Infectious Bursal Disease

Infectious bursal disease (IBD), also known as Gumboro disease, is an acute, highly contagious, immunosuppressive disease of young chicks worldwide. The disease is caused by the infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV), a type of birnavirus that primarily targets the lymph tissue in the bursa of Fabricius (cloacal bursa). The cloacal bursa plays a significant role in proper function of the chicken’s immune system.

Chickens are most susceptible to clinical disease when they are between 3 to 6 weeks of age. Chicks less than 3 weeks of age are still susceptible to becoming infected with the virus, but typically don’t demonstrate signs of illness. All chicks that are infected with the virus, regardless of whether they demonstrate clinical signs at the time of infection, have lasting impacts. The damage the virus causes to the cloacal bursa results in greater susceptibility to future infections, including normally nonpathogenic microbes.

Infectious bursal disease

When clinical disease occurs, in chicks 3-6 weeks old it is characterized as follows:

  • Has a sudden onset and rapidly runs through all flock members.
  • One of the first clinical signs is watery or whitish diarrhea that clings to the chick’s vent feathers (referred to as ‘pasty butt’). Sometimes blood is also present. Affected chicks are often seen picking at their own vents.
  • General, non-specific signs such as lethargy, depression, loss of appetite, reduced water intake, huddling, ruffled feathers, and reluctance to stand soon follow.
  • Diarrhea and reduced water intake leads to dehydration, soon followed by incoordination, trembling and weakness.
  • 20-30% of chicks will usually die within 3 days from when they first developed signs of illness.
  • Remaining flock members will usually undergo a rapid recovery 5-7 days later.

How Chickens get Infectious bursal disease

Infectious bursal disease is spread by direct and indirect contact with infected birds, often through exposure to feces. The virus is shed in the feces of infected chicks and can survive in the environment for several months.

Incubation period for Infectious bursal disease

The incubation period is very short, with clinical signs becoming apparent within 2-3 days following exposure to the virus.

Diagnosis of Infectious bursal disease

For live birds, the disease is diagnosed through serology, bursal histopathology or PCR testing. Necropsy results will often reveal bursae filled with pus or blood which are regarded as pathognomonic changes for this condition.

Treatment for Infectious bursal disease

Treatment consists of supportive care. Antibiotics may be indicated to help control secondary bacterial infections.

Clinical Signs

Reduced appetite
Ruffled feathers
Vent pecking behavior
Pasty butt
White, watery diarrhea



Supportive care Isolate the bird from the flock and place in a safe, comfortable, warm location (your own chicken “intensive care unit”) with easy access to water and food. Limit stress. Call your veterinarian.
Treatment of pasty butt When poop hardens it can cause a blockage to the chick’s gastrointestinal system, as if the poop has no way to leave the chick’s body, the chick will die.
Gather a warm wet facecloth, dry paper towels, and petroleum jelly (Vaseline).
Using the facecloth, gently run it over the hardened poop. The intent is to clean it off completely, but depending on how hard it is this may take repeated attempts and a little time. Once clean, gently dry off the chick’s bum with the dry paper towel and apply a small amount of petroleum jelly to the area that was sticky, to try to prevent fresh poop from sticking in the future. Repeatedly check on the chick, as this process is likely to need to be repeated.
Protocatechuic acid (PCA) 20 mg/kg for 5 days
Thymulin 5cH Diluted into drinking water Sato C et al., 2012
Calendula officinalis extract 0.5 ml added to feed daily for for 7 days S Marina et al; E Barbour et al

Pullet Management

Hy-Line commercial and parent-stock chicks adapt equally well to floor and cage-brooding systems. The chicks require no special hatchery services except vaccination against Marek’s disease. Nevertheless, a laying-hen flock has a major part of its potential performance determined during the first 17 to 20 weeks of its lifetime. Therefore, special attention should be paid to the growing period to assure that the hens reach the laying house ready to deliver her bred-in performance potential. Mistakes made in grow are very difficult, if not impossible, to correct in the laying house.

See also information for:
* Temperature and Relative Humidity
    * Ventilation

Pullet Management Check List

  • Grow pullets in strict isolation from older birds. Maintain good sanitation. Plan work routines so that disease-causing agents cannot be carried from older birds to the growing pullets.
  • During the first 6 weeks, operate feeders to provide feed at least twice daily. Starting at 2 to 3 weeks of age, check feed consumption and body weights against the body weight standards for the specific Hy-Line variety.
  • Weigh at least 100 pullets weekly during the growing period, beginning at 2 to 3 weeks of age.
  • Check water availability in each cage row daily. Check for and repair leaks. Raise waterers as the birds grow (nipples higher than the birds’ heads; cups or troughs level with their backs).
  • Plan and follow a vaccination schedule to fit the location. A local veterinarian or a Hy-Line representative can be of assistance in making recommendations. Remove mortality daily and dispose of properly. Examine for causes of excessive mortality.
  • Three days before moving pullets to the laying house, begin using water-soluble vitamins and electrolytes in the drinking water. Continue for 3 days after housing. This helps minimize the stress of moving. Handle birds gently during transfer to avoid injuries.
  • Pullets should be housed at 17 weeks of age, before the onset of sexual maturity.

Poultry farming in kenya-Infectious Coryza Disease in Chicken

Characteristics of infectious coryza in chicken

It is a usually acute, sometimes chronic, highly infectious disease of chickens, occasionally pheasants and guinea-fowl, characterised by catarrhal inflammation of the upper respiratory tract, especially nasal and sinus mucosae.

Causes and Transmission

Chronically ill or healthy carrier birds are the reservoir of infection. Chickens of all ages are susceptible, but susceptibility increases with age. The incubation period is 1–3 days, and the disease duration is usually 2–3 wk. Under field conditions, the duration may be longer in the presence of concurrent diseases.

Infected flocks are a constant threat to uninfected flocks. Transmission is by direct contact, airborne droplets, and contamination of drinking water. Management has essentially eradicated infectious coryza from many commercial poultry establishments. Commercial farms that have multiple-age flocks tend to perpetuate the disease. Egg transmission does not occur

Signs and sypmtoms

In acute cases, lesions may be limited to the infraorbital sinuses. There is a copious, tenacious, grayish, semifluid exudate. As the disease becomes chronic or other pathogens become involved, the sinus exudate may become consolidated and turn yellowish. Other lesions may include conjunctivitis, tracheitis, bronchitis, and airsacculitis, particularly if other pathogens are involved


Sulphonamides, tylosin, erythromycin. Flouroquinolones should be used as directed by the manufacturer.


Prevention is the most effective method of control. Farms with good vaccination and isolation methods are the best way to avoid infectious coryza. Infected birds should be separated and treated. Erythromycin and oxytetracycline are usually beneficial. sulfonamides, sulfonamide-trimethoprim, and other combinations have been successful.

How to defeat dreaded New Castle chicken disease

Many vets and farmers will never wish to encounter Newcastle Disease (NCD). In it is virulent form, the disease can silence the whole flock in just two weeks.

The disease is a global problem; only two countries — US and Canada have managed to put it at bay; although strictly speaking – they may not be free since the disease is also carried by migratory birds that know no border.Luckily the disease can be prevented through vaccination. Newcastle disease is an infectious viral disease of all birds – Turkeys, geese, ducks and parrots. But its severity differs across the species and immunity status.

The disease has a short incubation period sometimes as little as two days post exposure. For this deadly disease, prevention is the only cure. It comes in both mild and virulent forms; chicken and especially young chicks are most susceptible.

Wild birds like waterfowl and cormorants are NCD carriers for the domestic chicken. The domestic pigeon species, which many farmers keep together with the domestic chicken are also susceptible but not as much as chicken therefore adding to the number of potential sources to your unvaccinated flock.

Even in farms where vaccinations are done against the disease, many will not think of the domestic pigeons, ducks or the turkeys leaving a loose end in the control of NCD.

Sick or carrier birds will share the virus through exhaled aerosols, droppings and their carcasses, which can contaminate the environment – food, water, litter and other objects. In infected birds the virus can be carried in the eggs subsequently causing infections in chicks. Direct contact with infected birds and contaminated food, water and equipment will spread the disease.

This requires thorough disinfection of contaminated houses before introduction of another batch of birds. All-in-All-out management of birds can also reduce chances of NCD infections. Human beings can also spread the disease from one farm to another. This happens though contaminated hands, shoes and clothes.

Many farmers take pride in their commercial poultry business and it forms the first stop for any Tom, Jack and Harry visiting their farms. When such visitors are from a contaminated farm get in contact to your healthy birds, NCD can be spread. In addition, vehicles entering your farm must have their wheels and undercarriage disinfected at the gate.

Your farmhands in the poultry unit need to wear clean clothes while on the farm; they should not use the street clothes in the poultry unit. In other words bio-security measures on poultry farms will reduce chances of the disease flare up in your farm.

Unlike other viruses, the NCD virus can linger around in the environment for a while before dying; this period is even longer in cool environment. The disease can either affect the nervous or respiratory systems and will show clinical signs specific to the affected system. If it has affected the respiratory system, the birds will gasp for air, cough and sneeze.

When the nervous system is affected the birds will move in circles, twist their necks and will have wing and leg paralysis. Greenish watery diarrhea and swelling of the head may also occur. There is no effective treatment for NCD but birds that recover develop a long lasting immunity. There are several vaccines against NCD available in the market. Some are administered in drinking water, some as sprays or as drops.

The number of administration is determined by the virulence of the implicated strain and risk of exposure. The greatest challenge in initial vaccines was the loss of potency when it is handled at room temperature for over two hours, making it unsuitable for rural areas where this disease challenge is greatest. Recently the Kenya Veterinary Vaccine Institute developed a thermostable version of the vaccine available to farmers at an affordable cost.

Different hatcheries and manufacturers have their schedule for NCD vaccinations; enquire for this information when sourcing for your foundation stock.

The Effects of Avian Flu(bird flu) on Poultry Sales/humans/birds and its treatment/precautions

The outbreak of any epidemic or the widespread of any disease leads to an inevitable slump in the market. Be the sale in direct or indirect relation to it, the market is affected greatly in any case. So, you can very well analyze the affect on the market if the sale is directly proportional to the epidemic. The product here is directly proportional to the epidemic so you can very well imagine the severe effect.

The greatest risk factor for Bird Flu, seems to be contact with sick birds or with surfaces contaminated by their feathers, saliva or droppings. The World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed a handful of cases of limited human-to-human transmission of bird flu. But unless the virus begins to spread more easily among people, infected birds or material present the greatest hazard. Migratory waterfowl and ducks in particular, carry the viruses that cause bird flu. Often unaffected themselves, the host birds can spread the infection to susceptible species, especially domesticated chickens, turkeys and geese, resulting in severe epidemics that sicken and kill large numbers of birds – sometimes in a single day.

Avian viruses generally don’t affect humans, but in 1997, an outbreak of bird flu in Hong Kong infected 18 people, six of whom died. Since then, human cases of bird flu have been reported in the Netherlands, Canada and throughout Asia. Most were traced to contact with infected poultry or surfaces contaminated by sick birds.

BBC news said that: The \”intense interest\” in the risk of a UK bird flu outbreak could seriously damage chicken and poultry sales, the National Farmers’ Union have warned. This was the headline of an article in the BBC news front page. David Salisbury, head of immunization at the Department of Health, said an assumption was being made that one in four people would be affected by any such outbreak \”The risk is very real, we’re very aware of what’s happening in south-east Asia and are monitoring very carefully the spread of disease amongst birds,\” he told BBC News.

Another date the BBC news front page said: Poultry producers in Wales say their businesses are at risk following a ban on bird sales and shows to lessen the potential spread of avian flu. \”We go to the sales to keep the cash flow going, but this ban has taken 80% of our market away\”. Said the Poultry producer Chris Taylor, which very clearly states the condition of poultry sales due to the ban levied on it.

Hence, the above-mentioned reports very well sum up how the sales have been affected in case of poultry due to this bird flu. This viral infection has been the cause of so many problems. The H5N1 virus currently infecting birds in this avian flu have caused human illness and death is resistant to amantadine and rimantadine, two antiviral medications commonly used for influenza. Two other antiviral medications, oseltamavir and zanamavir, may treat flu caused by the H5N1 virus. Tamiflu is the most effective medicine against this perilous disease. And remember Tamiflu is most effective if treatment is started within 48 hours of symptom onset. So Don’t Loose Time Buy Tamiflu.

What Are the Poultry Diseases/causes/types/reasons and its effect on human and other species

There can be combinational issue of the disease which will be intruded at intervals the body of an organism. There will be both external and internal factors that are subjected to the body. It can be non-infectious and infectious for health. But the body is protected with number of factors that are actually caused by the nutrition and different intrusions. This is often a concept that is appropriate for pretty much all the organisms of the Earth. So, during this respect poultry diseases will be mentioned as poultry could be a increasing concept in terms of farming. This can be currently a booming division in India and every one over the world. So, it’s true that if we tend to have to create this division survive then we tend to should live with it and attempt to develop it in the fullest extent. So, correct housing and organization is needed for shielding the birds for saving them from all the parasitic and non parasitic diseases, this business can flourish well.

The analysis says that there was high humanity rate with the shortage of possible nutrition, misconduct and looking after the clean environment. t.
Can you picture that the mortality rate has enlarged in range at least up to ninety% when the egg hatched in their proper ratio?

During this case the main factor is that the poultry diseases. Here the necessity of the action with correct diagnosis is often needed so that one will simply gage the core reason of every of the diseases. Here are different business productions that are generally affected with various reasons that are literally resulting in a great loss in the production. The flocks are exaggerated with diseases like Infectious bronchitis, Newcastle Disease, Mareks Disease, Avian Influenza and many more. Depending on the country this disease occurs.

There has been range of studies that are literally suggesting the various reason for the humanity rate. You’ll take a look at a number of the prevention of the causes of those diseases that are literally reduced it with the correct care. We tend to all recognize that avoidance is better than cure therefore before the disease happens and get transmitted among various communities of each human and different zoological species. Thus you have got to stay the prediction of the entire concept that is a lot of necessary than managing one. The productivity will increase with time with all the simple techniques and possible look after it.

Once the diseases get in to the body of the organism it spreads in to others rapidly. Thus, it is better to check the humanity rate with number of ways that are taken take care of the right avoidance and care. The poultry diseases multiply and find transmitted rapidly. It can be a direct transmission or an indirect transmission. The main carriers are the water, soil and different food, etc. When these organisms are mating for the increase of production there will be a doable likelihood of raising the infection.

There are some potential signs and symptoms which are literally a likelihood of detection in conditions of the diseases. Birds are having the erect tail, drop between the legs, and pale color in the eyes. These are treated as the main reason for the diseases. This is true that injury, soil and different diseases will be a attainable reason for the diseases.

Causes of different types of stress in chickens-how to manage it?

For many of you, it won’t be making much sense that chickens do get stressed – I mean, weren’t humans enough to get stressed that even poultry does? However, if we think beyond what we see, even chickens have their own world like us – they are stressed lives like we do, I know I am being little emotional here but the fact remains true. Indeed, they won’t be having workplace stress or family stress but other undesirable factors make them unhappy.

This excerpt is all about the kinds of stress the chickens face. How can you manage it? Basically the identification and solution, all would be your way.

Types of stress:

Well, it’s not wrong to say that some of the stress types that are identified within poultry seems much more common to humans.

Fear – many fear that they would be chased and actually stab to death. Indeed this is the nature of any living being – the feeling of insecurity causes severe tension.Some times they get stressed after being an attempt by predator to eat them.

Social stress – many times birds hate it when their pecking order is changed – or, maybe when their friends are sent to some other coop. Similarly, if a rooster which was previously attached to one chicken, if goes to any other, tension takes birth among all. The addition of more than required chickens within a certain place also leads to stressed situation which may effects poultry health.

Climatic stress – you must be having an idea that chickens are very sensitive to heat – you must keep a check on identifying the signs of heat stress when the sun is around. Similarly, too chilled winters even spoil the mood of the birds.

Environmental stress – chickens are really moody – they just want things to be there way; even a little change can make them unhappy. Too much light, less ventilation and dirt is the major factor that causes stress amongst the birds.

Nutritional stress – change in diet, short of food, less number of water containers also upset them.

Physiological stress – many times process of egg laying, sexual maturity,egg binding and mating creates stress among-st the fellows.

Causes of stress:

Anything that goes beyond the wish of the chicken makes her unhappy – she tends to think all the bad things and remains sad for days. For example, if the coop as been changed or a chicken has been introduced to new friends, she would feel bad about it. Chickens are not good change acceptors. Similarly, many even hate when the roosters are changed, or their handsome roosters I walk away with another chick, they feel jealous. Likewise, change in diet, even change in the grains cause them bad mood.

Signs of stress:

The most common stress signs include;

  • Loss of appetite
  • Sluggish attitude
  • Lethargy
  • Aggression and fights
  • Less egg production
  • Shedding of feathers
  • Loss of weight

Different diseases and stressful conditions may be responsible for the mortality in today’s poultry industry– make sure; you look after your chicken on the right time so that you can overcome losses.

stressed in chickens
Prevention and treatment:
  • Keep your chickens clean and tidy – also make sure that the coop is clean. Timely change the flooring and even the coop.
  • Do not add more and more chickens if there is less space inside the coop.
  • If the flock size is increasing, increase the number of food equipment.
  • During severe heat, try to keep some frozen water gallons or ice packets near the chickens to protect them from heat– they would love it.
  • During winters you must place or bulbs so that they can feel warm.
  • Make sure you keep on getting the chickens vaccinated on time – this would help them in avoiding both viral and bacterial infections. The entire flock would remain healthy and safe.
  • If you are intending to change the diet, make sure you do it wisely. You can start giving new grains and old grains together. Make them habitual and eventually stop giving the old ones, they won’t mind.

Obviously you cannot talk to the chickens and teach them the ways of stress management. Normally, a bird can handle a certain level of stress easily and also it depends upon type of breed you have, but too much can be really dangerous, even cost lives.

Natural worming-what to feed chickens to help prevent internal parasites worms(graphic pic)

My flock is my little family; I mean all my chickens are babies to me. They are so adorable and beloved that I cannot resist if something goes wrong. One fine morning I went to backyard to feed the babies and get the eggs too; I saw two of my fellows looked really tired and lazy. I thought it was because of food or maybe something other and sadly, I did not pay much attention. The next morning I found one of them lifeless; I was startled. I was too late to figure out what went wrong and my mistake cost my baby’s life. It was a very bad day and the entire farm seemed too upset. Now, I was all focusing on the health of the other birds because another was going through the same phase. I took the chicken to the vet and got to know it was nothing but a parasite infection.

Beware of internal parasites:

One of the most common poultry ailments include internal parasite infections and in simpler words, worm infections. You must know what to do if your chicken is suffering from one such issue. The excerpt follows simple layman’s language in order to guide you well about the basic types of worms, the identifications if your chicken is sick and necessary measures that can help you in avoiding the mess.

Types of worms:

The most common worms in chicken include:

1)      Roundworm:

These worms are found in the intestine and look somewhat like threads. These are very harmful for chickens, turkey and ducks. Within the family of roundworms you may also hear about

  • Threadworms
  • Hairworms
round worms in chickens

It is not that the worms instantly affect the chicken as birds manage to stay with the blight; however, this worm infection is contagious. The eggs of the worm are released in the chicken droppings and other chickens tend to develop the same infection over the time. The extreme condition is when the worms infect the oviduct and then the eggs obtained are infected.

2)      Gapeworms:

These worms are found attached to the windpipe, leading to blocked breathing (gasping). It is seen that chicks are more prone to this type of infection and sadly, it is fatal if left untreated. The gapeworm cannot be acquired solely; there is always assistance of a host like slugs, snails and earthworms. Just like human flu and coughing infections, these are contagious and transmitted if infected bird shares same space with healthy ones.

gape worms in chickens

3)      Tapeworm:

Have you heard about the ribbon look alike worms? These have the segmented body type and tend to attach themselves to the intestine walls with their heads. This blight affects the bird’s immunity largely and due to contagious nature, other birds easily get into the trap.

tapeworms in chickens
Signs of worms:

The most common signs of worm presence are:

  • Sudden weight loss
  • Reduced egg production
  • Impaired breathing
  • Sluggish behavior
  • Appetite changes – sometimes chickens start eating too much and sometimes not even once
  • Anal problems: your chickens must be rubbing their anal on the ground again and again
  • Vomits and nausea
  • Comb gets pale
  • Check the chicken droppings – sometimes you can witness worms (severe condition)
How to worm chicken?

Well, worming chickens is not at all daunting; you can simply go to the nearest drug store and ask for an effective worm medication. You can use the medication with water and put it inside the coop. You can simply do this three times a year in order to make sure your chickens remain safe from all the hassles. However you can give natural cure for worms in chickens.

Benefits of natural worming:

Worming chickens using natural products such as garlic, pumpkins, cucumber seeds, apple cider vinegar and edible diatamaceous earth will kill internal parasites in chickens and on the other hand will not affect eggs or meat of chickens; also doesn’t depress immune system of chickens and is less expensive as compare to medicated treatments. Below are some natural de-wormers:


The best type of natural chicken wormer is garlic because of its anti-parasitic and antibacterial properties. You can simply use water because the chickens will not ever take raw garlic; add 6 to 8 cloves of garlic in water and leave it overnight. Next morning, and pour that liquid in a nice container and place inside the coop. Make sure when you do this, you have removed all the other source of water from the coop. Try leaving chunks of garlic in the water, maybe the chicken start liking the taste.

Pumpkins and cucumber seeds:

You can even chop cucumber, pumpkin and gourd pulps together and place them inside the coop by removing all other food items. You can even use the seeds; they are very effective in de-worming the chickens. These fruits help in flushing out the intestine and anal area by removing all the attached nasty parasites.

pumpkin as a natural chicken wormer

Apple cider vinegar:

Add some amount of this vinegar in the coop water so that water gets higher acidity – it would simply flush out all the forming infections within the body and boost the chicken’s immunity.

Try to work out with natural ways of feeding so that you can wipe out all the poultry worms effectively and have a happy and healthy flock family.

Molting Issues in Chickens-why Hens loss their Feathers?

It is always fun to keep backyard fellows and enjoy their presence. However, over the time there are many things, which cause chaos for the keepers because of lack of knowledge about the birds in the flocks. Many get upset because of the natural changes; in contrast to this, there are people who leave many serious issues ignored. Therefore, you must make sure that you have enough knowledge to deal with important issues before it is too late handle.

The excerpt deals with one of the most common issues, which bothers the first timekeepers especially during the fall season.  They get into trouble when the hens lay lesser eggs than usual or when they start to shed weight more rapidly. This kind of situation is termed as molting – continue reading if you are facing such issue, or want to prepare yourself for such events.

What is molting?

The chickens get rid of the older feathers and acquire newer ones through the process. As it is a natural process and requires sufficient energy, naturally the chickens start to pause the egg laying process and starts saving enough reserves in the body. The procurement of new feathers is necessary and designed by keeping in mind that over the time they need physical strength so that they can counter the environmental changes. The new and strong feathers contribute to better flight and power to escape enemies.

molting in chickens

Do not worry, your chickens would just molt once during the year; however, rarely any chicken would go under this process twice.

What is feather pecking?

This may be a term that you have not heard much – basically, self-mutilation and feather-pecking terms are used to show an abnormal chicken behavior; this is truly a frustrating and distressing challenge for keepers.  This is also one of the common issues with the backyard chickens and even parrots, cockatiels and macaws.

Feather pecking or cannibalism reflects the bird’s behavior when they undergo self-grooming – this process involves cleaning of grim and dirt from the inner skin and correction of broken feathers. When feather pecking is discussed, it includes feather plucking, picking and even chewing of feathers. In many cases, it has been seen that a chicken would loss all feathers eventually and would be naked.

feather pecking

Another worrisome situation is self-mutilation which I even more horrible than feather pecking – can you imagine that a chicken would start eating its own flesh? Yes, under the behavior of self-mutilation the chicken tends to eat own breast flesh – and many times they eat their own feet. This leads to severe infections in the later stage. This behavior usually occurs when birds get bored, feel loneliness, fear and anxiety as well especially the caged birds such as parrots.

self-mutilation in chickens
What leads to picking at feathers?

There are ample amount of reasons that lead to this situation – they range from natural to acquired ones; listed are the most common ones;

1: Protein scarcity

Essentially the eggs and the feathers are protein. A big, healthy chicken requires about 17 percent protein in order to maintain health. It is essential to provide chickens with layer feed once they are 20 weeks old. Many keep on providing them with kitchen scraps and vegetables, and fail to fulfill the basic need of protein. In result, the chickens start picking their own feathers to fill this devastating deficiency. However, this issue can be addressed easily if you include layer pallets to the diet. All types of egg laying chicken breeds enjoy layer pallets, so try giving them something they want to eat.

2: Lethargy:

During winters, the chicken is usually lazy and sluggish. In addition, it changes their moods time to time and keeps on looking for better space. Bantams, you must be aware of this peaceful breed, they ask for lesser space. Make sure you keep their mind diverted so that they do not end up eating or removing their own feathers unnecessarily.

3: Mites/Fleas:

In most of the cases loss of feathers in chickens is due to deceptive mites eating or removing their own feathers – they are present within the nooks and corners of the coop and tend to disturb chickens during the night. They bite the chickens or continuous move on their body; this causes severe irritation among the birds and they end up hurting themselves. They harshly or aggressively starch over the bitten mite wounds and ultimately develop itching infections.

4: Lice:

Just like mites and fleas, there are other similar companions, which hurt chickens in the same manner. They are elusive and tend to hide themselves on the inner skin. They have the ability to cause severe burning sensations and severe itching. In addition, they usually hide themselves in the head and the wings and eventually on reaction, the bird starts feeling uncomfortable. The poor chicken does not have any other option but to pick the feathers or start putting it away.

5: Worms:

The vent area is badly infected by the worms and this causes severe itching and burning – the chicken would peck at this place like mad. This develops the habit of self-mutilation in the chickens.

6: Pecking order/Bulling

This is the term you must have heard before and aware of it, If not it is the process of deciding which bird is stronger than other and in dominant position or who is in the upper order and lowest one which some time results fight or bulling in chickens causing their feather loss. This pecking order some time occurs when you introduce new flock to older one.

10 most common diseases in backyard chickens- symptoms,treatment

I don’t need to accentuate on how more and more people are getting into the habit of raising backyard fellows – this activity is indeed of more interest to people because of its mesmerizing benefits – poultry provides with fresh yummy eggs as well as meat; everything is right there in your backyard, wow, so economical. However, this pocket friendly option may turn into cost if you fail to take care of the little fellows. You may have enough experience in dealing with chicken daily care, but no knowledge of chicken health. Spreading of pathogens amongst the flocks is really common, but with proper care and attention the chances can be minimized. Although the smaller backyard setups are lesser affected by poultry diseases but the owners must know about the basic symptoms and necessary preventions so that a cure can be provided before the worst happens.

1: Fowl Pox:

In layman’s language this disease can be referred to chickenpox, but is way different from the ones which affect humans. It’s a viral and contagious disease which can spread directly or by mosquito – the basic chicken disease symptoms are the visibility of warty bumps near the legs; also, you may see the formation of lesions in the mouth area. Vaccination is the only prevention, in worst cases; it may kill the chickens too.

fowl fox inchickens
2: Infectious Bronchitis:

This is one of the chicken illnesses which are really painful and dangerous – it not only destroys the esophagus (respiratory pipe) but also spreads amongst the healthy fellows. The major symptoms include;

  • Lesser egg production – the laid eggs would be dry, rough and whites would be watery
  • Loss of appetite

Unfortunately, this disease is viral, so there is no such treatment for chicken recovery.

Infectious Bronchitis in chickens
3-External Parasites:

It may include even the simplest parasite which you may not even pay attention too – for example, fleas have a real enemy of backyard birds as well as other pets. You must treat these parasites with proper medication so that chickens ailments can be avoided. Proper fumigation against the following may help;

  • Tics
  • Mites
  • Lice
4-Internal Parasites:

Internal parasites usually refer to worms inside the body – they are of no harm usually, but in many cases they turn into bad shape. Mostly, newly born chickens are affected by this because of weak immune systems. Loss of weight, appetite or diarrhea is a clear indication that something is wrong. Take the affected bird to the vet; he may help you with this.

However, in severe cases the internal parasite may cause Coccidiosis in younger birds.If symptoms of coccidiosis are found in birds; treat them with 9.5cc of liquid amprolium (brand name Corid) per gallon of water for 4 days.the droppings will be free of blood within 24 hours however you must carry it for 3 additional days within 2 weeks.

In order to prevent your backyard from these hassles, you must carry out following instant measures;

  • Keep the chicken coop clean and cool
  • Always buy vaccinated chickens
  • Never keep viral infected chickens with healthy ones
  • You must provide herbs for chickens (for fighting with parasites in chickens by  boosting their immune system)
5: Marek's disease:

It remains the most common yet contagious disease because it affects birds intensely – it’s fatal and still untreated. Usually it affects the younger chickens because of their weak immune systems – basically, the white blood cells begin to destroy and this leads to cancer and other fatal diseases. It is spread by the loss of feathers and dust – also, the symptoms include;

  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Paralyzed neck, wings and legs
  • Weight loss
Marek's disease
6: Nutritional deficiencies:

Feed for backyard chicken must be healthy and full of nutritional value – if you fail to provide them with what their need is, they would suffer from various diseases and issues. For example, lack of calcium would result in rickets and poor bone structure. Similarly, if the birds won’t get enough energy they would not lay eggs effectively. Vegetables, fruits and grains may help to provide complete nutritional value.

7: Reproductive Problems:

Many times chickens are not able to produce eggs according to their capacity because of reproductive problems; it includes egg binding – the condition in which birds are unable to pass out eggs. Similarly, there gets inflammation in the shell gland and oviduct which is known as metritis – all this stops the egg productions and cause swollen abdomen.

8: Exotic Diseases:

This chicken disease refers to severe flu, avian influenza and respiratory track diseases – this causes severe depression and irritation in the flocks – it further makes the system complicated by slowing down egg production and collapse of the nervous system.

9:  Frostbite:

If you are living in colder region, you must be aware of this annoying chicken disease. Cold weather chicken breeds tend to remain protected from this because of their tendency to fight against the temperature – however, conventional types suffer from frostbite. Winterizing the chicken coop may help, in fact it would definitely help. Black spots appear in the toes, legs, combs and necks which are a clear symptom of this disease (more often in roosters because of their large comb). You need to take the birds to the vet; message with jelly or oil may not really help.

froste bite in chickens
10: Cannibalism:

Many times chickens tend to put them into trouble – for example, they would go around and intentionally put their toe on the wounds of other birds – this is how the infection develops. This tendency may develop from overcrowding, lack of feed and water, heating, improper ventilation and insufficient nesting. Therefore, you must keep the infected birds separately so that you can minimize the chances of cannibalism.

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