- Like other animals, chickens can be infected by internal and external parasites. Internal parasites include round worms and coccidian. External parasites include lice, mites and ticks.
The digestive system of chicken scan be infected with a number of different types of roundworms. Heavy infections cause weight loss, diarrhoea.
The thin red gizzard worm lives in the wall of the gizzard of ducks and causes loss of appetite,weight loss, diarrhoea and death.Both chickens and ducks can be infected with very small parasites called coccidia, which leads to loss of feathers, loss of weight and low numbers of eggs.
Small ticks feed on the blood of birds and can carry germs that will cause other diseases. External parasites will hide in the walls, floors and bedding of bird cages and houses. In order to control them, it is necessary to keep these places clean and kill any parasites found in the houses.
Parasitic worms of chickens and ducks Roundworms
Worm infections are a serious problem in young birds and cause poor appetite, weight loss and diarrhoea,while heavy infections can cause death. In older birds, worm infections cause weight loss and poor egg production. Several types of worms infect poultry:
- A large, white round worm can be found in the intestine of some poultry,
- Small, fine hair worms can live in the gut walls.
- Other worms, about 1cm long,can be found in the lower region of the gut.
Chickens and ducks become infected with worms from soil, feed or water if they are contaminated with worm eggs. Worm eggs survive in warm, damp conditions.
Treating parasitic worm infections of birds
Worms can be killed by treating poultry with a suitable anthelmintic medicine. All worms are killed by the chemical tetramisole or levamisole.Birds are either treated individually,or the medicines are mixed with feed or water.
Coccidia in chickens and ducks
Chicken and ducks can be infected by internal parasites called coccidia. Coccidia cannot be seen without a microscope.Different types of coccidia infect different parts of the gut in both chickens and ducks. Birds care normally infected with more than one type of coccidia. The infection isknown as coccidiosis.
Birds are infected by eating contaminated soil, feed or water. Thereare few problems if the level of infection is low.
However, young birds, especially under 1 month old, can be badly affected.Diarrhoea occurs and the droppings may be bloody. Coccidiosis can kill young birds with 2 weeks.
Treating coccidiosis in birds(using coccidiostats and coccidiocides)
Birds infected with coccidian are treated with anti-coccidial medicines.
The medicines are mixed into feed or added to drinking water:
- Birds being raised for laying are often treated with coccidiostats(medicines that prevent the disease,from developing) until the animals,are old enough to resist the disease.
- For birds that are raised only,for meat, coccidiocides (medicinesthat kill coccidia) can be added to,feed or water to prevent the disease,from occurring during the life of the,bird.
Preventing parasitic worm infections,in chickens and ducks,All internal parasitic worm infections,in both chickens and ducks can be controlled by keeping birds in clean conditions and not allowing them to wander around free:
- Cages and houses should be kept clean.
- Feed and water containers should be cleaned out every day.
- Do not allow wet, muddy areas to develop around water containers or anywhere else near the birds.
- Cages and houses should be thoroughly cleaned with soap and water and disinfectant before new birds are placed in them.
- Do not keep birds on the same area of ground year after year because the soil can become contaminated.
- Young birds should be kept separate from older birds.
- Do not place young birds, especially under 3 months old, in runs where older birds have recently been kept because they may become infected with coccidia.
- I f possible, always treat young birds for coccidia. –nari.com.pg