Rearing chicken is a very common and popular around the world, but as a chicken keeper you should know that which diseases is mostly occurs during winter. Here we are going to know about the 5 most common chicken diseases during winter season, which will help you to keep your chickens healthy during the cold or winter season.
5 Most Common Chicken Diseases During Winter Season:
If we talk that there are many such chicken diseases that chickens are can get effected throughout the year, but some of them or 5 most common diseases that mostly can be seen during the cold or winter season. Here in bellow have the 5 most common chicken diseases during winter season:
- Gout Disease
- Chronic Respiratory Disease (CRD)
- Newcastle Diseases
- Infectious Bronchitis
- Bird Flu (Avian Influenza)
1) Gout Disease in Chicken:
Gout is a metabolic disease in chickens caused by excessive uric acid production in the chickens blood. This excess uric acid can form crystals in the kidneys, liver, and other organs, of the body that leading to inflammation and organ damage.
Gout is most commonly seen in chicks of broilers, but it can also affect other types of chickens, such as layers and breeders.
A) Causes of gout disease in chickens:
There are Several factors that are contribute to the development of gout disease in chickens:
As you know chickens are consume less water during the winter season, low water consumption can cause dehydration on their body that reduces urine output, which concentrates uric acid in the blood and increases the risk of urate crystal deposition.
II) High-protein diets:
As you know a chicken is need 12-20 grams of protein per day, but most of the chicken keepers have never calculate that how much protein they are feeding their chickens. A diet high in protein can lead to an increase in uric acid production, as protein metabolism generates purines, which are converted to uric acid.
III) Excess calcium:
Most of the times when layer chickens are get effected by gout diseases, it’s possible that chickens are being given more calcium than required. Excess calcium in the diet can interfere with phosphorus absorption, leading to a calcium:phosphorus imbalance. This imbalance can increase uric acid production.
These 3 factors are the main which cause gout disease in chickens. Apart from these 3 factors there are several factors which can lead gout disease in chickens.
B) Symptoms of Gout Disease in Chickens:
I) Visceral gout:
This is the most common form of gout in chickens. It is characterized by the deposition of urate crystals in the kidneys, liver, heart, and other internal organs. Symptoms of visceral gout include high mortality during early days of chicks, lethargy, anorexia, reduced egg production etc.
II) Articular gout:
This form of gout is less common than visceral gout. It is characterized by the deposition of urate crystals in the joints, tendons, and bursa. Symptoms of articular gout include swelling, lameness, and pain in the affected joints.
C) Prevention of Gout in Chickens:
There are few things if you keep them in your mind, that will help you keep chickens healthy and away from gout disease.
I) Water Availability:
Provide your chickens adequate amount of warm water specially during the winter seasons will help to prevent dehydration and maintain heathy kidney function in chickens. Try to provide lukewarm water to your chickens during winter, which will help to chicken drink maximum water.
II) Dietary Management:
Provide a balanced diet with moderate protein content (16-18%), adequate phosphorus (0.5-0.7%), and a calcium:phosphorus ratio of 1.5:1 to 2:1. Whatever you are giving to your chickens to eat, always try to calculate the amount nutrients that a chicken is get in a day.
III) Kidney Supplement:
Provide kidney supplement or medicine which helps to maintain the kidney heathy or function of the kidney in chickens.
2) Chronic Respiratory Disease (CRD) in Chickens:
The chronic respiratory disease (CRD) is a very common respiratory illness in chickens that can be occurs throughout the tear, but there are several factors that might contribute to an increase prevalence of CRD during winter season, including low immunity, stress, poor ventilation, extreme cold temperature etc.
A) Symptoms of CRD In Chickens:
- Respiratory distress: This includes gasping, coughing, sneezing, and wheezing.
- Rales: These are abnormal respiratory sounds that can be heard with a stethoscope.
- Nasal discharge: This can be clear or purulent.
- Eyelid swelling: This may be accompanied by conjunctivitis.
- Loss of appetite: This can lead to weight loss in your chickens.
- Reduced egg production: This is particularly common in laying hens.
- Increased mortality: CRD can cause up to 50% mortality in young chickens.
3) Treatment and Prevention of CRD in Chickens:
Treatment of CRD is usually with antibiotics. However, antibiotics are not always effective, and some strains of Mycoplasma gallisepticum are resistant to antibiotics. There are some Antibiotics which are mostly used to treat CRD in chickens are: enrofloxacin 10%, Levofloxacin 10%, Doxycycline and Neomycin etc.
Prevention of CRD: Prevention of CRD is important to reduce the spread of the disease and protect poultry flocks. Chronic Respiratory Disease (CRD) is contagious and can spread through direct contact with infected chickens, their droppings, or respiratory secretions. To prevent the spread of CRD:
- Vaccinating chicks against Mycoplasma gallisepticum: There are live and inactivated vaccines available.
- Practicing good biosecurity: This includes isolating new birds from the flock for at least two weeks, maintaining clean and disinfected housing, and preventing contact with wild birds.
- Controlling stress: Stress can weaken the immune system and make birds more susceptible to CRD.
- Providing a balanced diet: A balanced diet provides the nutrients that birds need to stay healthy and fight against infections.
- Monitoring the flock for signs of CRD: Early detection and treatment of CRD can help to prevent the spread of the disease and reduce mortality.
3) Newcastle Diseases in Chickens:
Newcastle disease (ND), also known as avian paramyxovirus type 1, is a highly contagious bird virus that can make chickens very sick. It is caused by the Newcastle disease virus (NDV), which belongs to the Paramyxoviridae family. ND can affect a wide range of bird species, but chickens are particularly susceptible.
NDV can spread from one chicken to another through direct contact with their droppings or respiratory secretions. It can also spread through the air, through contaminated equipment, and through contaminated feed or water.
A) Symptoms of Newcastle Disease in Chickens:
Newcastle disease (ND) in chickens can show different symptoms, and how bad the disease is can depend on the type of Newcastle disease virus (NDV) that’s involved. Here are some of the most common symptoms of ND in chickens:
- Respiratory signs: These include gasping, coughing, sneezing, and rales.
- Nervous signs: These include tremors, paralysis, and head twisting.
- Digestive signs: These include diarrhea, vomiting, and loss of appetite.
- Egg production: Egg production may decrease or some time may stop altogether.
- Sudden death: Some chickens may die suddenly without showing any prior signs of illness.
B) Prevention of Newcastle disease in Chickens:
Giving your chickens vaccine against NDV is the best way to protect them from the disease. There are different vaccines available, and the best vaccination schedule for your chickens will depend on how old they are and how likely they are to be exposed to the virus.
Biosecurity measures can help to prevent the spread of NDV from infected birds to your flock. These measures include:
- Isolating new chickens from the flock for at least two weeks
- Maintaining clean and disinfected housing
- Preventing contact with wild birds
- Keep away the effected chickens from healthy flock.
Read More: Can Chickens Eat Garlic
4) Infectious Bronchitis in Chickens:
Infectious bronchitis (IB) is a very contagious respiratory disease that affects chickens, causing problems with their breathing and sometimes their reproductive organs. The disease is caused by the infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), a type of coronavirus.
A) Symptoms of Infectious Bronchitis in Chickens:
Symptoms of IB in chickens can depend on the type of virus and how old and healthy the bird is. Some common symptoms include:
- Respiratory problems: Coughing, gasping, sneezing, wheezing, and rales (rattling sounds in the chest)
- Decreased egg production: Laying hens may produce fewer eggs, and the eggs may be of poor quality.
- Poor egg quality: Eggs may be misshapen, have thin shells, or contain blood spots.
- Conjunctivitis: Inflammation of the lining of the eyelids, causing redness, swelling, and watery discharge.
- Facial swelling: Swelling around the eyes and face.
- Depression: Birds may appear tired and not interested in their surroundings.
- Huddling: Birds may huddle together under heat sources for warmth.
- Loss of appetite: Birds may eat less or stop eating altogether.
- Diarrhea: Birds may have watery diarrhea.
B) Prevention of Infectious Bronchitis in Chickens:
Preventing infectious bronchitis (IB) in chickens involves a combination of safety measures to keep the environment clean and vaccination strategies to help the chickens fight off the disease. Here are key practices to help prevent and control infectious bronchitis in poultry:
I) Vaccination strategies:
Vaccination is the best way to protect your chickens from IB. There are several different vaccines available, and your veterinarian can help you choose the best one for your flock. Vaccination usually involves giving your chickens a shot. The shot will help chicken bodies to produce antibodies that can fight off IBV.
II) Other measures:
In addition to biosecurity measures and vaccination strategies, there are a few other things you can do to help prevent and control IB in poultry:
- Avoid contact with wild birds. Wild birds can carry IBV.
- Do not share equipment between different flocks of chickens. This includes things like feeders, waterers, and tools.
- Report any suspected cases of IB to your veterinarian immediately. This will help your veterinarian take steps to prevent the spread of the disease to other chickens.
5) Bird Flu (Avian Influenza) in Chicken:
Bird flu, which is also known as avian influenza (AI), is a very contagious virus that affects poultry and other birds. It can also be spread to humans, but this is unusual. There are many different kinds of AI, and some are worse than others.
The worst kind, H5N1, can kill both poultry and humans. There is no cure for AI, but supportive care can help to improve the chances of survival. This may include giving chicken fluids, electrolytes, and antibiotics.
Symptoms of Bird Flu (Avian Influenza) in Chicken:
Here are the symptoms of bird flu (avian influenza) in chicken:
- Respiratory problems: Coughing, gasping, sneezing, wheezing, and rales (rattling sounds in the chest)
- Swelling of the head and face: This is a sign of fluid buildup in the tissues.
- Purple discoloration of the comb and wattles: This is another sign of fluid buildup.
- Diarrhea: This can be watery or bloody.
- Loss of appetite: Chickens with bird flu may eat less or stop eating altogether.
- Sudden death: In some cases, chickens with bird flu may die suddenly without any prior symptoms.
Prevention of Bird Flu (Avian Influenza) in Chicken:
Preventing avian influenza, commonly known as bird flu, in chickens involves a combination of safety measures, keeping an eye on the chickens’ health, and vaccination when needed.
Avian influenza can be caused by various strains of influenza A viruses, and some strains have the potential to cause severe disease outbreaks in poultry. Here are key practices to help prevent and control avian influenza in chickens:
Vaccination is a great way to help protect your chickens from bird flu. There are different vaccines available, and your veterinarian can help you pick the best one for your flock. Vaccination usually means giving your chickens a shot. The shot will help their bodies make special proteins called antibodies that can fight off the bird flu virus.
II) Biosecurity measures:
Biosecurity measures are practices that help to prevent the spread of disease, including bird flu in chickens. Some of these measures include:
- Keeping your chickens clean and dry. Clean their coop and run regularly.
- Keeping your chickens away from other chickens that may be sick. This includes chickens from other farms or flocks.
- Do not introduce new chickens to your flock without first quarantining them for at least two weeks. This will help prevent them from bringing the virus into your flock.
- Disinfecting your chickens’ coop and run regularly. This will help kill any virus that may be present.
- Washing your hands after handling chickens. This will help prevent you from spreading the virus to other chickens.
Watch here a full video about 5 most common chicken diseases in winter:
In Conclusion: These are the 5 most common diseases that can happen to your chickens during the winter. Besides these, there are many other diseases that can affect your chickens in the winter or at any other time of year.
If you think your chickens might have one of these diseases, it’s important to talk to a veterinarian. The vet can help you figure out what’s wrong with your chickens and recommend the best way to treat them.
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