The outbreak of the Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) is no news to poultry farmers across Nigeria. Now, more than ever is when farmers are to take necessary preventive measures to control the spread of the virus. And here are a few tips from Dr Victor Agbajelola, a Veterinary Medicine professional at Afrimash.
As you know, bird flu is a viral infection found in domestic poultry and a wide range of other birds. So, wild birds can indirectly transfer the virus to domestic birds. Also, susceptible domestic birds can be infected directly through contact with contaminated surfaces.
Clinical Signs of Avian Influenza
In poultry, low pathogenicity strains of AI cause respiratory signs. On the other hand, high pathogenicity strains may cause widespread organ failure and sudden high mortality.
In addition, other symptoms of bird flu include:
- Loss of appetite
- Drop in egg production
- Swelling and blue coloration of combs and wattles
- Sudden death can occur without any previous signs
- Nervous signs
- Also, mortality rate may reach up to 100% depending on age, species, virus type, and co-infections.
Treatment, Prevention, and Control of Bird Flu
Most importantly, note that the use of antiviral drugs or treatments is not ideal for poultry. But for birds affected by low pathogenicity strains, antibiotics may control secondary bacterial infection. However, supportive care can reduce mortality and morbidity of Low Pathogenicity Avian Influenza (LPAI).
Biosecurity Measures to Control Bird Flu
- Firstly, investigate all suspected cases of Avian Influenza and take appropriate preventive measures in case of confirmation of High Pathogenicity Avian Influenza (HPAI).
- To limit the spread of the virus, destroy infected poultry safely.
- Treat or dispose contaminated equipment, feeds, and manure to inactivate the virus.
- Institute movement restrictions on the affected farm and all farms within at least 10-km (surveillance zone).
- Lastly, extend stamping-out measures to poultry farms in the vicinity or farms that have had dangerous contacts with infected farms.
Preventive Measures Against Bird Flu
- Cover your drainage
- Limit visitors to your farm
- Make sure feeds and housing equipment are clean
- Prevent access of wild birds to your poultry feed
- Report any strange pest presence on the farm
- Disinfect vehicles and equipment coming to the farm
In conclusion, adhering to these simple biosecurity and preventive measures are steps to improving the productivity and profitability of your poultry farm. Besides, you can enjoy reliable and personalized technical support from the Afrimash dedicated team of veterinarians at an affordable rate.
Improving the productivity and profitability of livestock farming includes the reduction of animal disease risk.
Join the 3-days Agribusiness Master Class on Livestock Disease Management and get a practical guide on keeping your farms and animals disease-free.
Date: 27th -29th of September
(First 10 registrants will be sponsored by Afrimash)