SIBU: Bio security can curtail the outbreak of dreaded chicken diseases such as Newcastle Disease (ND), where a virulent strain has been known to wipe out an entire flock.
Bio security does not restrict itself to disease prevention, but also on pest management, said a source from the local veterinary office.
“The stricter ones (farm operators) even restrict visitors’ movements — where they would need to put on special clothing before entering. Some even had their vehicles disinfected.
“This is because visitors serve as a tool to spread the virus as they go about visiting different farms. In layman terms, such measures are adopted to prevent outside virus from being brought into the farm,” he told The Borneo Post.
He revealed that the control measures should include those related to the handling of migratory birds.
Pests such as rats and cockroaches could also cause problems to the farms.
“In farming, dogs and cats are considered as pests since they have the tendency to bring in germs. They are not allowed into the production area of the farm,” the source noted.
Asked on symptoms of ND, he explained that the chicken’s neck would be bent backwards due to attacks on the birds’ central nervous system and respiratory tract.
Compared to Gumboro, ND also had a higher mortality rate, where the more virulent strain could hit the 100 per cent mark.
“This means that an entire flock of chickens in a farm could be wiped out if not vaccinated in the first place.”
Allaying public fears, the source explained that both Gumboro and ND are not zoonotic diseases (can’t transmit to humans).
Towards this end, he warned that extreme weather could have negative repercussions on chickens.
He explained that extreme hot weather condition could easily stress up the chickens, making them prone to diseases.
To mitigate the effects, he noted that many farmers installed ventilation fans to cool down the chicken.
“In some cases, electrolyte is mixed into the chicken drinking source to replace minerals lost through the extreme hot weather,” he said.