Chick mortality and disease profiles in organised broiler breeding farm

S.R. Sharma, G. Shyam Sunder and R.P. Sharma
Project Directorate on Poultry Rajendranagar, Hyderabad (A. P.) - 500 030

The post-mortem data from 2860 chicks of 12 different broiler strains/crosses (PB1, PB2, Vanaraja, Groups, Cornish, Control broiler, Dwarf, Dwarf cross, Dahlem red, Dahlem red control, Dahlem Red Cross and Naked neck) was analyzed for mortality and disease profiles. The overall mortality in broiler chick (up to 6 weeks) was recorded as 6.34% and it ranged from 2.63 to 12.96% for different strains/crosses. Analysis of the data for week-wise mortality distribution (from 1 st to 6 th week) revealed 31.32, 12.34, 12.69, 12.9, 15.03 and 15.69% deaths during 1 st, 2 nd, 3 rd, 4 th, 5 th and 6 th week, respectively, indicating the increased susceptibility of chicks to different diseases during 1 st week of their life. Deaths during 1 st week were mainly due to omphalitis (37.4%), predation and smothering (32.1%), weakling (18.6%), colibacillosis (4.5%) and cold exposure/pneumonia (2.45%). From 2 nd to 6 th weeks, the mortality reduced by 50% to that of 1 st week and was almost equal.

Overall 44 causes of death in broiler chicks were recorded. Majority of deaths (about 80%) were due to diseases/disease conditions viz. Omphalitis (19.9%), predation and smothering (18.06%), weakling (15.5%), colibacillosis (11.03%), cannibalism (4.28%), cold exposure/pneumonia (4.09%), hepatitis (3.71%), heat prostration (2.0%) and visceral gout (1.62%). About 6.27% birds died from non-specific/unknown etiology. Remaining 33 diseases/disease conditions caused less than 14% deaths and had incidence from 0.5 to 1.62%. Specific diseases like Infectious Laryngo-tracheitis, Marek’s disease, coccidiosis and Newcastle ’s Disease were found to have an incidence of 1.57, 0.29, 0.14 and 0.1%, respectively. Between strain/cross comparison for major diseases/disease conditions revealed that omphalitis and hepatitis in PB1; weakling in PB2; cannibalism, cold exposure/pneumonia and smothering in Dehlam red and colibacillosis in Naked neck had highest incidence. Within strain/cross comparison for causes of death indicated that incidence of omphalitis in PB1, Vanaraja, Groups, Cornish, Control broiler, Dwarf cross, Dehlam red control and Dehlam red cross; weakling in PB2 and Dwarf; cannibalism in Dehlam red and colibacillosis in Naked neck was highest. The findings could be useful in redesigning the health management practices to reduce the mortality and incidence of different diseases / disease conditions.

Source : IPSACON-2005

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