Friday, April 16, 2010

Infectious poultry disease spreading in Victoria

Several outbreaks of an infectious poultry disease known as Infectious Laryngotracheitis (ILT) have occurred in Victoria, some fairly close to us here in Gippsland.

ILT is a respiratory illness and the clinical signs are similar to those of more exotic diseases such as Avian Influenza or Newcastle Disease. So it's definitely a bit of a worry.

All our birds are vaccinated, but that doesn't make them totally immune. As an added precaution, we also have a strict biosecurity system on the farm to stop people who may have been in contact with chickens from going near our hens.

If it's only a minor case there will be a drop in egg production and some hens will tend to 'mope' around. But if it's more severe there will be coughing and gasping and some hens will die.

ILT is caused by a Herpes virus and readily spreads through a flock by contact with infected birds or people, clothing or equipment that has been in contact with infected birds which can carry the virus without showing signs.

Birds are vaccinated with a live vaccine, so they carry the disease and can infect any non-vaccinated birds. That's why people shouldn't mix vaccinated and non-vaccinated birds.

More details at

Hopefully we will get through this outbreak period without a problem.

No comments: