Home Health Tips Invest in bird health: Six tips for preventing poultry disease – Agri News

Invest in bird health: Six tips for preventing poultry disease – Agri News

5 min read

WASHINGTON — If you own birds, it’s up to you to keep them healthy and protect them from disease.

Poultry can become sick or die from exposure to unseen bacteria, viruses or parasites. Disease can spread quickly to an entire flock.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture shared six tips that can reduce the risk of disease in your flock.

Six ways To Prevent Poultry Diseases

1. Keep your distance.

Restrict access to your property and your birds. Consider fencing off the area where your birds are to form a barrier between clean and dirty areas.

Allow only people who take care of your birds to come into contact with them. Your caretakers should not attend bird shows or other events where birds are present.

If visitors to your property want to see your birds, be sure they wash up first and clean their shoes. Better yet, keep clean boots or shoe covers for visitors to wear.

2. Keep it clean.

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Since germs can be picked up on shoes and clothing, moved from one area to another, and can potentially make your birds sick, you need to protect your birds’ home by keeping it clean.

Have a pair of shoes and a set of clothes to wear only around your birds, or launder the clothes you wear around them.

Keep cages clean and change food and water daily. Clean and disinfect equipment that comes in contact with your birds or their droppings.

3. Don’t haul disease home.

Tires, poultry cages, and equipment can all harbor germs. If you travel to a location where other birds are present, or even to the feed store, clean and disinfect these items before you return to your property.

Taking some of your birds to a fair or exhibition? Keep those birds separated from the rest of your flock and monitor them for disease for at least two weeks afterward.

New birds should be kept separate from your flock for at least 30 days.

4. Don’t borrow disease from your neighbor.

Do not share birds, lawn and garden equipment, tools or poultry supplies with your neighbors or other bird owners.

If you do, disinfect them properly.

5. Know the warning signs of infectious bird diseases.

Many bird diseases can be difficult to diagnose. Early detection is important to prevent the spread of disease.

Watch out for:

  • Sudden increase in bird deaths in your flock.
  • Sneezing, gasping for air, coughing and nasal discharge.
  • Watery and green diarrhea.
  • Lack of energy and poor appetite.
  • Drop in egg production or soft, thin-shelled or misshapen eggs.
  • Swelling around the eyes, neck and head.
  • Purple discoloration of the wattles, combs and legs — avian influenza.
  • Tremors, drooping wings, circling, twisting of the head and neck, or lack of movement — exotic Newcastle disease.

6. Report sick birds.

Do not wait to report unusual signs of disease or unexpected deaths among your birds. Call 1-866-536-7593 to report sick birds.

Learn more at: https://bit.ly/2YRp4gb.

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