Gamefowls are prone to diseases. Some diseases can easily infect other birds in the farm and there lies the bigger problem: infestation. When this happens, the implications can pose real harm to the breeder, causing serious financial loss. To prevent this, it’s essential to know the most common gamefowl diseases and how you can prevent them, early on. Read on and find out more.
This gamefowl disease is characterized by an acute respiratory infection which spreads at a really fast rate, alongside the presence of color in droppings; hence the need to arrest as early as possible to prevent other fowls from catching the disease. This is usually spread through bacteria transmitted through carrier birds and contaminated surfaces and water. Obvious symptoms for this are swollen facial tissues, moist area under the wings, sticky discharge from nose and eyes, and swollen heads, combs and wattles. As a prevention, a vaccine is needed. This is done through administration of Coripravac AH which protects the gamefowls against types A, B, and C of this highly infectious disease.
- Newcastle Disease
Unlike other diseases, NCD is extremely dangerous because it can never be treated. It can only be prevented through proper vaccination. In some cases, it can still infect vaccinated poultry. This disease is caused by a virus, and is characterized by nasal discharge, sneezing, diarrhea, gut lesions, swelling of tissues around eyes and neck, drooping wings, paralysis, and twisting of the head leading to sudden death. To prevent NCD, priming and booster vaccinations should be administered and biosecurity should be practiced. In addition, gamefowls should also be kept away from pet birds and live bird markets that may unknowingly be infected already.
- Avian Influenza
This respiratory disease is common to most birds including ducks, chickens, turkeys, and geese. Clinical symptoms for this disease include swelling of eyelids, legs, heads, wattles, and comb. In some instances, wattles, combs, and legs may also have an unusual purplish color. Watch out too for nasal discharge, coughing, sneezing, diarrhea, and lack of energy/appetite.
Avian Influenza is usually spread through direct exposure to other infected fowls, through contaminated poultry equipment such as cages and crates, and through people whose footwear and clothes are contaminated by the Avian Influenza virus. Things to avoid in order to prevent this: contact with live bird markets and other wild/domestic waterfowls and sharing of equipment with other gamefowl owners. Likewise, it helps to minimize contact with your gamefowl if you work in poultry or swine manufacturing.
- Pullorum Typhoid Disease
All types of fowls are vulnerable to this bacterial disease. Watch out for some signs that are common to this illness: breathing difficulty, swelling of joints, lesions of the internal organs, white diarrhea (white excrement), unusual drowsiness, and distorted physical appearance. This is usually spread through a hen to her hatchlings via eggs or through digestive and respiratory secretions of infected birds. While there is no vaccine yet available for this, the best prevention is by avoiding direct contact with other birds, practicing biosecurity, and regular updates with your veterinarian.
- Marek’s Disease
This is another highly dangerous and contagious viral disease often transmitted through inhalation of shed skin cells or feather dust from infected birds. It can cause tumors externally and internally. Be warned when you notice a grayish color in your gamefowl’s iris (located in the eyes) and when the bird doesn’t react to light anymore. These could be signs of Marek’s Disease. Note too that Marek’s Disease survivors are carriers themselves. As prevention, separate healthy gamefowls from the others and avoid direct contact from other birds. A vaccine can also be administered to day-old chicks.
Correct information and early prevention protect you from bigger problems. Be equipped with the right measures to keep your gamefowl healthy. To find out more about gamefowl health, visit this website for more information.