Birds

Birds

CROOK CHOOKS

If a chicken is unwell, it will be less active than the others. The birds comb is a good barometer of health. If the comb becomes pale and limp it is likely to be unwell. The breast should be plump, round and convex. If it is concave and the keel bone becomes prominent due to thinning of the breast, the bird is likely to have been unwell for sometime. Chickens normally produce large volumes of greeny-brown and white manure. The manure should form a semisolid splotch when deposited. If the manure is runny or more white than greeny-brown the bird probably needs attention. Any kind of open mouth breathing or discharge from the nostrils or mouth are abnormal and may indicate one of a number of respiratory diseases.

 

Broody Hens: Broodiness occurs when the hens are getting lots of good food and when they have a warm comfortable dark nest and a clutch of eggs to mother-all is good in life. It is more common as days lengthen coming into spring but can occur at any time of the year, or even when she doesn’t have a clutch of eggs. A broody hen will stay in the nest almost continually, night and day, and will be quite aggressive to other hens or people that go near the nest box, she will also stop laying. If no eggs hatch at the end of a normal incubation period (about 21 days) the hen will often continue to sit indefinitely. There are numerous ways to “knock a hen off the brood” if perpetual broodiness becomes a problem. If you don’t want hens to go broody and stop laying it might be best to stick to one of the commercial strains of chooks like ISA Browns that rarely go broody.

Moulting: Poultry go through a major moult in late summer or autumn. Moulting consumes a large amount of energy and therefore moulting chooks need access to good quality food. They will often go off the lay during a moult, putting their energies into replacing feathers and maintaining body temperature rather than egg production.

Internal parasites: Worms and single-celled parasites called coccidia are common problems with backyard chooks. Many species of worms are spread by the birds eating insects, slugs and earthworms which act as hosts for immature stages of the worms. Worms reduce egg production, cause diarrhoea, loss of weight and ultimately can cause death.  Poultry should be wormed every 3months.

External Parasites: Such as lice, mites, fleas and ticks can affect your chooks as well. Control involves a thorough cleaning and disinfection of the flocks pen. This should be followed by treatment of the pen and equipment with an insecticide spray safe for use around birds. The birds should also be treated, this can be done with powders, sprays or a simple spot on treatment to the back of the neck.

The friendly staff at Mudgee Veterinary Hospital are always available to offer you any advice on the health of your chooks. Our new Vet Megan Jolly has a special interest in birds and she is available for consultation. Please phone 63722105 for an appointment.

Lastest News

Sarcoids

Here are some photos of a horse that had multiple sarcoids (5 in total).

This case was successfully treated, and the horse is sarcoid free

 

 

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