By Dr Baba Wageti

Mortalities at the farm are always inevitable although they vary with a prevailing disease and sanitary conditions at the farm. When birds die, their carcass remains a potential source of infections for remaining in-mates at the farm and/or other farms,therefore their carcass must be removed as soon as possible. Diseased birds also discharge infectious materials in the environment and can act as reservoirs for disease causing organisms. So ailing birds should be removed immediately other than jeopardising the health of remaining birds.

The habit of throwing dead birds onto the nearest manure pile or other open fields in the compound is not only dangerous but also non-scientific and unprofessional.

This is because:-

  • It makes birds succumb to never ending congenital defects, diseases, accidents, equipment failure and/or natural disaster.
  • The smell of the carcass attracts street or even farm dogs and cats which consume the carcass and harbour infectious enteric organisms. Because of their free movement, these animals are capable of carrying contaminated materials/portions of the carcass to neighbouring farms or within poultry houses…… results are so disastrous my brother
  • The carcass lures insects and flies which act as transmitters of causative agents either from farm to farm or within poultry houses.
  • Migratory wild birds invade the carcass and become potential carriers across regions. This usually results into hard-to-treat chronicles in poultry
  • The disease agents carried by moving rain water contaminate other waters
  • The surrounding area at the farm is contaminated by feathers, bones and decomposing bodies thus causing soil pollution.

       For those reasons, the disposal of dead birds due to either known or unknown causes must be carefully attended to through effective methods like burning, pit disposal, incineration, rendering, septic tank decomposition, and composting. All the methods should be tackled in an environmentally safe and scientific manner.Burying can also be done(not recommended) for it has risks of contaminating underground water sources.

 Observe the following

  • Remove dead bodies from the flock as soon as possible
  • Do not deposit carcass in or near flowing water streams
  • Take necessary precautions to prevent spillage of infectious materials when transporting carcass  from House to disposal area.
  • The disposal area should be minimally 150 metres from live bird houses.
  • Dead carcass must be destroyed within at least 36 hours from the time of death.

Other important factors to consider in controlling disease transmission, spread and contamination include:

  • Partition and fence farm area according to purpose.
  • Purchase Day-old chicks or pullets from reliable and accredited suppliers.
  • Avail foot baths (with sanitizers and disinfectants) on all entrances, main farm gate and all poultry houses.
  • All-in-all-out management plan – here birds are kept in one flock from day old and then culled off at the same time. Then a minimum inter-flock interval of at least 2 weeks during which you thoroughly disinfectant the premises. Only when inevitable that pullets(if needed) can be got from sources that are free from vertically transmitted diseases and handle the new birds first.
  • Avoid keeping birds of different growth-cycle together.
  • Avoid keeping birds of different age groups/species together. Here some birds might be resistant to or carriers of a certain disease.
  • A 3-metres open land boundary from a poultry house free of vegetation must be maintained to avoid rodents. Please keep birds in a clean environment to the point that vaccines and medications achieve beneficial effects.
  • Put feed bags on a raised platform in a leak-proof we’ll ventilated store and install rodent guards. If all fails please use an Integrated Pest Control Management Program or contact Adamore Technical team for advice.
  • Remove pipes of un-used equipment and/or empty gunny bags as they serve as breeding places for rats and mice.
  • Avoid stagnation of water in and around all farm premises.
  • Please provide Good drainage facilities and attend to leakages.
  • Control the number of visitors at the farm, where inevitable provide thoroughly disinfected protective clothing like dust coats, overalls and gumboots.
  • All vehicles must be disinfected at the point of entrance or else provide a secure parking area outside the farm.
  • Vaccinate birds at the right time, with appropriate vaccines from reliable suppliers(strictly follow post-vaccination procedures)
  • Give birds ample clean drinking water ad lib.
  • Always flush your waterlines with purifier
  • Always check your birds for any deviation from the norm. This can be done both in the morning and evening.
  • Always consult your vet.
  • Never ever tamper with any condition that is beyond your capacity as a farmer because the time you call a vet it might be late!!
  • Always keep records of what has been done at the farm and when for proper follow.
  • In poultry production, the cost of drugs,the cost vaccines and cost of Veterinary charge is always less than 2% in poultry production. Farmers always partner with Poultry Veterinarians for diseases free for your flock.

Dr.Wageti is the Group Sales and National Marketing Manager Adamore Nig. Ltd


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