Feed Storage Guidelines:
- Store all feed in closed bags at a cool and dry place
- Keep feed dry to prevent fungal or bacterial growth
- Prevent rodent or insect entry into feed
- Provide a building for storage which is secure and can be adequately locked.
- Ensure that its roof will protect the feed from rain and that surface water cannot enter the store.
- Provide it with ventilation points (windows are not necessary or recommended).
- Ventilation entry points should be low on the side facing the prevailing wind and high on the opposite side.
- Orient the building so that one of the long sides faces the prevailing wind.
- Ensure that all entry points are meshed to prevent entry by birds, rats etc.
- Plan your purchases carefully so that you do not need to keep too great a quantity in stock.
- Always keep the store clean. Floors and walls should be regularly swept. Spilled material must be removed and the contents of broken bags or containers used first.
- Cleared areas of the store must always be cleaned before new materials are placed there.
- Arrange your store so that new deliveries are not put in front of old stocks. The oldest materials must be used first.
- Make small stacks. Large stacks of sacks lessen insect damage, which occurs mainly at the surface, but cause heat generation, with other consequential damage.
- If possible, raise the sacks off the ground by stacking them on wooden pallets (platforms).
- Ensure that products are clearly and indelibly labelled so that those drawing from the store are sure that they are drawing the correct products (some look very similar when ground) from the oldest batch.
- Don’t walk on the stacks of compounded feeds unnecessarily. This will break the pellets on the surface and lead to the production of a lot of wasteful fines (dust).
- Don’t allow sacks to rest against the outer walls of the store – leave a space between the stacks and the wall.
- Don’t allow staff to sleep or eat in the feed store
Biosecurity is about managing risk and includes all the measures taken for the prevention of the introduction and spread of infectious agents to a flock. For any poultry farm to be successful, importance must be given to Biosecurity and quarantine.
First step in the bio security is to identify the routes of pathogens and diseases.
- Birds, People, Other animals
- Equipment and Vehicles
- Air and Water
- Feed and Litter
Each of these avenues must be explored in detail and measures should be taken for each to control the transmission of diseases to the flocks.
COMMON POULTRY DISEASES
This disease is caused by a protozoan parasite of the intestine and can cause very heavy losses in poultry particularly up to the age of 12 weeks.
- The chicks lose weight and their appetites.
- Their feathers become ruffled and soiled.
- Combs are pale and they tend to huddle together in corners.
- Droppings are watery and greenish or brown in colour often containing blood.
A highly infectious and fatal viral disease, it attacks poultry of all ages. Also known as New Castle disease.
- Inactivity, droopiness and sleepiness.
- Pale combs and wattles which later turn blue.
- Full and distended crop.
- Gasping for air, wheezing and coughing.
- Green diarrhoea with foul odour.
- The head may be twisted to the side, drawn back or down between the legs.
- Convulsions, paralysis and incoordination.
A viral disease that can affect birds at any age resulting in high mortality rates.
- Formation of greyish spots or blisters on wattles which after several days enlarge and develop into wartlike eruptions with scales.
- Removal of scales results in rough, raw bleeding wounds.
- Formation of hard crust in 10-14 days.
A bacterial disease contaminated through feed, water and by contact through carriers.
- Watery discharge from eyes and nose and sometimes sticking of eyelids.
- Noticeable difficulty in breathing, shaking of head and wheezing.
- Odorous, cheesy droppings.
- Soiled feathers under the wings with fowl odour.
Internal parasitic worms are common in poultry and will always be present in small numbers. However, when present in excess they can seriously affect the health and productivity of birds.
There are many different external parasities harboured by poultry. The commonest are mites, fleas, lice and ticks.
- Chickens are restless and nervous.
- Chickens peck at their own feathers.
- Pale combs and wattles.
- Low egg production.
A bacterial disease contaminated mostly through feed and water.
- Sudden death without any visible symptoms.
- Diarrhoea and fever.
- Swelling of the wattles followed by wrinkles.
- Painful abcesses in the joint of legs and lameness.
The disease is caused by a virus which is spread from an infected chicken to a non-infected one through the air, poultry dust, by contact, sometimes faeces. Greatest susceptibility from 6-26 weeks of age.
- Paralysis of legs and/or wings
- Laboured breathing
- Whistling and circling movements
- Unilateral and bilateral blindness.
- On postmortem examination whitish nodules in muscles of thigh, neck, kidneys, testes and in ovaries are seen