Keeping poultry houses free of disease
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CTA. 2004. Keeping poultry houses free of disease. Rural Radio Resource Pack 04/2. Wageningen, The Netherlands: CTA.
Permanent link to cite or share this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/57224
Wilfred Allo Nkumbuh explains to Martha Chindong how, by keeping strict rules, he prevents the spread of disease on his poultry farm in Cameroon.
Keeping poultry houses free of disease Cue: For commercial poultry farmers, the spread of disease in their flocks is the greatest danger. With birds housed close together in large numbers, diseases spread easily and quickly. While vaccination provides some protection, farmers should also do everything possible to prevent diseases entering their flocks in the first place. This requires strict management rules; for example, older and younger birds should not be kept together, visitors to the farm should not be allowed to enter the poultry houses, and sick birds should be removed immediately. Once a batch of chickens has been sold, the poultry house must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, and then allowed to stand empty for at least two weeks, before introducing a new batch. This helps to prevent a build up of disease on the farm. Wilfred Allo Nkumbuh is a poultry farmer from the north west province of Cameroon. When he first went into poultry farming he experienced some serious problems with disease in his flocks. The problem was so bad that he actually decided to change the location of his farm. He told Martha Chindong about the management rules he has developed that are now keeping his birds free of disease. IN: ?The first one is that ? OUT: ?don?t have the problem of cannibalism.? DUR?N 4?34? BACK ANNOUNCEMENT: Wilfred Allo Nkumbuh was talking to Martha Chindong. Transcript Nkumbuh The first one is that, initially when we started, we did not know that it was necessary to be changing environment just like ordinary crop farmers do rotation. So when we concentrated on one spot, we realised that after a number of months or years, diseases began to build up, so that even treatment was impossible. So we moved from our first location to the second, and now we are at the third location, because we are really running away from diseases which were also rampantly following us. So now moving to the third location, where we took a lot of precautions, we have now really got a lot of success. And some other methods of keeping the chickens; like we moved from keeping chickens on the floor in deep litter, to keeping chickens now in cages, because we also realised that keeping chickens on the floor and using deep litter, in most occasions we bring in the diseases ourselves mechanically. Formerly we used to keep the chickens on the floor and we move in to attend to the chickens, thereby carrying diseases. But now we realise that keeping chickens on a raised floor, it?s very convenient, because it is difficult for some of the diseases to move in the air ? some of them are airborne though ? but now when we keep them in cages when they are raised on a platform, the contamination is reduced. Then the third thing is that we had to create a number of brooding rooms, so when we have used one brooding room, we allow it to be fallow for two or three months before we come back to that same room. So sometimes even when diseases start building up there, they will soon die, because the host would not be there. And then the last one, which I think is most important, is the breed. Most breeds that farmers want to go with are imported breeds which are not localised. But we have developed breeds which are local. So we finally see that we can grow chickens for up to four months without treatment, and we grow very successfully. Chindong In other poultry houses we see liquid, some disinfectant at the door. When you use these boxes, do you still use disinfectants? Nkumbuh We fumigate the whole room, because even the air can carry diseases. Many people think that you can only carry diseases with your legs, but let me tell you, without mincing words, that you can carry disease with your dress; like dust from infected chicken houses on your dresses will be transmitted. Making the doors small and difficult to pass through ? with other chicken houses anybody will just want to walk in immediately to see, thereby infecting the place, and tomorrow he will come back and find nothing there again, not knowing that he or she caused the damage. So we make the doors to be uncomfortable, so that you stand and see from a distance. So we make it inconvenient both for human beings and animals to stray in freely. Chindong If you discover that one bird is sick in that space, can you replace it? Nkumbuh We normally don?t advise replacement, because sometimes you may be replacing a bird which also may be having a problem without you knowing. So we advise that if you identify a bird which may be sick, take it out completely, and sometimes destroy it. Because in some occasions you are advised to take it and quarantine it, but you don?t know, the problem may be airborne and it will continue spreading the problem before it finally dies. Chindong We have seen one chicken, there is one behind us which is so nervous, making a lot of noise more than other ones. Nkumbuh When I was doing feeding yesterday, I realised that that chicken was showing some nervous symptoms, which may be after the effect of some drug or some disease. So I immediately isolated it, and I want to observe it for one or two days, before deciding whether to slaughter it, to destroy it, or to send it back in to the house, if those symptoms disappear. So I did not want a situation where a symptom will be realised, you?ll be careless, and then the disease spreads through. Chindong OK. There?s one common thing with chickens ? cannibalism. How do you avoid that? Nkumbuh For many many years we have not been having that problem, although sometimes we had the problem. But to me, I tried to trace the problem down in to the feeding regimen. There used to sometimes when I was compounding my feed and using animal blood, cow blood as one of the ingredients, and I soon realised that each time I fed chickens with cow blood, they went out for more blood, so that provoked them into eating themselves and fighting within themselves and drinking their blood. So when now I use greens and other crop products, I never had that problem. So sometimes when you move to some poultry farms, you find that they have de-beaked their chickens, and the chickens look very very not beautiful, because of the way they are debeaked. But here we do not debeak chickens, but we also avoid the feed materials that would provoke them into going for blood, so we don?t have the problem of cannibalism. End of track.