POULTRY HEALTH ISSUES
Poultry Diseases are something every Marans breeders has concerns over. Marans Breeders invest substantial amounts of money in Marans and breeders expose them to other poultry when they are presented the in shows. These are basic guidelines to access to. They may not cover everything and it is always best to seek an expert when in doubt about the health of one of your birds.
Poultry Do's and Don'ts Link
Poultry Do's and Don'ts Link
Below is an article on Probiotics for Poultry
Live on or in skin and feathers of birds.
Include lice, flies, fleas, mites, ticks.
Fleas: may be found on the head of the bird where they suck blood. Fleas cause irritation and blood loss, weakness and reduced production. May cause mortalities especially in chicks.
Ticks: can be found on the head of the bird and regions with few feathers in adults. Ticks also infest shelters (e.g. may be found under the bark of branches used to build shelters). The ticks suck blood and cause weakness.
Lice: can be found all over the body. The lice feed from feathers and some suck blood causing weakness. A heavy infestation causes a weak or sick chicken that does not clean its feathers.
Mites: can be found all over the body or in chicken houses or nests. The mites suck blood causing weakness, itching and restlessness. This results in anemia and decreased production.
Flies and mosquitoes can annoy or suck blood from birds. Mosquitoes may assist the transmission of Fowl pox.
A Decreased growth, production ataxia (muscles uncoordinated). Night blindness. Embryos die at second and third day of incubation. Xerophthalmia (tearing of eye, cornea becomes softened).
D Soft, spongy beaks and bones. Poor egg quality, thin shells, rickets in young birds.
E Low hatch-ability. Embryos die at fourth day of incubation. Degeneration of muscles.
K Hemorrhages in body cavity. Thin blood, poor clotting.
Riboflavin In young: slipped sciatic nerve. Flabby muscles. Crippled legs, feet. Sprattled legs, walk on hocks. Club down on dead embryos. Old birds: dry skin, refusal to walk, decreased production.
Niacin Poor feathering, bowed legs, twisted legs, enlarged hock joints. Dermatitis.
Thiamine Unsteady gate, weak legs.
Pantothenic Acid Scab-like lesions on corners of beak, on feet. Broken feathers, dermatitis, large liver, yellow liver.
Biotin Embryos, shortened long bones, webbing between toes, parrot beak, deaths at 7 days or 3 days before hatching. Adults dermatitis on feet around eyes and beak.
Check List between healthy and disease birds.
Normal : Bird stands erect. Head and tail elevated.
Unhealthy: Head held close to body, tail and possibly wings droop, neck twisted with head held over back or between legs.
Normal : Comb and wattles bright red in color. Face parts filled out. Eyes bright and alert. Nostrils clean, free of exudate.
Unhealthy: Comb and wattles shrunken, pale or blue in color. Face parts shrunken. Eyes dull, may be held only partly open. Nostrils caked, crusted. Eyes watery. Sinus area below eye swollen or flutters with respiration.
Normal : When handled, bird has feeling of weight, when struggling has power in its movement.
Unhealthy: Loss of weight and strength. Muscle at point of the keel and near crop cavity shrunken, resulting in a thin breast.
Feature: Legs and Feet
Normal : Scale covering clean and waxy. Legs filled out, joints are smooth and cool to the touch.
Unhealthy: Dehydrated with prominent tendons. Joints enlarged, warm to the touch. Bottom of feet cracked, crusted or discolored. Scales enlarged and crusty.
Normal : Smooth, neat and clean.
Unhealthy: Feathers not preened. Feathers fluffed out or broken. Staining in areas of abdomen. Bird generally ruff looking.
Normal : Characteristic for breed and strain, period of production.
Unhealthy: Reduced depth of color. In adult hens an excess of yellow pigment may result from disease reducing rate of lay.
Feature: Appetite and Thirst.
Normal : Eat and drink frequently.
Unhealthy: Loss of appetite or excessive drinking.
Normal : Absence of noise. Breathing through nostrils. Movement of abdominal wall barely perceptible. when pen temperature exceeds 85¨ F. healthy adult poultry will breathe through the open mouth. Young chicks will demonstrate this at temperatures about 100¨ F.
Unhealthy: Gurgling, rattling, snickering noise; gasping; obvious movement of abdominal wall.
Normal : Gray, brown, white caps. Mass has definite form. Droppings firm, sticky, not firm. Dropping passed from ceca may be frothy.
Poultry Disease Fact Sheet 1. Disease: "Impaired,.afflicted state, deviation of normal healthy state"
A. How diseases are spread:
1. Through feed and water
2. Bird to bird contact
a. Poultry and swap shows
b. Carrier birds
c. New stock
d. Free flying birds
4. Equipment, carrying cases, feed sacks, etc.
5. Contaminated litter and soil
6. Flies, mosquitoes and parasites
7. Lack of nutrient
B. Prevention of disease
1. Buy from known, well-managed sources
2. Careful introduction of new stock; quarantine
3. Keep visitors away or take proper bio-security measures
4. Don't visit other farms unless you take proper measures
5. Dispose of dead birds promptly and properly
6. Follow tight sanitation and disinfection measures
7. Control insects
8. Don't allow your flock contact with wild birds or wild waterways
9. Vaccination if warranted
C. Recognize and diagnosis
1. Know what is normal activity, growth of your bird
2. Diseases are caused by viruses, bacteria, feed deficiencies, toxins, parasites and others
3. Post birds which die and look for abnormalities
4. Symptoms: bird's actions and visible problems; droopy, ruffled feathers, watery eyes
5. Lesions: usually things shown by autopsy
6. If abnormality exists, consult experienced or professional help
a. Private veterinarian or poultry expert
b. Country Extension Agent
7. Keep a flock history. Record any vaccinations, medications or inspections. Keep a record of dead birds (date and possible reason for death). Keep a general flock record of age of birds, feed ration and environmental conditions.
D. Treatment of disease
1. Get proper diagnosis
2. Treat promptly, properly
3. Follow treatment directions, precautions
4. Don't substitute drugs for management
Disease Symptoms Prevention/Control
(Virus) Mild form: Decline egg production - Mild respiratory disorder - Sneezing- coughing - Low mortality
Systemic form: Chronic respiratory infection - Sinuses filled with cheese (like plugs) - Drowsiness, swelling of heads - High mortality
Serological test only means of proper diagnosis - Prevent through vaccination - Vaccination not successful because of the many serotypes and short immunities - Management best prevention - De-population best control
(Protozoan) Sulfur colored droppings - Enlarged ceca with cheese-like core - Large saucer- shaped lesions on the liver - 50% mortality after 15 days
Rotate range and keep different ages of bird separate - dimetridayole is an effective treatment
(Bacterium) Listless, refusal to eat or drink - Rapid loss of flesh - Diarrhea, severe drop in egg production - Darkened head and combs - Swollen or paralyzed feet, head and legs - Swollen wattles and high temperatures. Lesions: Hemorrhages on heart and liver - hemorrhages on gizzard and intestines - light spots visible on liver and heart
Sanitation, rotate range - dispose of carcasses promptly - vaccines are available - treatment of sulfa-tracylines
(Protozoan) Low mortality - loss of weight and poor growth - Bloody droppings - Intestines or ceca are swollen, bloody mucus when opened - Many types of coccidia; each affect different portion of intestine or ceca.
Coccidia are always present - good sanitation, dry litter - use of a coccidiostat helpful - change coccidiostat so coccidia does not become resistant - treatments of sulfas are effective for early outbreaks
(Virus) "Wet Pox" - labored breathing nasal/eye discharge, facial swelling - canker are found in the mouth - cankers are found in the throat and windpipe "Dry Pox" brown/yellow bumps on face, comb and body - bumps look like scabs in 2-4 weeks.
Vaccination best prevention. Fishzole is a great unapproved method to treating Dry/Wet Pox.. Has been stated there is no cure. Only ease of symptoms.
(Virus) Respiratory noises in both chicks and old birds - gasping rales and coughing - wet nasals and eyes - inactive, tend to huddle - Declined feed consumption - dropped egg production with soft-shelled, misshaped eggs and poor egg quality - lower mortality
Vaccination - no specific treatment established - must make affected birds as comfortable as possible - increase heat to eliminate drafts
(Bacteria) Sneezing - clogging of nostrils and sinuses with a sticky, putrid smelling exudate - exudate accumulates and causes swelling of face, eyes and wattles - cheesy core sometimes develops in eye Caused by stress, drafts - birds which recover from severe infections become carriers and seem to become ill often - sulfa drugs have been a satisfactory treatment
(Virus) Coughing, sneezing, difficult breathing - depressed - stretches neck when inhaling (causing sound as they breathe) - occasional facial swelling - medium to high mortality Lesions: bloody mucus in the trachea - cheesy plug at the upper trachea, usually causing death (get lab diagnosis).
Vaccination is only treatment - Quarantine.
Merek's (Virus) Paralysis - slower growth and feathering - usually no signs Lesions: swelling in the peripheral nerves in legs and wings - tumors on some visceral organs.
Vaccination - no treatment available.
Newcastle (Virus) Coughing, sneezing, rattling in the windpipe - decreased feed consumption - increased water consumption - nervous symptoms and paralysis - heads down or in circles - stopping egg production - many soft shelled eggs - yellowish cloudy air sacs
Vaccination - no treatment available.