HOW TO IDENTIFY BIRD FLU SYMPTOMS IN CHICKENS
Now more than ever it’s imperative that farmers start to identify bird flu symptoms in chickens and other poultry.
Avian influenza Type A viruses occur naturally among wild aquatic birds and can spread to domestic poultry flocks. The effects can be deadly and expensive. Identifying early bird flu symptoms in chickens offers the chance to mitigate the negative effects often felt by farmers and their constituents.
Bird Flu Symptoms in Chickens
Avian flu can spread quickly and negatively affect the health of chickens within hours. In severe cases, chickens can die within a day.
Common bird flu symptoms in chickens include:
Edema in the comb and wattles
Purple discoloration / cyanosis of the wattles, combs, and legs
Soft-shelled or misshapen eggs
Decreased egg production
Coughing and sneezing
Lack of coordination
Swelling of the head, eyelids, wattles, hocks, and comb
Lack of energy and appetite
Pinpoint hemorrhages on feet and shanks
Any one of these symptoms can indicate the presence of avian flu in your flock, in addition to sudden death that comes without warning signs.
Recognizing Bird Flu Symptoms in Humans
Although it’s rare for humans to contract avian flu, it can happen. Symptoms such as fever, coughing, sore throat, muscle aches, and conjunctivitis may result from infection. In more serious cases pneumonia and acute respiratory distress can occur.
Dealing with Recent Outbreaks
Due to the recent outbreaks, farmers and poultry producers should be on high-alert and take extra precautions to avoid flock infection. There are two main ways avian flu is spread:
Through migratory birds
By human interaction
Wild migratory flocks, such as geese and ducks, can become infected with avian influenza and quickly spread it to poultry flocks across the nation.
Taking preventative measures:
Have flocks tested
Thoroughly clean all equipment and transportation vehicles used to move poultry and clean habitats
Closely monitor flock behavior, appearance, and appetite
Limit access to flocks to only the necessary personnel
Cutoff flock access to outside contact with wild birds
Isolate flocks that show signs of infection for at least 30 days
Do not borrow or use equipment from other poultry farms
Report bird flu symptoms in poultry to the government Veterinary Health Authority