Archive for the ‘Fowl’ Tag

Common Poultry Diseases — Pdf   Leave a comment

Common Poultry Diseases

 

Picture Book of Infectious Poultry Diseases

 

Source:  http://sabongnet.webs.com/apps/links/

SOLUTIONS USED FOR POULTRY   Leave a comment

SOLUTIONS USED FOR POULTRY

Dr. Tom W. Smith, Emeritus Professor of Poultry Science, Mississippi State University

The following solutions have been used as supportive treatments by poultry and game bird producers. They are intended as aids in treating the described conditions, not as a replacement for any management, drug, or antibiotic therapy.


ASPIRIN SOLUTION

Used as a general treatment for reducing distress conditions of birds (fever or listlessness) that accompanies many diseases.

Dissolve five (5 grain) aspirin tablets in one gallon of water.
Offer this solution free-choice to the birds for the duration of an illness. The solution aspirin equivalent to 25 grains/gallon or 324 mg/gallon of drinking water. The dosage rate is about 25 mg/lb body weight per day.


ASTRINGENT SOLUTION

This solution can be used to treat young birds that show non-typical disease symptoms of poor growth. The solution can also be given to birds suffering from respiratory diseases that produce a large amount of mucus exudate. This solution will help “cut through” the mucus and allow it to be expelled easier.

Two quarts of apple cider vinegar diluted into 100 gallons of water (4 teaspoons/gallon)

The tannin in the apple cider vinegar aide in removing any mucus or coating from the mouth, throat, or intestinal tract. Nutrients and drugs are more readily absorbed. Offer this solution as the only drinking water source for two to three day intervals.


COPPER SULFATE SOLUTION

Use this solution as a treatment for mycosis (mold infection) in the crop. An alternate name for the condition is “Thrush”. Use the solution as a “follow-up” treatment after flushing with epsom salt solution–refer to the section for LAXATIVE SOLUTIONS.

Dissolve .5 lb copper sulfate and .5 cup vinegar into 1 gallon of water for a “stock” solution.
Dispense stock solution at the rate of 1 oz per gallon for the final drinking solution.

An alternate method of preparing the solution is:

Dissolve 1 oz copper sulfate and 1 tablespoon of vinegar into 15 gallons water. Use either solution as the sole water source during the course of the disease outbreak. Copper sulfate is often referred to as “bluestone”.


EGG DIPPING SOLUTION

This procedure has been used to destroy pathogenic organisms such as Mycoplasma spp. that can be carried on the hatching eggs. The procedure must be conducted exactly as described, and is not intended as a routine hatching egg treatment. The procedure is only used in unusual situations.

The antibiotic solution contains 500 ppm gentamycin sulfate (1 gram per 2 liters of water) or 1 gram tylosin per liter of water. The hatching eggs must be carefully washed, rinsed, and sanitized prior to treatment. The eggs are then prewarmed to 100 degrees F. for 3-6 hours and immediately submerged into the antibiotic solution that has been previously cooled to 60 degrees F. The eggs are left in the antibiotic solution for 15 minutes before being placed into the incubator.

After each day’s use, the solution must be sterilized by heating to 160 degrees and maintained for 10 minutes. Any water lost during sterilization must be replaced. Refrigerate the solution in a clean covered container between uses to prevent bacterial contamination. Do not use or store solutions for more than three days after dilution.


LAXATIVE SOLUTIONS

The following solutions or mixtures are recommended to flush the digestive system of toxic substances, most notably for treating birds exposed to botulism toxins.

Molasses Solution

Add one pint of molasses to 5 gallons of water Offer the drinking solution free-choice to the affected birds for about four hours. Treat severely affected birds individually if they cannot drink. Return the birds to regular water after the treatment period.

As a supportive treatment for symptoms resulting from Cryptosporidia infection, often referred to as coronaviral enteritis, use:

One quart molasses in 20 gallons of water.

Offer this solution free-choice for a period of up to 7-10 days. It is assumed that the molasses replaces certain minerals lost from diarrhea during the course of the infection.

Epsom Salt Solution

1 lb Epsom Salt per 15 lb feed

or-

1 lb Epsom Salt per 5 gallons water for 1 day

Give the epson salt feed mixture as the sole feed source for a one day period. This feed can be used only if the birds are eating. If the birds are not eating, use the water solution. If the birds are unable to eat or drink by themselves, use individual treatment with:

1 teaspoon of Epsom Salt in 1 fl oz water.

Place the solution in the crop of the affected bird. This same amount of solution will treat 5-8 quail or one chicken.

Castor Oil Therapy

Dose individual birds with .5 oz castor oil.


NUTRIENT SOLUTIONS

The following solutions can be used as supplements to diets that are deficient in certain amino acids, energy, or vitamins and electrolytes. They are used only as temporary additives and not intended as part of a regular feeding program.

Amino Acid Solution

100 grams (7 fl oz) dl-methionine and 110 grams (6 fl oz) l-lysine HCl dissolved in 50 gallons water.
-or-
2 grams (.8 tsp) dl-methionine and 2.2 grams (.7 tsp) l-lysine HCl in one gallon of water

Offer the solution free-choice to the birds as an aide to reducing the depressing effects of low-protein diets. Make up a fresh solution daily and offer to birds in clean waterers. All measurements in parentheses () are volumetric measurements while those expressed in grams are weight measurements.

Sucrose Solution

10 ounces of granulated sugar per gallon of water.

This solution may be given as an energy treatment for weak chicks. Offer the solution as the only water source for the first 7-10 days. Clean the drinkers and replace with fresh solution at least once daily. The solution shown above contains eight percent sugar and approximately 2000 kilocalories per gallon.

Vitamin & Electrolyte Solution

This solution can be used to reduce the effects of stresses caused by subclinical diseases, transporting, management errors, etc. Dilute a commercial vitamin/electrolyte packet into the prescribed amount of water. Use as the only source of drinking water until the stress problem has been corrected.


PARASITE (INTERNAL) SOLUTIONS

The following treatments have been shown to be effective for eliminating internal parasites from poultry and game birds. Neither of these drugs (fenbendazole or leviamisole) has been approved for use by FDA, so the producer accepts all responsibility for their use. Both drugs have been very effective if used properly and will eliminate most types of internal parasites that affect birds. Caution: Do not use with birds producing eggs or meat destined for human consumption.

Fenbendazole Treatments

One-day Treatment

1 oz Safeguard or Panacur per 15-20 lb feed

Dissolve the fenbendazole product in one cup of water. Mix this solution well into the feed and give to the birds as their only feed source for one day. When completely consumed, untreated feed can be given. Be sure that the commercial medication contains 10% fenbendazole.

Safeguard is a product of Ralston Purina, and Panacur is a product marketed by American Hoechst. One ounce of medication will treat about 1000 10-oz bobwhite quail. Adjustments of the amounts of medication and feed needed may be necessary depending on the number and size of the birds.

Three-Day Treatment

1.2 oz Safeguard or Panacur in 100 lb feed

-or-

4 oz pkt of “Worm-A-Rest Litter Pack” (Ralston Purina) in 50 lb feed

-or-

5 lb bag of “Worm-A-Rest Mix Pack” in 495Lb feed.

Feed all the medicated feeds free-choice for three consecutive days. The feed mixtures provide 75 ppm fenbendazole. Quail will receive about 1.7 mg/bird each day for adult birds or 2.75 mg/lb of bodyweight.

Fenbendazole has been shown to be a very effective treatment for eliminating Capillaria (capillary worms), Heterakis (cecal worms), Ascaridia (roundworms), and Syngamus spp. (gapeworms). Toxicity from overdosing with fenbendazole is very remote. Research indicates that amounts up to 100 times the recommended dosages have been given under research conditions without adverse effects to the birds. Use of this product during molt, however, may cause deformity of the emerging feathers.

Leviamisole Solutions

52 gram (1.84 oz) pkt Tramisol in 100 gallons water

-or-

13 gram (.46 oz) pkt Tramisol in 25 gallons water

-or-

52 gram (1.84 oz) pkt in 3 qt water (stock solution)

Dissolve the 52 gram packet of “Tramisol Cattle and Sheep Wormer” or the 13 gram packet of “Tramisol Sheep Drench Powder” into the appropriate amount of water. If the stock solution is used with a water proportioner, be sure that the stock solution is dispensed at the rate of 1 oz/gallon in the drinking water.

Any of the solutions are effective at treating Capillaria (capillary worms), Heterakis (cecal worms), and Ascaridia (roundworms). The solutions contain .5 gram of leviamisole per gallon of water. Allow the birds to drink the solution for one day, then remove. In severe cases, the treatment can be repeated every 5-7 days.


PESTICIDE SOLUTIONS

Mite and Lice Body Spray Solution

Dissolve into 10 gallons of water:

6.5 fl oz 10% Permethrin EC

-or-

11.5 fl oz 5.7% Permethrin EC

-or-

2.5 fl oz 25% Permethrin EC

-or-

1.5 lb 25% Malathion wettable powder

-or-

5.3 oz 57% Malathion EC

-or-

.75 lb 50% Carbaryl (Sevin) wettable powder

Spray birds thoroughly to wet the skin and feathers. Pay particular attention to the vent area of the birds. Each gallon of spray will treat 75-100 adult leghorn-type laying hens or 250-300 adult quail. A second treatment can be applied about four weeks after the first application if necessary. The walls, ceiling, and litter of the house can be sprayed with these solutions to kill individual insects not on the birds.

Mites, Lice, and Housefly Residual Spray

Dissolve one of the following in 10 gallons of water.

1 quart 5.7% Permethrin EC

-or-

1 pint 10% Permethrin EC

-or-

6 oz 25% Permethrin wettable powder

-or-

3 lb 25% Malathion wettable powder

-or-

10 fl oz 57% Malathion EC

Apply the permethrin spray to all ceilings, walls, roosts, nests, cracks, and crevices at the rate of one gallon for every 750 square feet. One application will be effective for at least three weeks.Malathion sprays are used as residual sprays to ceilings, walls, roosts, litter, and any dark location that is difficult to reach. Malathion sprays are applied at the rate of one gallon for every 500-750 square feet. Malathion is not recommended for fly control, but is usually effective when used in combination with body sprays for mites and lice.


SANITIZING SOLUTIONS

These solutions will reduce or eliminate slime and most disease organisms in water, drinkers, and water lines.

For Constant Use

1 teaspoon chlorine bleach (sodium hypochlorite) in 5 gallons of drinking water

This solution provides 11 ppm chlorine for sanitizing. The birds will drink the water and not be harmed by drinking it. They may need a short time to become accustomed to this solution. A more dilute solution with half the above level of bleach can be offered for a few days before using the 11 ppm solution. Clean the waterers thoroughly each day to get the best effect.

Weekly Sanitizing Rinse Solution

1 oz Chlorine Bleach in 6-8 gallons water Rinse, soak, or expose equipment to this solution. Let stand at least one hour, then rinse with fresh water. This solution contains equivalent to 45 ppm chlorine. The procedure is most effective if conducted on a weekly basis. Remember, chlorine disinfectants are inactivated by organic matter. Clean all equipment well before using chlorine rinse solutions.


VACCINE ADMINISTRATION GUIDELINES

Clean waterers prior to vaccination. Deprive the birds of drinking water beginning one hour in hot weather and two hours in moderate or cold weather. Mix 3.2 oz powdered skimmed milk packet or equivalent into ten gallons of water. The milk neutralizes the small amount of chlorine or sanitizer present in many water sources.

Follow the vaccine manufacturer’s mixing instructions for dilution level. Administer vaccine-water solution in the waterers immediately after mixing. All the vaccine solution must be consumed within 15-20 minutes if good immunization is expected.

 

Trade names have been used in an effort to make the information contained herein more useful. No endorsement of named products is intended, nor is criticism implied of similar products that are not mentioned.

 

Observing Your Birds In Cages To Assess Their General Condition   Leave a comment

Observing Your Birds In Cages To Assess Their General Condition

By Ritzelle Maria Q. Capili, DVM
http://www.sabong.net.ph/news/?module=displaystory&story_id=636&format=print

External manifestations

  • Birds should have a well-rounded and bright eye; slightly oval eyes means that birds are not fully alert.
  • Any bird that spends all its time huddled in a corner, taking no notice of an observer, is near death.
  • Mostly, if not always, by the time one realizes that a bird is coming down with an infection, it is usually sick.
  • Twisting of the neck (torticollis), paddling (circling), paralysis and spasms may indicate Vit B or E deficiency, infectious disease or poisoning.

Character of the droppings

  • ALWAYS examine fresh droppings dark-colored central part from the rectum and off- white colored surrounding portion consisting mainly of urate crystals from the kidneys.
  • Blood in the droppings may come from the intestines, rectum, cloaca or oviduct: may indicate ulceration, bacterial, viral or protozoal infection of the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Yellow droppings may be associated with cholera or typhoid infection.

Breathing abnormalities

  • A dyspneic, gasping bird (difficulty in breathing) may not have a respiratory infection, but is certainly sick.
  • Blue discoloration (cyanosis) on the head region may indicate chronic viral respiratory infections.
  • Change in voice, which becomes harsh, or a change in pitch may indicate a problem in the upper respiratory tract.
  • Clicking or asthmatic noises (rales and wheezing) may be of viral, bacterial or fungal cause.

Physical examination of the restrained bird

Plumage (Feathers)

  • Should be free from external parasites like mites, lice

Eyes

  • Swelling just above the eye may be evidence of sinusitis.
  • Brown, crusty eruptions around the eyelids and beak may be due to Fowl Pox
  • Mareks disease can cause tumors in the pupil and iris of the eye.
  • Foaming of the eye is common with many viral mycoplasmal or parasitic infections.

Beak

  • Cracking of the beak may be due to trauma or Vit A deficiency.
  • Abnormal beak formation may be due to Vit D, Calcium, Biotin and Vit B-complex.

Body

  • Pectoral muscle should he symmetrical upon palpation.

On Tapeworms

  • Aim of satisfactory treatment: complete removal of both adult and larval stage
  • If destrobilization only occurred, the intact scolex is likely to regenerate another body in about 3 WEEKS.
  • Examination of the host’s feces for tapeworm segments is advised at 3-4 weeks following initial drug treatment

Causes of diseases

  • INFECTIOUS: bacteria, virus, fungi parasite, protozoa
  • NON-INFECTIOUS: mechanical (trauma), thermal (chilling, heat stress), nutritional (vitamin deficiencies, nutritional imbalance), metabolic, genetic, toxic, neoplastic, immunologic, aging, idiopathic (unknown cause).

Common clinical signs of digestive problems

  • Innapatence: birds stop consuming feeds.
  • Diarrhea; normal digestion is disrupted (usually first seen as inflammation of the cloaca).
  • Dehydration
  • Uneven growth rate of flock: mixture of healthy and stunted birds due to varying immune competence.
  • Pale shanks, feather abnormalities, improper bone growth: result of inadequate absorption of vitamins and minerals.

On Coccidiosis

  • Young birds (2-4 weeks) are more susceptible; sick and recovered birds may shed infection and become a carrier.

On Salmonella infection

  • Can he acquired via eggs of infected hens.
  • Infected chicks via egg or hatchery die during the first few days of life (up to 2-3 weeks of age).

Common signs of respiratory disturbances

  • Quiet and less active birds
  • Snicking and clicking
  • Swelling of eyelids
  • Rales and coughing, watery discharges from eyes and nostrils caused by excess mucus in the trachea
  • Difficulty in breathing with necks extended and beak open

On Fowl Pox

  • Dry lesions: occur on skin, head, legs- enlarged and filled with fluid, may blend together and turn dark brown or black
  • Wet lesions: occur in the pharyngeal area and upper GIT-interfere with breathing

 

Crossing   Leave a comment

Crossing

 By Tan Bark.

If a man lives long enough the time will eventually come when he will have to cross his inbred fowl.  Fowl cannot be raised under such ideal conditions, and no man is so infallible that he can inbreed fowl indefinitely and produce practical pit cocks.  Generally speaking most of us expect to introduce fresh blood every 15 or 20 years.

It amuses me to have men quarrel about the purity of fowl claimed to have been inbred for 60 or 70 years, and then advertise shake cocks for sale of these same strains.  I do not believe that nature suspends her laws in favor of a few chosen individuals, and it is amusing or disgusting, as you choose to view it, to see some huckster blossom forth advertising some grand old strain, that has been extinct for a quarter of a century.

Every case of this kind that has ever come under my personal observation I know to be hokum pure and simple. I have letters from some of these self-styled perpetuators written when they were scurrying around hunting all sorts of crosses. They would make a much a better hit with me, if instead of advertising Whitehorses, or Warhackles, bred from trio arriving from John Gilkerson or George Stone in1858 ,they would advertise “fowl carrying large proportion of the blood of such and such a strain and closely resembling them in appearance and pit qualities. They contain only the following additional crosses, etc.”  Then I would have some confidence in what I was getting and feel that I was dealing with an honest man.  If the purebred fowl did exist which they don’t, they would be fit only for museums and not for the pit.

So when the time does come for crossing, you will have had sufficient experience to know what men breed fowl that you would not be afraid to try.  No man can foresee the results of a cross, it is entirely a gamble.  I have known two excellent, inbred strains to be crossed and result in chickens that couldn’t whip a canary bird.  It happens more often than not that a cross is entirely different from what might be expected.  All you can do is make a guess and hope for the best and if it fails try again.

For crossing select a strain that has been pure bred for a number of years, as much like yours in style of fighting and characteristics as possible.  Style and characteristics of the proposed cross are much more important than color.  Color in itself cuts no figure, but you will probably be more apt to find fowl like you own in the same color.  Most of the light reds in this country are descended from and carry more or less of the blood of the old Derbys and allied families and fight more or less alike. As a general proposition the dark reds are rushing, body cutting fighters.

The Doms all descend from the Minton and O’Neil blood and all that I ever saw were shufflers. The Pyles are descendants of Genet and Newbold blood and are sparring cocks expect of course Pyles, which are merely crosses of White Dominics.

So other things being equal, you are more likely to find what you want in strains colored like your own. Get the best individual of the strain obtainable. It is usually more satisfactory to get a cock, because you can select the kind you have seen in battle, that suits you and it is a very rare thing that you can buy a tested hen .Breed the new cock to the very best hens that you own. When old enough test some of the stags for gameness. If they are going to be bad, the sooner you know it the better. If satisfactory so far, breed the new cock to his daughters and one of his sons back over the hens. Then the next winter your original cross of your old stock so that you may compare them.

Unless the cross is approximately as good as your old family, you should go no further with them, as by so doing you will be going downhill.

It is very likely that you may be fooled by the goodness of the first cross. Sometimes a cross between two inbred strains will temporarily niche and produce chickens better than either side of the house, the stream runs higher than the source, as it were and yet the niche will not breed on when put back to either ingredient strain. That is the first cross or half bloods may be the only mistress of the two bloods that is any good. So don’t pat yourself on the back until you have fought the cocks of 3/4th your own blood and 1/4th of the new blood.

If they can fight as well as your own chickens you are on the right track. As I have said before, if your hens are intensely game, their sons out of short bred cock may act game, so you will not be sure of the deep gameness of your cross until you have tested out cocks with new blood on their dam’s side. So likewise test out some of the sons of the new cock over his daughters. If they stand the test your cross is game at any rate.

After you have bred the new blood down to 1/8, 1/16, or 1/32 you have the advantage of the cross and have chickens just like and as good as your own family with all the characteristics you have spent in developing your fowl.

If the cross is real success, put aside a few of the hens carrying 3/4 of the new blood.  When they are seven or eight years old, you can go back for new blood of the same blood and can do away with all the guesswork and uncertainties of trying out an entirely new mixture.

When you have made a cross be man enough to admit it .Don’t join the band of phony old dodos who claim that nature makes special dispensation on their and who breed game chickens just as Noah had them in the Ark

Toe Marking   Leave a comment

Toe Marking or Toe Punching Chickens and Gamefowl

These are all the different toe marking or toe punches you can do to mark your flock.

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\ | /——\.| /

\.| /——\.| /

\ |./——\.| /

\.|./——\.| /

\ | /——\ |./

\.| /——\ |./

\ |./——\ |./

\.|./——\ |./

\ | /——\.|./

\.| /——\.|./

\ |./——\.|./

\.|./——\.|./

This is done by using a toe punch to put a hole in the web between the toes or you can slit the web between the toes

Proper Egg Handling And Storage Practices Before Incubation   Leave a comment


Egg Handling and Storage is the selection and care of eggs before setting in the incubator. Eggs are stored to collect a large number before setting therefore attaining UNIFORMITY in flock management and quality in fightingchick production.

EGG HANDLING AND STORAGE PRACTICES:

1. Collect eggs right after laying or several times a day in order to prevent direct exposure to sunlight and microbial contamination.
2. Select eggs four days laid after introduction of vigorous broodcock.
3. Carefully place eggs with large end up in sturdy trays to avoid accidental cracking. Do not use plastic bags in collecting eggs.
4. Select eggs for hatching that are: (a) normal in size and weight – ideal size: 55 grams to 65 grams: small eggs – small chicks – small fightingcocks.
5. Remove eggs with cracklines, hairlines, loose air cell and thin shells – these are points of entry of microbes that will spoil the eggs later inside the incubator.
6. Remove dirt using soft cloth damped in lukewarm water. Do this very quickly.
7. Place eggs in clean and dry egg trays with large end up (small ends down).
8. Store eggs in a cool room with temperature not exceeding 20 C. Ideal storage room temperature is 12-16 C and humidity of 70 – 75%. Eggs can be stored at the vegetable compartment of the refrigerators or inside an airconditioned room.
9. Store eggs not more than 7 days to a maximum of 10 days after laying. The earlier
the egg is set the better.
10. Tilt the egg tray at least once a day by placing a wedge (small woodblock) underneath the endsides of the tray to make it lean or slant on one side on the first day and on the other side the following day – to prevent the yolk from sticking to the shell.
11. Avoid subjecting the stored eggs to rapid temp changes or fluctuating temperature (in and out of storage or refs)
12. Avoid transporting eggs over long distances, jarring on transit may damage the embryo or cause accidental cracking.
13. Remove eggs from storage, place in a room temperature at least 6 hours before setting in the incubator. Let the sweating dry up by warming slowly under normal room temperature. Warming the egg too rapidly will cause embry deaths.
14. Sanitize or disinfect eggs before setting to reduce microbial contamination. Make sure disinfectant to be used is recommended for eggs.
15. Do not forget to put markings on every egg using PENCIL only, representing mating combination that produced it for record purposes.

Posted March 22, 2013 by gamecocksunlimited in Eggs & Chicks

Tagged with , , , , , ,

Egg Production Why Have My Chickens Stopped Laying Eggs?   Leave a comment

Egg Production – Why Have My Chickens Stopped Laying Good?
By Phillip Clauer

Birds stop laying suddenly at various times of the year, with no patterns or warning. In this article, Phillip J. Clauer describes some common reasons for this….

 

A. Decreasing day length or insufficient day length

Hens require 14 hours of day length to sustain egg production. Once day length drops below 12 hours, production will decrease and frequently stop. This happens naturally from October through to February. To prevent this, provide artificial light to maintain a constant day length of at least 14 hours per day. One 40 watt light for each 100 square feet of coop is adequate.

The lights should be added in the morning hours so the birds can go to roost as the sun sets. This prevents birds from being stranded in the dark when lights are turned out during dark hours. Some small flock owners find it easier to leave the lights on continuously. This is not a problem as long as you do not use light bulbs over the 40 watt size. However, the time clock will help lower your electric bill.

B. Improper nutrition

Layers require a completely balanced ration to sustain maximum egg production over time. Improper nutrition can occasionally cause hens to stop laying.The most common problem is failing to provide a constant source of fresh water. This is especially a problem during the coldest months when the water can freeze. Provide adequate water equipment so the birds always have fresh water.Inadequate levels of energy, protein or calcium can also cause a production decrease.

This is why it is so important to supply your laying hens with a constant supply of nutritionally balanced layer food balanced at 16% – 18% protein. Feeding whole grains, scratch feeds and table scraps will cause the birds diet to become improperly balanced.Many times these imbalances can cause other problems like prolapse (egg blow-outs). Prolapse is caused when the bird is too fat and/or egg is too large and the birds reproductive tract is expelled with the egg. Prolapse usually cause permanent damage to the hen and is fatal in many cases.

Feeding oyster shell “free choice” (always available) is also a good idea to help insure strong egg shells.

 

C. Disease

Disease problems can occur under the best of conditions. Often one of the first signs of disease is a drop in egg production. Other symptoms of disease include dull and listless appearance, watery eyes and nostrils, coughing, molting, lameness and mortality in the flock.

Remember some death is normal over the period of a year in any flock. However, if you suspect a disease, contact a skilled veterinarian for help in examining your flock and get an accurately diagnosis and treatment.

Your best protection against disease is to buy healthy stock and keep them isolated from other birds. Buying adult poultry and introducing them to your flock is asking for trouble. If you wish to increase your flock, buy chicks from a reputable hatchery or hatch some of your own eggs. Adult birds can look healthy and carry diseases.

 

D. Aging Hens

Production hens can lay efficiently for two laying cycles. However, after two or three years, many hens decline in productivity. This varies greatly from bird to bird. Good layers will lay about 50 to 60 weeks per laying cycle. Between these cycles they will be interrupted by a rest period called a molt. Poorer layers and older hens will molt more often and lay less. Removal of non-layers is recommended if economical egg production is your goal.

 

E. Stress

Any stress such as moving, handling, changes in environmental conditions or fright can contribute to or be the main cause for egg production declines. Common stresses include:

*Chilling. Chickens do not handle damp, drafty conditions well. Prevent excessive exposure to wet, drafty conditions during colder months.

*Handling or moving. Once the laying flock is in place, limit any unnecessary moving or handling. Switching roosters or changing the pens population will also disrupt the pens pecking order and cause some temporary social stress in your flock.

*Parasites. If external or internal parasites are present, get proper diagnosis and treatment.

*Fright. Limit the movement of children, dogs, livestock and vehicles around your flock as well as loud noises to prevent frightening the hens.

*Predators. Also can stress the birds and create a decrease in production.

 

F. Other problems to consider when you see a decrease in egg collection:

*Predators and snakes consuming the eggs.

*Egg-eating by hens in the flock.

*Excessive egg breakage.

*Hens hiding the eggs when able to run free.

http://gamefowl-news.livejournal.com/4298.html

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