🐓 Avian Influenza (AI) is a contagious viral infection which can affect all species of birds. Young fattening turkeys and laying hens are usually the most affected species.
🐓 The virus causing avian influenza is an Influenzavirus A virus of the family Orthomyxoviridae.
🐓 Influenza A viruses infecting poultry can also be divided on the basis of their pathogenicity (ability to cause disease).
🐓 The very virulent viruses cause highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) with mortality in poultry as high as 100%.
🐓 Other AI viruses cause a much milder disease (low pathogenic avian influenza, LPAI). Clinical signs are much less evident or even absent and mortality is much lower.
🐓 Sometimes secondary infections or environmental conditions may cause exacerbation of LPAI infections leading to more serious disease. Evidence suggests that certain avian influenza virus subtypes of low pathogenicity may, after circulation for some time in a poultry population, mutate into highly pathogenic virus strains.
🐓🐓 Clinical symptoms 🐓🐓
🐓 The main symptoms of HPAI in poultry are; 🐔 depression 🐔 loss of appetite, 🐔 cessation of egg laying 🐔 nervous signs swelling 🐔 blue discoloration of combs and wattles due to disturbance of blood 🐔circulation 🐔 coughing 🐔 sneezing 🐔 diarrhoea. 🐔 Sudden death can occur without any previous signs.
🐓 The mortality rate may reach up to 100% depending on the species, their age, the virus type involved and environmental factors like concurrent bacterial infections.
🐓 Clinical signs of LPAI consist primarily of mild respiratory disease, depression and drop in egg production in laying birds.
🐓 The incubation periods for these viruses range from as short as a few hours to 3 days in individual birds and up to 14 days to spread throughout a flock.
🐓🐓 Transmission and spread 🐓🐓
🐓 All the available evidence suggests that the most common primary introduction of AI viruses into an area is by wild birds,
🐓 If contaminated with influenza viruses, surface water used as drinking water may also be a source of infection
🐓 Spread of AI viruses from farm to farm is mainly by mechanical transfer of infective faeces, in which virus may be present at high concentrations and may survive for considerable periods. Shared water or food may also become contaminated.
🐓 However, man is a very important cause of secondary spread of AI for domestic poultry. Caretakers, farmers, workers, trucks and drivers visiting farms, moving birds or delivering food have caused the spread of AI virus both on to and within farms.
“Application of heat to the birds at early part of their life”.
Brooding is the care of young chicks by provision of optimum environment. The temperature by external heat source provided until the chicks not become able to regulate its body temperature efficiently. The temperature is most important factor during brooding. The metabolic thermoregulatory capacity of chicken develops when feathering starts at 2-3 weeks of age to replace “down”.
Chicks at earlier part of life cannot efficiently regulate its body temperature because:
1. Lose heat more quickly due to:
– Higher metabolic body size. – Higher body temperature than adult bird. – Lack of feathers.
2. Hypothalamus is not completely functional. When chicks hatched, the following systems not activated:
Low body temperature delays the maturation of above-mentioned three systems and make chick mores susceptible to different infections.
Chicken is poiklotherm for first 4-6 days and then become homeotherm. The chicks from mature flock become hometherm earlier than the chicks from younger flocks.
Purposes of Brooding
– Proper growth of body tissues. – Better immune system. – Good body framework. – Activate endocrine system. – Good feather cover. – Well activated digestive system.
Brooding period duration is greatly depending upon environmental temperature. Higher the environmental temperature the lower will be the brooding period. The brooding period may range from 2 weeks of age to 6 weeks of age.
Types of Brooding
– Natural. – Artificial.
Types of artificial brooding are:
– Whole House Brooding. – Partial House Brooding. – Colony Brooding.
Chicks are scattered in whole area of the house in Whole house brooding.
Partial house area is utilized in partial house brooding, usually 1/3rd in winter and 1/2 in Summer season.
Brooding accomplished in colonies in colony brooding type.
There is no significant difference on bird’s performance and production among different systems.
Types of brooder
1. Hot Air Furnace. 2. Radiant Brooder. 3. Pancake Brooder. 4. Conventional Hover Brooder.
Provision of Physical Environment during brooding
Temperature control is the most critical factor during brooding.
Ability of bird to regulate its temperature in an effective manner will directly affect the ability to grow proficiently.
There should be “room of error” under Pancake brooder to access the chicks for comfort zone. This room of error is not possible in Whole House Brooding or by using Hot Air Furnace.
High and low temperature will cause loss of energy.
– To cool by panting during high temperature. – To warm by increased heat production during low temperature.
The rule of thumb is to provide 900°F temperature during first week and reduce 50F/week up to 5th week and maintain on 700F. Brooding temperature is always less than body temperature because bird cannot dissipate heat if environmental temperature is at or above body temperature and hence birds will feel uncomfortable and panting will starts.
Temperature is measured at Chick height.
Floor Temperature is a good indication of pre-heating. The Hot Air Furnace quickly heat the air but takes time to heat walls and floor. Cold floor may cause heat loss in chicks and may cause chilling in chicks
Chick Behavior during high temperature is:
– Drowsiness – Panting – Scattering away from brooder.
– Huddling – Chirping (Loud)
Low brooding temperature idealize the risk of ascites in broiler.
Excellent indication of environment and chicken health status.
At high temperature, the chicks show drowsiness and panting and away from brooder.
At low temperature, the chicks show huddling near heat source.
65% RH is considered as ideal all the times.
High RH may cause wet litter which results in high Ammonia level inside the shed and Coccidiosis.
Low RH may cause Respiratory problems.
Never heat the house at the cost of ventilation.
Use minimum ventilation during brooding.
Provide 24 hours light of 2 fc for first 3 days.
Then Provide 0.5 fc light for broiler and 0.75 fc for layer and breeder up to start of production. 0.5 fc is sufficient during laying.
For layer and breeder, 8 hours light is provided during brooding.
First week management
Water and Drinker Management
Feed and Feeder Management
Watering and Feeding
Proper nutrition is always essential for better growth and production. Nutrition directly affects the physiology of bird.
Water and Drinker Management
The chicks must provide with fresh, sweet and cool water quickly after receiving.
24 ml/bird water for first 24 hours must be ensured.
The water temperature should be similar to room temperature with optimum quality.
The higher temperature causes poorer livability especially during first three weeks of age.
Extra small drinkers or fountain drinkers placed in a way that chick should not travel more than one meter to drink water especially during day 1.
The height of nipple drinker should be at chick eye level for first three days and then at birds tail height.
The pressure of water in nipple drinker kept low to show water drops on nipple pins. This will help to attract the chicks to drink water.
The level of water in bell type drinker should be near to top.
One nipple drinker is sufficient for 25 chicks and bell-type is for 100 birds.
Feed and Feeder Management
Always use good quality, toxin free and fresh feed.
The chicks GIT is immature at an early age so provide feed, which should be:
– High digestibility. – Specific for that breed- Hygienic. – Proper size.
Brooding sheet or paper is used to feeding baby chicks for first 3-7 days.
0.35 ft2 per chick is sufficient.
Immunity in Chicks and Management
The chick vaccinated against various diseases during brooding. The maternally derived antibodies (MDA) normally protect the chick at the early days of life. The vaccine should be administrated after first especially against ND+IB. The broad-spectrum antibiotics should use to prevent bacterial infections. Improper dosing may lead to antibiotic resistance in chicks. Temperature fluctuation or any type of stress will make the chick more susceptible to different infections.
Uniformity during Brooding
Uniformity must be maintained during brooding to get maximum uniformity during next phases.
Uniformity is key to achieve maximum output.
For maximum uniformity during brooding, 1st 7-10 days have prime importance.
Weight at day seven is a good indication in broiler but uniformity is more essential. In broilers, the weight at day 7 should be 4-5 times more than day old chick. Prevention of slower starter chicks is more important than weight at day 7.
Uniformity should be maintained from day 1st.
Crop-fill testing is an excellent indicator to maintain uniformity. Chicks should be crop filled. This also called chick-check evaluation.
• Start weighing and grading of layer and breeder chicks from 3rd week.
Mortality during Brooding
Mortality should not be more than 1% during first week.
Diseases which affect at an early age
The important diseases that can affect at early age are:
Newcastle Disease (ND).
Avian Encephalomyelitis (AE).
Infectious Bronchitis (IB).
Infectious Bursal Disease (IBD).
Chicken Infectious Anemia (CIA).
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Water is a very critical component for Poultry farming success. It influences birds’ performance and growth. While Shortage of water can have a negative impact on feed conversion; wasted water also might become a breeding ground for harmful pathogens and fungus therefore water management also plays a big role in bio-security.
Water is one of the most important components of nutrition in poultry production. The fact is Animals can live longer without food than without water. If you have been overlooking the importance of water in your farm; SHAME ON YOU!
As the old Akan saying goes: ‘Dea ɔma nsuo no, ɔma nkwa‘ (he who gives water, gives life). The benefit of water cannot be underrated. Eg. In a layer production , shortage of water for just some few hours can result in reduced eggs production,. whiles it can cause stunt growth in Broiler farming. It is proven that chickens would normally drink water twice as much as feed therefore clean water should be available at all times.
A good watering system should :
1. Ensure adequate supply 2. Be Efficient 3. Manage water quality and temperature 4. Be easily Monitored and controlled 5. Have Easy access to cleaning and disinfecting
Always think outside the box when choosing a drinking system for your farm. Choose a filter system that would purify your water for consumption. You Could achieve good water management status by investing in automatic waterers for your farm. This system ensure constant supply of water to your birds thereby reducing the risk of getting your flock locked up in any dehydration mess.
If you have manual drinkers; BE VIGILANT! Check up on the bird drinker at least trice a day or as many as possible to make sure that they have access to water always. Get enough drinkers that would sustain them the whole day. A 10 litre manual drinker on the Ghanaian market can hydrate upto about 20 grow out layers or 18 broilers while an automatic drinker can do 50 layers and 45 broilers. For nipple drinking system use 10 birds to each nipple.
Yes not all birds will drink at the same time therefore you could give some allowance when buying your drinkers but never use more than 35 birds per drinker.
Importance of water in Poultry production.
• Water softens feed and carries it through the digestive tract. • As a component of blood (90% of blood content), water carries nutrients from the digestive tract to cells and carries away waste products. • Eliminates body waste- Chickens discharges urine and faeces at the same. Water help make it easily for this to be released.
• Water also helps cool the bird through evaporation. (Birds do not have sweat glands, so their heat loss occurs in the air sacs and lungs through rapid respiration.)
Contains Essential nutrients
• Water is by far the single most essential nutrient. A chick is composed of about 80% water. Though this percentage decreases as a bird gets older, the need for water remains.
The quantity requirement of water is estimated at 1.5 – 2 x as much as feed because there are several factors that affect the amount of water a bird needs. Poultry water consumption is dependent on factors including:
• Food consumption (i.e. reduced food intake may lead to reduced water intake and vice versa)
• Temperature of water
• Water Quality
• Type of drinkers used
• Drinker height
• Water pressure etc.
As i said earlier, rule of thumb : – Poultry consume twice as much water as feed… So don’t underestimate the power of WATER.
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