gets serious. This infection can travel to the bloodstream from the intestines and also other body sites. In addition, it can also cause other life-threatening conditions. However, it takes one or two weeks to go.

Avian Influenza Virus

Avian influenza viruses are found naturally in aquatic birds. These viruses spread easily to poultry birds and infect them. Firstly, aquatic birds look okay if they have this virus. Secondly, this virus doesn’t harm them as much. However, this virus can be deadly for poultry animals. This virus is present in the saliva, mucus, and feces of the infected birds. In humans, influenza viruses can reach through inhalation. Moreover, it can also come in contact with the eyes, nose, or mouth. In humans, it can range from mild to severe.

In addition, its signs and symptoms in humans include

  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Runny nose
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Body pain
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Furthermore, humans having long contact with the infected birds and an unhygienic environment are more likely to develop this disease.

Prevention for Human Beings

First of all knowledge about Zoonotic disease is necessary. Following prevention can be followed to prevent this virus.

  • The hand should be washed properly with a soup right after touching the poultry animals.
  • Children should wash their hands under the supervision of elders.
  • Use sanitizers to kill all the germs present on your hands.
  • Poultry should stay in their place. Chickens from poultry shouldn’t be allowed to enter the home. Also, avoid their entry into the places where food is prepared.
  • Owners should keep a different pair of shows while visiting their chickens.
  • Children, elders and pregnant women having weakened immune systems should not touch the chickens. This will save them from catching chicken diseases.
  • Additionally, at the poultry place stop trying to eat and drink.

Overall and Basic Prevention for Disease in Chickens

Healthy birds are happy birds. There are many ways to keep your chickens healthy.  Preventing diseases is a very important part of your desire to have healthy birds.

There should be good sanitation and bio-security in case you want to keep your birds healthy.

Bio-security is health and sanitation. The main purpose of bio-security is to reduce chicken diseases and also their transmission. Particularly bio-security is to keep chickens healthy. Also to save them from the outer harsh environment and parasites.

To keep your folks healthy there are a few steps you need to follow.

Firstly, the regular sanitation. It is very important to clean the bird’s equipment and also the birds.

How to Clean Birds Equipment?

Bird’s equipment consists of a waterer and feeder. You can clean this equipment by following the steps.

  • Use a disinfectant that is safe for the birds. Moreover, try to use a disinfectant that doesn’t leave any film on the equipment.
  • You can add 10 percent of bleach to 90 percent of water for this purpose.
  • Wash the equipment properly after disinfection.
  • Last but not least, try to keep the disinfectant in a handy bottle. This will help you to disinfect the equipment every week easily.

Secondly, cleaning your chicken coop is very important. A dirty coop means unhealthy chickens. This can lead to the growth of parasites and germs. However, they can also develop skin conditions due to this.

How to Clean a Chicken Coop?

Below are the few steps you can follow to clean or disinfect the chicken coops.

  1. Firstly, clear out all the dirt, feathers, and chicken droppings. Also, try to remove nesting material. However, this can take time according to the size of the coop.
  2. secondly, scrap out all the dried-out droppings of the chicken. Since they can develop worms and other insects. Remove the hose and spray on the housing. You will need to scrape and remove any dust or debris left over from scraping. If you have a significant amount of dirt left, you may need to repeat the scraping procedure.
  3. Disinfect chicken hives and sheds with a natural detergent such as vinegar. Do not use bleach as it is very harsh on animals and can be toxic to chickens if not completely dried. However, vinegar has very similar cleaning properties without harsh effects. Mix equal amounts of vinegar and water with the cleaning solution, wipe the area and cleanse naturally. Take a hand brush or broom with bristles and rub the floor and walls to remove any remaining dung, stains, dirt, or debris.
  4. As soon as you are done with step 3, rinse them once more time.
  5. Last but now least, do not forget to sweep out the standing water. Now let the coop and the bird’s nest dry. In the meantime, the fresh air will linger the vinegar smell and also dry the water droplets. In addition, sunlight will also help in the process of disinfection.

After Coop Cleaning

Once the house is dry, place fresh nesting material to keep the floor clean and the chickens warm. When choosing birdhouse and floor materials, keep in mind that 85% of poultry waste is water. We want the material to absorb both material and moisture, so plan accordingly. Once the nesting material is in place, the chicken can be returned to the spring home.

Healthiest Feed for Chickens

Chickens are omnivorous and eat almost anything that fits their beaks. While ranging on the farm, chickens will find a treasure trove of protein and vitamin-rich foods. For example, insects, maggots, plants, and seeds. Quite indiscriminately, they can even try court dishes such as lizards, toads, or small snakes before they realize it’s not their taste.

In the warmer months, a significant portion of chicken food can come from foraging, but a healthy and balanced diet for backyard chicks does not require free-range farming.

In warm weather and cold weather, the main feed for chickens in the backyard should be chicken feed. Chicken feed is available in the form of pellets or streusel. It is formulated to provide spawning chickens with nutritional requirements. In conclusion, the chickens stay healthy and consistently produce well-formed eggs. On the other hand, protein and calcium are also essential. Besides over-the-counter feeds also contain many vitamins and minerals that are essential for chicken health.

Diet Supplementation

Supplementing the chicken diet remains important, especially in cold weather when foraging is not an option, because they need to consume more food. Indeed, carefully selected fruits, vegetables, and grains make chicken happy and ensure a balanced diet. Good choices are leafy vegetables, cooked beans, corn, unsweetened grains, and grains. In addition, berries, apples, and most other fruits and vegetables are also good without a doubt.

Importance of Vaccination to Prevent Chicken Diseases

Vaccination plays an important role in the health care of poultry herds. It can also prevent many poultry diseases. Vaccination is the procedure by which a healthy chicken is infected with a dead or weakened pathogen in a controlled manner. After vaccination, the bird’s immune system responds to the vaccine by activating an army of cells designed to attack and destroy the invaders before they harm the bird.

After the attack, some special immune system cells, so-called memory cells, remain. These memory cells remember the infectious agent that the bird was vaccinated against. If an encounter with an infectious agent occurs later in life, the bird’s immune system can quickly “find and destroy” the infectious agent, protect it from disease and maintain the productive health of the herd. increase.

In conclusion, birds like chickens also need special care, as they can also catch diseases. By keeping a clean and hygienic environment can help prevent diseases in chickens. Not only this, but a healthy diet can also help to keep folks healthy.

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