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Fowl cholera

This is a systemic infection caused by the bacterium Pasteurella multocida. Related strains of this bacterium cause respiratory and systemic diseases in a variety of animals including pigs and companion …

What signs to look out for in sick birds

Unhealthy bird, © British Hen Welfare Trust The most useful tool for any hen owner is a pair of eyes. Observation of hens going about their normal daily lives will …

Bumblefoot

Bumblefoot (pododermatitis) is a common condition in poultry, which can result from a combination of factors including inadequate bedding, lack of exercise, poor diet and infection of superficial wounds.

Scaly leg treatment

A cockerel presented with a severe case of scaly leg but was otherwise well and was eating and drinking normally. The skin over his legs looked severely infected, oozing purulent …

Avian immunology

Like mammals, poultry have complex mechanisms of innate and adaptive immunity which can be enhanced, to some degree, by vaccination. Natural defences of poultry include antimicrobial secretions, pH barriers in …

Egg peritonitis treatment

A hen presented with a history of reluctance to walk, poor appetite, laboured breathing, a typical ‘penguin stance’ and on examination had marked coelomic distension. Surgery was advised. The hen …

Caring for poultry

Now listen to Jane Howorth outlining the basic requirements for caring for poultry, including some legalities around feeding and biosecurity. Did you know it’s illegal to feed household scraps; are …

Differences between broiler and layer chickens II

In this video, Gaynor Davies explains the differences between broilers and layers and tells us how the commercial sector uses technology to maximise efficiencies. Let us know your thoughts after …

Getting to know poultry

Now Jane Howorth will introduce you to poultry with a brief overview of the history of chickens up to modern day and an outline of the four distinct groups.

Hatching

Hatched duckling, ©Brinsea Products Ltd Chick embryos spend 21 days inside the egg once incubation has begun. The female stops rotating her eggs in the nest 3 days before hatching. …

Anatomy of poultry

External anatomy The external anatomy of the chicken is well known. There are gender differences with males being generally larger with more extravagant tail feathers, larger comb and wattle and …

Incubation and egg candling

Whilst the majority of backyard flocks are bought in as point of lay pullets sourced from specialist breeders, markets and charitable organisations; a relatively small number of breeders hatch chicks …