Poultry farming has been a good investment for investors, and a simple way of practising livestock farming for families who want to be able to have a small farm in their home. While poultry farming and bird care have been profitable, one reason why farmers always have low income and setback with response to birds is a disease. There are several bird diseases that affects the health of animals, but I will be sharing with you today, Bird Cholera
I went to a farm today, on a courtesy visit by my friend, he wanted me to see the birds in the poultry and understand why there was a high number of mortality among the birds. I could see lesions on the birds, and they were weak. I could not jump into conclusion, I had to do a few things, and also asked that the entire pen be evacuated.
Quick one, this isn't the same as the cholera humans caused by the bacteria Vibrio Cholerae, this is a respiratory transmissible bacterial disease that affects birds caused by Pasteurella multocida. Pasteurella multocida is a gram-negative, non-motile rod bacterium. It causes lameness, torticollis, swollen wattles in chickens, and pneumonia in turkeys. This is usually introduced to poultry birds by wild birds but other animals such as pigs, dogs, and cats can also carry the infection to the birds. It can be transmitted from secretions such as saliva in the mouth, mucus in the nose, and conjunctiva of diseased bird to other birds in their surroundings. In poultry farms, this secretion can spread in feed bags, egg crates and cages. In some birds, it can be asymptomatic, while some can be symptomatic. The infection isn't transmitted to fetus in eggs. In acute cases, it can lead to morbidity and mortality.
Clinical findings of acute fowl cholera show that an epidemic will lead to large numbers of dead birds in poultry with no previous sign of the disease in the past. The mortality keeps increasing, birds stop eating much, mucoid discharge from the mouth, diarrhoea, ruffled feathers, and pneumonia in turkeys. Over time, birds begin to experience lesions in on sternal bursea, joints, tendon sheaths, footpads. As it progresses, it causes lameness and torticollis. Birds that suffer from fowl cholera could have enlarged spleen and liver, necrotic lung, and blood loss is common.
Asides from the signs and symptoms displayed by the birds, identifying P multocida involves isolation in agar such as blood agar, dextrose stach agar, and/or trypticase soy agar. Using wright's or Giemsa stain on the a dead poultry bird's liver can help identify the extent of cholera. Another way of identifying Pasteurella multocida is immunofluorescent microscopy. It is important to perform tests to be able to diagnose fowl cholera, so as not to mistake them for other bacteria that can cause lesions such as Salmonella enterica, Escherichia coli, and Ornithobacterium rhinotracheale.
It is essential to depopulate the birds in the pen. Using antibiotics will help to reduce the mortality in the flocks, and to eradicate the bacteria. Adding Sulfamethazine or sulfadimethoxine, erythromycin, and penicillin to the bird's food can help to prevent higher mortality. An excellent way to stop the spread and treat the birds properly is to take the birds away from the infected area, isolate them, and keep the infected area empty for weeks. Live attenuated vaccines are also given to infected poultry birds to help treat them.
Prevention of fowl Cholera includes proper sanitation of areas to prevent the disease. Wild birds and pets should not be allowed into the poultry to prevent carriers of P multocida, mortality should be disposed properly, rodent control programs should be efficient, Equipments, and pens should be cleaned and disinfected at all times, infected birds should be confined away from other birds to prevent transmission.