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Respiratory Disease In Chickens

Respiratory disease in chickens is a common worldwide occurrence with the most common season for these diseases being in the winter months. This is better noted in the temperate poultry-producing areas. There are quite a number of viruses and bacteria responsible for these diseases, as well as some other factors which may aggravate or set the right conditions for these diseases to occur. Some of these predisposing conditions include poor ventilation, ammonia and dust.

The bacteria responsible for such diseases include Ornithobacterium rhinotracheale and E. coli, while the viruses include Lentogenic Newcastle disease virus and the Avian pneumovirus. The mortality rate from these respiratory diseases in chicken may be 5-10 percent, sometimes even high if the condemned birds are included. Below are some common respiratory disease in chickens and their symptoms.

1. Mycoplasma Gallisepticum Infection

Mycoplasma Gallisepticum (MG) is a bacterium responsible for the onset of the chronic respiratory disease in chickens, and also infectious sinusitis in other poultry and birds. It is transmitted through carrier eggs, with most commercial flocks being free from this bacterium. However, it can be introduced to a flock if it is mixed with carrier flock.

Symptoms of Mycoplasma Gallisepticum

There are a number of obvious signs and symptoms of MG. Others are not so obvious and especially in young flock. Sometimes, the chicken may also show no outward signs at all. Some of these signs and symptoms include:

- Coughing
- Presence of a sticky nasal discharge
- breathing difficulties
- sneezing
- face swelling
- airsacculitis
- Presence of a foamy secretion in the eyes
- lowered appetite
- lowered body weight
- A decrease in egg production

In young poultry, you may notice rattling, sneezing, and sniffling. There is also some stunted growth of the chicken when they get infected with MG. As the infection gets worse, you may notice wattles and a blue comb, meaning that there is very limited oxygen supply to the tissues. This is a strong indicator of a severe infection that compromises the chicken's life.

MG bouts are commonly triggered by weather changes, a change in the home of the chicken, poor diet, lack of water, and any other factor that increases stress in the chickens. Avoiding stress for your poultry may reduce the chances of this infection.

2. Avian RhinoTracheitis (ART)

This is a viral disease, also referred to as the swollen head syndrome, SHS, thick head, or facial cellulitis. It is caused by a Paramyxoviridae family pneumovirus. The mortality rate from this disease is anywhere between 1-10 percent.

Signs and symptoms

- Swollen sinuses
- decreased appetite
- Swollen tracheitis

In broilers and their breeders you may notice red swollen eyes, sneezing, face scratching using the legs, head swelling that is progressive, and lowered egg production in the breeders.

3. Infectious Bronchitis (IB)

This is one of the most common chicken infections caused by a Coronavirus which varies antigenically. The depth of this infection varies depending on a number of factors including the birds' age, virulence of the virus, vaccination done prior to infection, maternal immunity, and presence of other complicating infections. The mortality rate from this disease is anywhere between 0-25 percent.

Signs and symptoms

- Loss of appetite
- Depression
- coughing
- Gasping
- Dyspnoea
- Huddling
- Diarrhea
- Wet litter
- Diuresis

4. Infectious LaryngoTracheitis (ILT)

This is a viral infection in chicken caused by a herpesvirus that varies in pathogenicity. It has a mortality rate of 10-20 percent but this may sometimes be as high as 70 percent. The causative virus can be spread through air and is highly resistant when outside a host. However, it is quite susceptible to disinfectants. Mixing and moving a flock is one of the major predisposing factors.

Signs and symptoms

- Gasping
- Coughing
- Dyspnoea
- Reduced egg production
- Discharge from the eyes
- Nasal discharge
- Sinusitis

Treatment for respiratory infections and diseases in chicken

Most of the infections caused by bacteria can be treated using antibiotics. However, for the viral infections and diseases, there may be no cure. All you may need to do is to control the secondary bacterial infections. Some common treatment options include use of Agrimycin®-343 Soluble Powder , Tylan Soluble Powder, and Lincomycin-Spectinomycin. Sodium salicylate may be used in acute infection of IB, but only when permitted.

The bottom line is that you should keep your poultry houses clean and well ventilated to reduce possibilities of infection. Make sure to also vaccinate your poultry on time, where applicable, and also use broad spectrum antibiotics and sulfonamides to treat bacterial infections. This will help you easily get rid of respiratory disease in chickens.v

The Five Most Common Backyard Chicken Flock Diseases

The growing popularity of keeping a backyard flock of poultry for their nutritious eggs, or even their meat, means that people who have no experience with chicken diseases are now faced with learning to diagnose and prevent the spread of pathogens among their flock. Although the backyard is generally a much more healthy living environment than a large commercial farm, owners of a backyard flock need to be familiar with common chicken diseases that might affect their flock.
Fowl Pox
Although this disease is also called chicken pox, it is not the same as the human disease. Transmitted directly from chicken to chicken or by mosquitoes, fowl pox is a viral disease that can be prevented by mosquito control and vaccination. The dry form of the disease is characterized by warty bumps on the face or legs. In the wet form, lesions form inside the mouth and air passages. Chickens can get both types at the same time. As this is one of the chicken diseases caused by a virus, there is no treatment.
Respiratory Diseases
There is a wide range of conditions that can cause coughing, sneezing and runny eyes in chickens. Consulting a vet knowledgeable about chicken diseases is the best way to discover what is causing the problems in your flock. Avian flu has respiratory symptoms as well as other viral chicken diseases.
Infectious Bronchitis
Infectious bronchitis is highly contagious and also affects the respiratory tract, but other symptoms may be present as well. Great difficulty breathing is noticed primarily at night. The chickens will eat and drink less, and egg production drops significantly. If eggs are laid, the shells are rough and the whites watery. This is also a viral disease and there is no treatment. Try to keep the chickens warm and comfortable, avoiding drafts.
External Parasites
External parasites include fleas that can also infect your household pets. Search for fleas around the head area, looking closely near the comb and eyes. Treat all external parasites with medication developed for chickens. Mites are tiny and may not be noticed, but can spread disease in your flock. Tics also affect birds and can transmit diseases. Lice are another common parasite on chickens.
Internal Parasites
Internal parasites are less common than external parasites, but young birds with immature immune systems may be particularly susceptible if they are exposed to older birds that carry parasites. Worms are quite common but rarely cause serious problems in the birds. If you notice weight loss or diarrhea, take the bird's feces to a vet for examination. Coccidiosis can be fatal to young birds, so keep the coop clean and dry to help prevent this disease.
As with human diseases, the best method of caring for your backyard flock is to practice prevention methods. Thoroughly cleaning the chicken coop, protecting your chickens from exposure to disease, buying vaccinated chicks, and maintaining an overall healthy environment for your backyard flock will go a long way in preventing chicken diseases. Keep any newly acquired chickens isolated from the flock long enough to be sure they are disease free. Most chicken hatcheries vaccinate chicks at one day old, preventing many of the most common virally caused chicken diseases.

ChickenHousesPlus.com carries some medication for your flock.



Common Chicken Diseases and Symptoms in Backyard Flocks

When it comes to backyard flocks, there are many common chicken diseases that you should become familiar with. It is essential to learn chicken diseases symptoms and even the signs of respiratory diseases based in these animals if you are seeking to raise healthy chickens.


Suzie O'Connor is the owner of ChickenHousesPlus.com which carries an extensive selection of  Affordable Backyard Chicken Coops "custom made chicken houses

http://www.chickenhousesplus.com/chcohenhofrs.html Custom made chicken coops and chicken houses mean happy, healthy chickens. We also carry Fertile Chicken Eggs and Egg Incubators for Science Fair Project. The company is located in sunny Florida and can be reached at 888-595-5306.



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