Sunday, November 17, 2019

Ensure pullets are properly vaccinated

When selecting pullets for a farm, it’s important to ensure they have been vaccinated against the common diseases they may encounter. Hens on genuine free range farms with small flocks sizes and low stocking densities are likely to have fewer health problems than intensive businesses running many thousands of birds, but an occasional infection may arise. When a chicken has a runny nose or conjunctivitis, you might guess that it has a respiratory illness. But which one? Avian influenza is one of the big fears - but that’s unlikely on a well managed farm. Several common chicken diseases — including coryza, infectious bronchitis and infectious laryngotracheitis — have similar symptoms, making them hard to tell apart. The treatment for each disease is different, so getting a laboratory diagnosis is essential, Coryza causes conjunctivitis, coughing and a major drop in egg production. Infectious bronchitis often affects the kidneys and reproductive system as well as the upper respiratory system. It can spread quickly, especially when hens are confined in sheds, it affects egg production but seldom kills many birds. In addition to the common respiratory symptoms, it can cause rough eggshells and uneven colouration of brown eggs. If the chickens are infected when they’re very young, the disease can destroy their oviducts.

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