Problem Poultry

The poor farmers associated with the poultry trade are facing huge economic losses


The valley farmers are in a trouble facing huge financial losses owing to the severe outbreak of a deadly viral poultry disease (Ranikhet disease) with farmers alleging the lack of attention and lackadaisical approach of the animal husbandry department to come out with a strategy and effective expert advice to combat the uncontrolled mortality of the commercial poultry birds from the last couple of days. However, the concerned department has been blaming the stressful environmental conditions for the sudden and unexpected outbreak of this dreaded poultry disease. Whatever the reason for this outbreak, the poor farmers associated with trade are facing huge economical losses and are at the verge of losing their livelihood and effective operational and long term measures need to be taken by the government and the veterinary professionals to prevent such outbreaks. Besides the farmers associated with the trade need to understand that the disease is of viral in origin and there is no treatment available. However, timely vaccination and less stocking density, proper sanitary measures, avoidance of mixing of birds of different age, keeping long farm to farm distance, proper management skills, culling of the effected birds, prevention of un-authorised entry of humans into the poultry sheds and disposal of the litter contaminated with the nasal discharges and faecal material containing the heavy load of virus can prevent the occurrence and spread of this disease.
Ranikhet disease, also known in the West as Newcastle disease is a contagious and highly fatal disease of poultry birds and in spite of the notable work done for its control, this disease still ranks as one of the most serious viral diseases of poultry all across the globe. The disease occurs in almost all countries and usually assumes a server form affecting birds of all ages. Mortality in flows varies from 50 to 100 per cent.

The symptoms vary according to the age of the affected birds. The first symptoms usually observed in young birds are sneezing, gasping and often droopiness. It is in this stage of the disease that the manifestations rather closely resemble those of infections bronchitis. Within a short time after appearance of respiratory symptoms, deaths occur in a flock in quick succession and in increasing numbers from day to day.
Among growing birds and in adult sudden deaths occur in a few instances, and are followed by a number of birds showing respiratory symptoms. The affected birds are full and depressed with ruffled feathers. These symptoms are accompanied by diarrhoea, characterized by the passing of a watery stool with an offensive smell. There is profuse salivation. The saliva often accumulates in the mouth and obstructs respiration, which results in the production of gurgling disused birds may be soft - shelled and deformed. In turkeys the disease runs a very mild course. In adults, in particular, it may pass unnoticed except for some dullness, loss of appetite and other minor symptoms.

NDV is spread primarily through direct contact between healthy birds and the bodily discharges of infected birds. The disease is transmitted through infected birds' droppings and secretions from the nose, mouth, and eyes. NDV spreads rapidly among birds kept in confinement, such as commercially raised chickens.
High concentrations of the NDV are found in birds' bodily discharges; therefore, the disease can be spread easily by mechanical means. Virus-bearing material can be picked up on shoes and clothing and carried from an infected flock to a healthy one.
NDV can survive for several weeks in a warm and humid environment on birds' feathers, manure, and other materials. It can survive indefinitely in frozen material. However, the virus is destroyed rapidly by dehydration and by the ultraviolet rays in sunlight.

Treatment and Prevention
As already said, at present there is no effective treatment of any value. Proper housing and general good care are indicated in an effort to shorten the duration and severity of the infection.
An early recognition of the disease and application of struck sanitary measures are of great value in the control of the disease. Some important measures for its prevention are ; slaughtering of all apparently ailing birds, segregating of in - contact in group of 10 to 15 each; removal of all infective materials such as droppings, residues of poultry cleanliness ; and provision of separate attendants for each group of birds.

Control of Ranikhet diseases can be effect with judicious application of sanitary and vaccination measures. The possibility of entry and spread of infection is considerably reduced through the maintenance of flock on deep litter system and stopping all unauthorized entries, even of human beings, into the poultry shed. Disposal of fowl carcasses by burning or deep brutal to reduce the scope of carrion-eating birds like crows, kites and vultures perching near fowl pens or poultry farms helps to resume the hazards of this infection. Two types of vaccines are available in India, one for the adult birds an another for younger birds or body chicks. However care should be taken to vaccinate bird’s not carrying heavy coccidian infection. Birds with heavy worm infection or coccidiosis are not protected even with a good vaccine. There are sometimes complications side reactions following vaccination. There are sometimes complications side reactions following vaccination with 'Mukteswar' strain of Ranikhet disease vaccine. These consist on incoordination of limbs and sometimes paralysis in 1 to 3 per cent to the vaccinated birds. The reactions may become more acute if the birds are affected with roundworms, coccidiosis or are weak on account of malnutrition.
At the end it is expected that the government agencies, researchers and the farmers associated with the trade would work in close co-ordination to combat with this deadly poultry disease and save this large growing industry in this valley with over five lakhs unemployed youth and save further losses.
Dr Parvaiz Reshi is a PhD Scholar at Faculty of Post Graduate Studies, SKUAST-K

Lastupdate on : Fri, 1 Feb 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 1 Feb 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 2 Feb 2013 00:00:00 IST

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