Testing Protocol for Disease Surveillance in Poultry

by Dr. Mohamed El-Gazzar

Any surveillance program is intended to be an early warning system that detects the infection as early as possible to allow for timely control and eradication of the infectious agent. The poultry industry relies heavily on surveillance to keep certain diseases out of the population. Avian Influenza (AI), Avian Mycoplasma, and Salmonella are examples of such diseases. Surveillance is an intricate and complicated process that can be different in different diseases and in different situations. In this article we will review the general principals of surveillance programs in poultry and extract the basic concepts by which we can critically examine any surveillance program.

Continue to full article –>  Surveillance Programs ME 5-4-16

Breed Selections of Chickens

Breed Selection of Chickens

By: Sabrina Schirtzinger, Agriculture and Natural Resource Extension Educator, Knox County

There are various reasons people raise chickens for eggs, meat, and exhibition or simply just for the caring and watching chicks grow. For some raising chickens is a hobby; and others see it as a sustainable part of living.

So, what are your needs? What is your end goal for raising chickens? These questions will help you to determine what category of poultry you are leaning towards.

Is your goal:

Egg Production– These chickens will lay eggs; however, what color egg would you prefer white, light brown, dark brown or colored?

Egg and Meat Production– These chickens are referred to as dual purpose breeds that tend lay an adequate amount of eggs and get large enough for meat production. American chicken breeds where developed for this purpose.

Meat Production– Chickens that are bred solely for meat production. Chickens reach 4-5 pounds in 6 weeks and 6-10 pounds in 8-12 weeks. The best growth rate will come from a Cornish crossed with a White Rock called a Cornish Cross.

Exhibition of Poultry– Showing chickens have becoming popular in the Midwest. The American Poultry Association (APA) has a publication called, The American Standard of Perfection. This book gives you a complete description of all the breeds and varieties of domestic chickens.

Selecting the best breed of chicken can be difficult as there are many to choose from. Understanding their differences will help you to increase you production, reduce your time and save you money. Within in article you will find a chart highlighting a few aspects producers look for in their flocks. This chart is designed to help you come to a decision about which breed is best for your needs.

Breed Varieties Egg Color Egg Size Characteristics Meat
Ameraucana Black, Blue, Blue Wheaten, Brown Red, Buff, Silver, Wheaten, White Blue/Green Large Medium sized chicken, colorful feather patterns. Excellent egg layers No
Anconas Single Comb and Rose Comb White Extra Large Known for being excellent large egg layers, non-setting and No
Australorps Black Brown Large Popular breed for light brown eggs, heavy bird used for meat as well. Yes
Brahmas Light, Dark, Buff Brown Large Heavy breed will brood and gentle natured. No
Buckeye Only one variety Brown Medium Originated in Ohio. Heavier and wide breed making them an excellent dual purpose breed. Yes
Buttercups Gold, Silver White Medium Mainly used for egg production. No
Campines Silver, Golden White Medium Smaller breed better as an egg layer. No
Cochins Buff, Partridge. White, Black, Barred, Silver Laced, Golden Laced, Blue, Brown Brown Small Fluffy feather, broody breed, and considered one of the largest breeds. No
Cornish Dark, White, White Laced, Blue, Brown Excellent meat chickens Yes
Delawares Only one variety Brown Extra Large Founded in the state of Delaware. Heavier breed that can be used as meat. Mostly white with barred on the tail and hackle. Yes
Dominiques Only one variety Brown Large An American white and black barred breed (also known as cuckoo pattern). Adapt well to climates. No
Dorkings-Single Comb Silver Gray, Colored, Cuckoo, Red, White White Medium Versatile breed used for meat and egg production. Has red ear lobes, but produces white eggs. Yes
Faverolles Salmon, White Light Brown Medium Dual Purpose breed, mainly used for exhibition and has 5 toes. Yes
Hamburg Black, Golden Penciled, Golden Spangles, Silver Penciled, Silver Spangled, White White Medium Known for being excellent large egg layers and good foragers. No
Jersey Giants Black, Blue, White Brown Large Large, heavy breed used for egg production and meat. Yes
Leghorn Light Brown, Dark brown, White, Buff, Black, Silver, Red, Black Tailed Red, Columbian White Extra Large Prolific egg layer No
Maran Black Copper, Wheaten Dark Brown Extra Large Known for their very dark brown eggs. Excellent egg layers and may be used for meat. Yes
New Hampshire Red Red Brown Extra Large Originated in New Hampshire. Dual purposes breed used more for meat production. Yes
Orpington Black, Blue, Buff, White Brown Large Heavy dual purpose breed and an excellent egg layer. Good winter layer. Yes
Plymouth Rock Barred, White, Buff, Partridge, Silver Penciled, Blue, Columbian Brown Large Dual purpose broody chickens that will make good mothers, and do not mind the cold. Yes
Polish-Bearded and Non-Bearded Golden Silver, White, Buff Laced, White Crested Blue, Black, Crested White White Medium Prolific egg layers, similar to Leghorns. No
RedCaps Only one variety White Medium This breed is a good egg layer, meat chicken and exhibition breed. Yes
Rhode Island Reds Single Comb and Rose Comb Brown Extra Large Known for being the best egg layer as a dual purpose breed. Yes
Sussex Speckled, Red, Light, Brown, Silver, Buff Brown Large Dual purposes breed. Yes
Welsummers Only one variety Very Dark Brown Large Good egg production chicken, cold weather hardy with a docile temperament. NO
Wyandottes Silver Laced, Golden Laced, White, Black, Buff, Partridge, Silver Penciled, Columbian, Blue Brown Large Dual purposes breed. Cold weather hardy and also make a good exhibition bird. Yes

 

Resources:

Akers, D., Akers, P., & Latour, M. A., Dr. (2002). Choosing a Chicken Breed: Eggs, Meat, or Exhibition. Animal Science Poultry, AS(518), w, 1-4. Retrieved April 20, 2016, from https://www.extension.purdue.edu/extmedia/as/as-518.pdf.

Breeds of Livestock. (1995, February 22). Retrieved April 20, 2016, from http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/breeds/poultry/chickens/chickens.html#h Information on breeds.

Murray McMurray Hatchery. (n.d.). Retrieved April 20, 2016, from https://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/index.html Information on breeds.

The American Standard of Perfection. (2015, April). Retrieved April 18, 2016, from http://www.amerpoultryassn.com/ Presents the official breed descriptions for large fowl, bantams, waterfowl, and turkeys.

 

CLICK HERE FOR PRINTABLE PDF——->Breed Selection of Chickens

 

Wooden Breast Research Update

Histopathologic and Myogenic Gene Expression Changes Associated with Wooden Breast in Broiler Breast Muscles

Sandra G. Velleman and Daniel L Clark

Department of Animal Sciences, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, The Ohio State University, Wooster, OH 44691

Received 20 April 2015; Accepted 20 May 2015; Published ahead of print 21 May 2015

 

SUMMARY. The wooden breast condition is a myopathy affecting the pectoralis major (p. major) muscle in fast-growing commercial broiler lines. Currently, wooden breast–affected birds are phenotypically detected by palpation of the breast area, with affected birds having a very hard p. major muscle that is of lower value. The objective of this study was to compare the wooden breast myopathy in two fast-growing broiler lines (Lines A and B) with incidence of wooden breast to a slower growing broiler Line C with no phenotypically observable wooden breast. One of the characteristics of the wooden breast condition is fibrosis of the p. major muscle. Morphologic assessment of Lines A and B showed significant fibrosis in both lines, but the collagen distribution and arrangement of the collagen fibrils was different. In Line A, the collagen fibrils were tightly packed, whereas in Line B the collagen fibrils were diffuse. This difference in collagen organization may be due to the expression of the extracellular matrix proteoglycan decorin. Decorin is a regulator of collagen crosslinking and is expressed at significantly higher levels in Line A wooden breast– affected p. major muscle, which would lead to tightly packed collagen fibers due to high levels of collagen crosslinking. Furthermore, expression of the muscle-specific transcriptional regulatory factors for proliferation and differentiation of muscle cells leading to the regeneration of muscle in response to muscle damage was significantly elevated in Line A, and only the factor for differentiation, myogenin, was increased in Line B. The results from this study provide initial evidence that the etiology of the wooden breast myopathy may vary between fast-growing commercial broiler lines.

Click for full Article –>velleman and clark. 2015. wooden breast

 

 

Veterinary Feed Directive

The Veterinary Feed Directive OTC changes go into effect on January 1st, 2017. This has the potential to impact the Poultry Industry.

From www.fda.gov:

Background

Over the past several years, the FDA has taken important steps toward fundamental change in how medically important antibiotics can be legally used in feed or water for food-producing animals. Now, the agency is moving to eliminate the use of such drugs for production purposes (i.e., growth promotion and feed efficiency) and bring their remaining therapeutic uses in feed and water under the supervision of licensed veterinarians – changes that are critical to ensure these drugs are used judiciously and only when appropriate for specific animal health purposes. The Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) final rule is an important part of the agency’s overall strategy to ensure the judicious use of medically important antimicrobials in food-producing animals.

Click HERE to read the full FACT SHEET: Veterinary Feed Directive Final Rule and Next Steps from fda.gov

CLICK HERE for a good FAQ link from Texas A and M University.

CLICK HERE for the full FDA PDF on the Veterinary Feed Directive Compliance Guide

NOTE: The coccidiostat Amprolium added to starter feed is not considered “medically important” and will not fall under VFD unless used in combination with a VFD drug (source:TAMU Agrilife Extension)

Case Study: Diarrhea in a laying hen.

A Hocking County resident contacted me recently as she had noticed a problem in her backyard layer flock.  This past summer she lost two hens and this winter she had another that was showing similar signs as the first two.   From her email:

This summer I lost two hens, and may be losing a third. All were/are Golden
Comets, around 4 years of age. (I keep my hens longer than some folks.)
Typically they become dis-interested in food and more interested in water;
feces are more watery and the feathers around the vent are messy and coated
with white; I can scatter grain on the ground and they look at it closely
but won’t take it – seems like they are just reacting to the movement; they
wander around looking at the ground and randomly peck at things but don’t
actually eat; they disengage from the flock; weight loss; often will fluff
all their feathers and huddle in one spot; otherwise appear healthy – no
nasal or eye discharge, eyes are bright, feathers look healthy.

I asked her to bring in a fecal sample.   I have a microscope as do many other Educators and have the ability to run fecal floatations in my office, as do all Veterinarians.

poo3

This sample did not look too bad.  That may or may not mean anything however.

poo2

I do not have a centrifuge.  I mixed the sample with Fecasol and let it sit for a good hour with a cover slide on top.  The bits on the slide are grass,  I need a better strainer method I guess.

poo4

The parasite egg that I identified was from Capillaria.  CLICK HERE for more information on this parasite.  This is not the exact egg, just a picture example. (source:UPenn Vet)

   This problem is treated by deworming.  I recommend worming the flock once or twice yearly.  Minding all withdrawls times.

It used to be that only Piperazine was labelled for this use.  It is only recently that Fenbendazole, a much more effective anthelmintic, has been approved for use.

Fenbendazole  <———- Click here for PDF of new labelling.

2016 OHIO PULLORUM TESTING SCHOOL SCHEDULE

The 2016 Pullorum Testing School Schedule has been posted.

Attached is the schedule and registration information for the 2016 pullorum schools. Three schools are held throughout Ohio for people ages 18 and older interested in becoming pullorum testers, or if current testers’ certificates are due to expire

Clickable link for dates/registration/locations/times/requirements —–> 2016 Pullorum School Schedule_Registration

Bi-State Youth Poultry Clinic

This clinic will be held in Wooster at OARDC, Fisher Auditorium, Saturday, April 2. Registrations are to be postmarked by Monday, March 21. We will be offering Poultry QA training for youth as one of the sessions. Youth completing the training will receive a certificate to take back to their counties. This may count for their QA training if their county permits them to receive that training outside of the county. The flyer is posted on the Poultry Events and Resources pages at www.ohio4h.org/statewide-programs/animal-sciences/poultry/

Clickable link for map/overview/topics/registration ——> 2016 Bi State Youth Poultry Clinic

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in the Midwest for the second year in a row.

Dr. Mo El-Gazzar, Poultry Extension Veterinarian

On January 15, 2016, the USDA announced that highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) was found on a commercial turkey farm located in Dubois, Indiana. The case was confirmed on January 14.  Click link below for full PDF

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in the Mid West for the Second Year in a Row

If your birds are suspected of having influenza, they will be tested at ODA’s Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (ADDL).