Poultry Vaccination

The most important thing in poultry farm and also the number one plan anyone who want to venture into poultry business have to take, before you start venture into poultry you need a veterinary’s advise to avoid too much disease in your farm.

The demand for vaccination of backyard flock has increased with the popularity of keeping chickens.

WHY SHOULD WE VACCINATE?
Vaccination is commonly used in commercial poultry and increasingly in backyard birds to control disease. Vaccines mimic natural infection, allowing the birds to build up immunity to the disease without any of the harmful effects. This way you can prevent your birds getting the disease.

ARE THERE ANY PROBLEM WITH VACCINATION?
The answer is No vaccine can be 100% effective, if the birds are vaccinated but exposed to large levels of the wild disease then the immunity generated by the vaccine can be overcome. Also many diseases, such as Infectious Bronchitis (IB), will have several strains so it may mean the strain your bird has been vaccinated against may not be the same as the disease strains in your area.

Many of the vaccines come in large doses for commercial flocks and therefore there is a lot of wastage; however even with the waste it is still reasonably cheap to vaccinate.

It is very important to remember that the success of the vaccination depends on good vaccination technique. Vaccines are very vulnerable and are therefore easily destroyed.

WHAT DISEASE CAN I VACCINATE AGAINST?

There are a range of diseases which can be vaccinated against but below are some of the most common ones:


. MAREKS DISEASE

. GUMBORO/INFECTIOUS BURSAL DISEASE

. NEWCASTLE DISEASE

. INFECTIOUS BRONCHITIS

. FOWL POX.

. FOWL CHOLERA

. INFECTIOUS CORZYZA

. THRUSH.

. BUMBLEFOOT

. AVIAN INFLUENZA

And some many others

lets digest a little and and know what this disease and do your farm and how to know when it come around.

1 MAREKS DISEASE> This is a common disease in young birds that are usually under the age of 20 weeks.

So you will know that this disease has struck your baby chicks if you begin to see tumors growing inside or outside of your chick. Their iris will turn gray and they will no longer respond to light. And they will become paralyzed.

Unfortunately, this disease is very easy for them to catch. It is a virus which means it is super easy to transmit from bird to bird. They actually obtain the virus by breathing in pieces of shed skin and feather from an infected chick.

And sadly, if your chick gets this disease it needs to be put down. It will remain a carrier of the disease for life if it survives.

However, the good news is there is a vaccine and it is usually given to day old chicks. whenever you want to order for chicks order from reliable hatchery and make sure you vaccinate your chicks for “Mareks diseases” mind you this disease is very dangerous.

2. GUMBORO/INFECTIOUS BURSAL DISEASE> Infectious bursal disease (IBD, Gumboro) is an acute, highly contagious viral infection in chickens manifested by inflammation and subsequent atrophy of the bursa of Fabrics, various degrees of nephroso-nephritis and immune suppression. Clinically the disease is seen only in chickens older than 3 weeks. The feathers around the vent are usually stained with faeces containing plenty of urinates.

The period of most apparent clinical symptoms and high death rate is at the age of 3 – 6 weeks. IBD could however be observed as long as chickens have a functioning bursa (up to the age of 16 weeks). In chickens younger than 3 weeks, IBD could be sub clinical, but injured bursa leads to immune suppression. Also, diarrhea, anorexia, depression, ruffled feathers, especially in the region of the head and the neck are present.

There’s some many things about IBD/GUMBORO so you need to handle your flock very well to avoid this deadly disease.

3. NEWCASTLE DISEASE> This is another disease that will make you to forget about poultry business and everything about it.
This disease also appears through the respiratory system. You will begin to see breathing problems, discharge from their nose, their eyes will begin to look murky, and their laying will stop. Also, it is common that the bird’s legs and wings will become paralyzed as well as their necks twisted.

This disease is carried by other birds including wild birds. That is how it is usually contracted. But if you touch an infected bird you can pass it on from your clothes, shoes, and other items.

However, the good news is that older birds usually will recover and they are not carriers afterward.

But most baby birds will die from the disease.

4. INFECTIOUS BRONCHITIS ( IB)

This disease hits close to home because it wiped out half of our flock when we were new to raising chickens. You’ll recognize this disease when you begin to hear your chickens sneezing, snoring, and coughing. And then the drainage will begin to secrete from their nose and eyes.

Their laying will cease too.

But the good news is you can get a vaccine to stop this disease from impacting your chickens.

However, if you decide against that then you will need to move quickly when seeing these signs. Infectious Bronchitis is a viral disease and will travel quickly through the air.

To treat Infectious Bronchitis, give your chickens a warm, dry place to recoup. I gave my birds a warm herb tea and fed them fresh herbs, which seemed to help.

And make sure you have veterinary’s advise.

5. FOWL POX

Cause

Fowl pox is caused by a pox virus and mostly affects chickens. There is also a pigeon pox virus and a turkey pox virus.There are three possible ways in which the virus can be spread:

Commonly, the virus is shed from Fowl pox wounds on affected birds and enters its next victim through skin wounds. (Normal healthy skin will act as an effective barrier to Fowl pox virus).
Biting insects can carry the virus from one bird to another.
Pox viruses that infect mammals can be spread through the air and it is thought that this may be a way for Fowl pox to be transmitted
Once in the skin, the virus reproduces to cause ‘pocks’. These start off as raised areas which then burst releasing a tiny amount of pus to leave scab-like crusted raised areas, which are often brownish colour. These wounds are mostly seen on featherless skin such as the legs, comb, eye lids and wattles. This is called the ‘dry form’ of Fowl pox.

Signs of the ‘dry form’ are raised crusted areas on the featherless areas of the bird causing some mild irritation. These birds may stop laying and lose weight. In severe cases if the eye lids are affected the birds can find it hard to open their eyes. Birds with the ‘dry form’ rarely die. After about 14 days the pocks heal but can sometimes leave a tiny scar.

Much more rarely, the virus can infect the mouth, the oesophagus (food pipe) and the trachea (windpipe) initially to form white lumps in these areas, but subsequently these areas join together to create a layer of mucus, pus and dead cells from the mouth lining. This is called the’ wet form’. This mucus/pus/dead cell can obstruct the trachea (windpipe) making it difficult for the birds to breathe (in severe cases, choking the bird) and it can be very painful making it hard for the bird to eat. Birds with the ‘wet form’, if severe enough, can die.

Treatment

There is no specific treatment for Fowl pox but it is worth taking them to your vet, especially if they have the ‘wet form’ as they may prescribe antibiotics to prevent secondary bacteria making the problem worse. If your bird is restless and not eating as much food as normal it is worth giving them. to compensate for their reduced appetite. Birds may find it very painful to eat but may find it less painful to drink; therefore supplements in their water will be of benefit.

As an owner you must first of all prevent an outbreak of the disease by only buying birds from a reputable source i.e. not local markets. Always check your chicken for any wounds or unusual behavior before you make a purchase and take it home. Many conditions such as Fowl pox can take a few days or even weeks to present themselves following infection so it is recommended to quarantine your chickens for three weeks after purchase.

Biting insects can spread Fowl pox and as such you should try to keep control of the local insect population. Chicken Vet has a wide range of insect control products.

As with all diseases improving overall hygiene and keeping the birds as stress free as possible will help. The Fowl pox virus is very resistant and can survive in the environment for years. Always ensure that you use an approved disinfectant. The concentrated version is DEFRA approved to kill bacteria, viruses, fungi, coccidiosis, worm eggs and red mite at the correct dilutions and application.

6 FOWL CHOLERA

You should be suspicious of this disease if you see your birds begin to have a greenish or yellowish diarrhea, are having obvious joint pain, are struggling to breathe, and have a darkened head or wattle. Fowl Cholera is a bacterial disease that can be contracted from wild animals or food and water that has been contaminated by this bacteria.

But the downside to your chicken developing this disease is there is no real treatment. If by some chance your chicken survives, it will still always be a carrier of the disease.

So it is usually better to put them down and destroy their carcass so it will not be passed.

But there is a vaccine for your chickens to prevent the disease from ever taking hold.

7 INFECTIOUS CORZYZA

You will know that your birds have caught this disease when their heads become swollen. Their eyes will literally swell shut and their combs will swell. Then the discharge will begin to flow from their eyes and noses. They will stop laying and will have moisture under their wings.Unfortunately, there is no vaccine to stop this disease.

Once your chickens contract this disease they should be put down. If not, they will remain a carrier of the disease for life which is a risk to the rest of your flock.

Be sure to discard the body afterward so no other animal becomes infected by it.

However, the light at the end of this tunnel is that even though this disease is a bacteria it only travels through contaminated water, other contaminated birds, and surfaces that have been contaminated with the bacteria.

So if you keep your chickens protected from other random chickens and keep their coop and water clean they should be safe from this disease.

8 THRUSH

​Thrush with chickens is very similar to thrush that babies get.You’ll notice a white oozy substance inside their crop (which is a space between their neck and body.) They will have a larger than normal appetite. The chicken will appear lethargic and have a crusty vent area. And their feathers will look ruffled.It is important to mention that thrush is a fungal disease. This means it can be contracted if you allow your chickens to eat molded feed or other molded food. And they can also contract the disease from contaminated water or surfaces.
Though there is no vaccine, it can be treated by an anti-fungal medicine that you can get from your local vet. Be sure to remove the bad food and clean their water container as well.

9 BUMBLEFOOT


Bumblefoot is a disease that you’ll know exactly what you’re looking at when you see it.

It begins by your chicken accidentally cutting its foot on something. It can happen when they are digging in the garden, scratching around in mulch, and so many other ways. But then the cut gets infected. And the chicken’s foot will begin to swell. It can even swell up the leg.

So you can treat it by performing surgery If not, the infection will eventually take over the chicken and claim its life.

Obviously, bumblefoot can happen very easily and there isn’t much you can do to prevent besides just keep a close eye on your chickens’ feet. If you notice they have a cut then be sure to wash and disinfect it to prevent this disease from setting up.

That is all of the common chicken diseases I have for you today.

However, there are many less common illnesses too. So just be sure to always pay attention to your flock and stay alert to any changes. Never be afraid to research. It is better to overreact than to under react and miss something that could be detrimental to your whole flock.

10 AVIAN INFLUENZA

Avian Influenza is most commonly known as the bird flu. It was one of my initial fears of owning chickens because all you hear about on the news is how people get sick with bird flu from their chickens. However, after knowing the symptoms you’ll be able to put that fear to rest.

You need to know how to act quickly if you are afraid your backyard birds have come in contact with it.

So the signs you will notice will include respiratory troubles. Your chickens will quit laying. They will probably develop diarrhea. You may notice swelling in your chicken’s face and that their comb and wattle are discolored or have turned blue.