Currently, Brazil is the largest exporter or broilers in the world and that’s why the poultry industry demands high standards for cleanliness and hygiene of warehouses and production facilities, which have a high density of animals per square meter.
Thus, producers should be aware of diseases that can affect their squad in order to prevent their profitability from being compromised. Avian Influenza, also known as bird flu, is one of those diseases that may arise and we’ll talk about it in today’s post. Check it out!
Avian influenza is caused by a virus, which can infect many animals, such as many species of birds, including migratory ones, and can affect terrestrial and marine mammals, pigs and even humans. It is a highly contagious disease with a very high morbidity and that’s why its control is so important in modern poultry farming.
Because it has a wide range of hosts, the avian influenza virus can be transmitted through prolonged contact with secretions and excretions of other animals, like from birds to chickens, for example. The virus also survives in other substrates, such as food, water, beds of wood shavings, equipments and clothing, demanding redoubled care in the use of such resources in other warehouses and production units, because that is how the virus spreads to new locations.
Since it is a highly contagious disease, the sooner it’s detected the lower will be the losses generated. There are signs and symptoms that should be observed daily in the squad:
1. Coughing, sneezing, diarrhea and dehydration, discharge or nasal and eye secretion;
2. Deep depression, reduction or stoppage of feed intake, little moving, reduced coordination of movements, such as walking unsteadily and pending head;
3. Sharp and sudden drop in egg production, and those laid with disuniform shapes and deformed and thin shell
4. Swelling in the head, eyes and neck
5. Swelling with dark red to pink color in the crest and dewlap region
6. Bleeding in the legs;
7. Sharp increase in mortality of birds in a 72 hour period.
There is currently no treatment for avian influenza. Sick animals should be immediately isolated from the others, have blood samples collected and, after a day, must be sacrificed. This is necessary because, while alive, birds serve as propagators of the virus. All waste generated in the process of sacrifice must be destroyed and sick animals should not be consumed.
When dealing with a disease with such a potential to cause harm, knowing it is the main form of combat. So be aware of the contents of your farm, the health of your birds as well as the news about the presence of the disease in your area.
Did you know about the bird flu? Has any case like that happened in your city? Tell us in the comments!