Chickens are susceptible to various kinds of diseases. They can acquire diseases if they are not well taken care of by their owner. Just like you, they are susceptible to colds and other illnesses after being exposed to different spores and viruses. Here are four of the most common chicken diseases you must know along with the signs and symptoms, prevention and possible cure for each ailment.
1. Avian Encephalomyelitis
This is a viral disease that affects chickens within four weeks old and below. It is rampant in developed countries like United States of America, New Zealand and Australia. If you notice your chicken having a dull expression of the eyes, with uncoordinated movements and frequent twitching of the head and body, then most likely, it is because of AE. To prevent this deadly disease, you can immunize your chicken breeders by the time they have reached their 10-16 weeks of age. Once AE happens, you are left with two choices; to isolate them or to give them supportive care.
2. Avian Influenza or Bird's Flu
This is one of the deadliest chicken diseases of all time. It is caused by a strain of H5N1 virus that can be transmitted by infected mosquitoes and ticks. Droppings and nasal secretions of wild birds should be removed right away to avoid the spread of the disease. Nettings must be provided also to add protection for your chickens.
3. Fowl Cholera
Fowl cholera occurs to adult chickens specifically roosters. It is characterized by green diarrhea-like stools and swelling of the wattles. It should be treated by an antibiotic called tetracycline for one week until symptoms disappear.
4. Marek's Disease
Marek's disease is one of the highly contagious chicken diseases caused by herpes virus. Your chicken will experience asymmetric paralysis of the limbs, difficulty of breathing and change in the color of the iris. To prevent this to happen, you should give them vaccination against the disease at the time they were hatched.
These are four of the most common chicken diseases that can take the lives of your flock in just a snap. These diseases are actually preventable if you feed your chickens properly, vaccinate them on time and clean them coops at least twice a week.