General information

ILLNESSES OF STRAUSS

When people around the world began to look for an alternative to beef — lower cholesterol meat — ostrich farms began to grow like mushrooms after rain from China to Holland, from Israel to the United States. In 1997, in China, just two years after the first eight ostriches were imported into this country, there were already 400 farms in 20 provinces throughout the country with a total population of 80 thousand birds. Ostrich farming is also developing in Russia.

In order to successfully breed ostriches on a farm, the farmer must have sufficient knowledge of the specific needs of these birds. When the intensification of the ostrich system on the farm begins, it becomes even more important. The better these needs are met, the less stress the ostriches receive.

The “ability of African ostriches to die for unknown reasons” is well known, but in most cases it is still possible to determine the errors in bird care, to prevent further development of stress and their death.

Every farmer should be interested in acquiring as much knowledge as possible about the needs of his birds. Then he will be able to reduce the risk of their diseases to a minimum. An ostrich farm can be very profitable, but if it is conducted incorrectly, it can be ruinous.

An important place in the work of the ostrich farm is prevention of diseases:

If your business activity develops successfully and ostrich breeding starts to “gain momentum”, it is good to invite a professional veterinarian to a full-time position in your farm. After all, no matter how competently the farm itself was set up and the process of breeding ostriches was adjusted, a program to prevent diseases of the bird population is still needed.

A disease prevention program should include all kinds of vaccinations and biological safety. Biological safety is the cheapest way to prevent diseases. It includes the constant monitoring of both birds, staff and visitors, and must also ensure the proper sanitary condition of the farm and its inhabitants.

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Catalog

Adult ostriches are resistant to infectious diseases, excluding avian pox and encephalitis. However, they are prone to digestive disorders and respiratory diseases.

Granulated foods can sometimes disrupt digestion, while finely ground can affect the respiratory system.

Prevention of diseases of ostriches includes all kinds of vaccinations, constant attention to sanitary and hygienic rules, timely disinfection.

Respiratory (causes, symptoms and treatment)

Against the background of general weakness of the bird and due to unfavorable environmental conditions, ostriches may experience respiratory diseases caused by pathogens (Figure 1).

Note: In the presence of rhinotracheitis, sinusitis or eye infections in birds, the course of the disease can also be aggravated by fungal infections. Treatment involves the use of antibiotics.

In case of violation of the rules for keeping ostriches and non-observance of sanitary and hygienic standards in the room where birds are kept, the level of ammonia fumes in the surrounding air increases. This poisonous gas can cause a significant impact on the respiratory system of birds. Therefore, it is important to monitor sufficient air circulation in the room, daily cleaning, litter quality, and a favorable temperature.

Figure 1. Manifestations of respiratory diseases

Frequent reason for the death of birds is the ingress of a foreign body in the respiratory tract. Therefore, service personnel should carefully ensure that there are no extraneous small objects on the territory of the walking area (pasture). Food offered to animals must be granulated or crushed to a certain size.

Summing up, it should be noted that it is much easier to protect ostriches from respiratory diseases, carefully caring for them in accordance with sanitary standards, than to treat affected birds.

Avian influenza is a viral disease and can be caused by a subtype of human influenza virus. The disease is transmitted by airborne and alimentary routes, as well as through food and contaminated equipment. Most often, young individuals under the age of 1 year are ill.

Note: The presence of the disease can only be confirmed by laboratory tests, since the symptoms of the disease are similar to other infections. Signs of bird flu are poor bird appetite and green urine, a decrease in female productivity, or even cessation of egg-laying, disorders of the respiratory system and the gastrointestinal tract, and an increase in body temperature.

As a complication, discharge from the eyes and inflammation of the air sacs begins. The bird becomes lethargic, refuses to eat. The course of the disease depends on the age of the affected bird and the presence of complicating factors, such as the presence of other diseases and overcrowding. There is no specific treatment for avian flu. Birds with obvious clinical signs of this disease are destroyed to prevent infection of the rest of the birds. Prevention consists in the introduction of a special vaccine.

Gastrointestinal (causes, symptoms and treatment)

Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract along with respiratory are the most common among ostriches (Figure 2). Among them, farmers most often encounter fungal lesions of the stomach, helminthic invasions and digestive disorders.

The causes of fungal gastritis are the lesions of this internal organ with foreign bodies or the consequence of feeding birds with poor-quality feeds that are infected with fungus.

To detect the presence of worms in the livestock can only be through laboratory tests of their feces, which should be carried out regularly.

Figure 2. Signs of diseases of the gastrointestinal tract

A bird's poor appetite, slow weight gain, or lack of growth may guard it. It is important to know that deworming is recommended only when there is a proven presence of parasites in the body of birds, so as not to provoke the occurrence of bacterial enteritis.

Diarrhea in ostriches occurs quite rarely and only with a strong viral lesion. This disorder is called viral enteritis. Often it is accompanied by bacterial enteritis (Figure 3).

Figure 3. Signs of diarrhea

This disease is caused by various pathogens, including Salmonella. Unjustified administration of anthelmintic drugs, overfeeding raw alfalfa to birds, as well as various viral infections can provoke bacterial enteritis. The most susceptible to this disease are birds that are contained in inappropriate conditions.

Dermatological disease (causes, symptoms and treatment)

Most often, dermatological diseases are affected by birds that consume excessive amounts of feed. Dermatitis is indicated by lesions around the eyes (Figure 4). They are thickened skin covered with crusts. Making adjustments to the diet will help save the birds from the disease.

Figure 4. Symptoms of dermatological diseases

For infectious dermatitis use local antifungal agents. Great damage to livestock bring feather mites and lice. They damage feathers of birds. Therefore, it is necessary to regularly carry out preventive treatment of birds against these parasites.

Outbreaks of avian pox among ostriches are most often observed at the end of summer, when the number of blood-sucking insects that carry this infection reaches its maximum. It is possible to recognize the disease in its skin form by the appearance of peculiar warts located on the skin areas not covered by feathers, especially in the region of the eyes. In addition to the skin, there are also diphtheroid and mixed forms of smallpox.

Note: Symptoms of avian pox of the difteroid type are nodules that appear on the mucous membranes of the oral and nasal cavities, as well as in the larynx. Soon, white or yellow crusts appear on the infected areas. They are quite tightly attached to the mucous. At the same time, birds often have purulent conjunctivitis, secretions from which glue the eyelids together, thus preventing the birds from seeing the food. As a result of the defeat of the larynx and oral cavity, many birds die from exhaustion, because they are not able to properly absorb food.

For the treatment of avian pox in ostriches use the same antibiotic therapy as in the treatment of chickens. The main task is to prevent the development of secondary infections that can enter the bird's body through damaged skin or mucous membranes. In order to prevent vaccination of birds, and strictly follow the quarantine regime for new birds.

Australian Emu, diarrhea: how to treat

The Australian emu, like the African ostrich, has the ability to absorb fluid from the intestines, so diarrhea is very rare. As a rule, diarrhea occurs only with a strong viral infection and is accompanied by a bacterial lesion.

Symptomatic treatment, prevention consists in the use of experimental vaccines and keeping the birds in proper conditions.

Treatment of ostriches

As you know, adults are less susceptible to diseases of infectious nature, but they often suffer from respiratory diseases and disorders of the gastrointestinal tract. Juveniles up to 1 year of age have the greatest risk of disease.

Note: When treating respiratory diseases caused by various bacteria, antibiotic therapy is used, and if the impairment of the respiratory system is associated with a lack of fresh air, then it is necessary to arrange ventilation in the room to keep ostriches and monitor the condition of the litter.

A special case of respiratory failure is bird flu. There is no specific treatment for this disease. Birds with suspected avian influenza carriage are isolated from the rest of the herd, and with obvious clinical manifestations and diagnosis confirmed by laboratory tests, they are destroyed. In the fight against bird flu, preventive vaccination occupies an important place (Figure 5).

As for diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, the quality of food is important. If the food for feeding is infected with a fungus, birds develop gastritis. It can be cured by removing contaminated food from the diet.

Sometimes an ostrich's organism is exposed to a bacterial attack, which is displayed on the intestinal work of the bird and manifests itself in diarrhea. You should know that the causative agents of this type of diarrhea have not been sufficiently studied, so there is no special treatment. In this case, prevent the disease by vaccination, rather than treat it.

The most dangerous viral disease of young individuals is Newcastle disease, which affects the work of the musculoskeletal system of birds. At the moment, a vaccine has not yet been developed that can help the affected bird, so in most cases the disease ends with the death of ostriches.

Similar symptoms to Newcastle’s disease are encephalopathy. However, this disease can be cured by applying infusion of belladonna.

Figure 5. Treatment of ostrich diseases

With the defeat of the nervous system of the ostrich microbial botulism occurs a violation of the swallowing function of the animal. Treatment involves the introduction of a special serum from botulism, as well as disinfection of pens, stalls, drinkers, feeders and other equipment.

On the part of the skin, ostriches are prone to various dermopathies, which appear on the background of all sorts of infectious diseases, as well as avian smallpox. The latter disease is treated with a specific vaccine, which does not always bring a positive result. To protect the bird herd from all sorts of parasites - lice, ticks, requires regular preventive treatment of birds.

In addition to the above, there are diseases caused by improper diet feeding. Such diseases can be cured by adjusting the diet, introducing certain additives into it, or excluding them.

Note: There are frequent cases when birds die for no apparent reason. An autopsy reveals that ostriches die from a foreign body or a large piece of food in the trachea. To protect their pets from such cases, it is necessary to carefully ensure that foreign bodies do not fall on pastures and pens, and the feed must be well crushed.

Whatever the ostrich disease, the treatment process takes quite a long time and is not always effective, because to start treatment it is necessary to wait for the results of laboratory tests, which is not always possible at home. And although it is impossible to completely eliminate the risk of diseases, it is better to take it as a rule to regularly carry out preventive cleaning, vaccinations, and nutrition to prevent diseases.

Disease prevention

Since ostrich diseases are difficult to treat, it is much easier to take appropriate measures to prevent them.

To prevent all groups of diseases, the following rules must be observed (Figure 6):

  1. Daily cleaning of pens and premises where birds are kept.
  2. Regular disinfection of the building where the ostriches are kept, as well as their feeders, drinkers and equipment that applies to them.
  3. Recently acquired and sick birds must be kept separately from all the others in specially designated premises.
  4. Mandatory treatment of hands when working in an incubator. All manipulations with eggs are carried out only in gloves.
  5. Regular analysis of bird excrement for timely detection of parasites and diseases.
  6. Constant fight against rodents, which are carriers of infectious diseases.
  7. Timely and regular vaccination of birds.
  8. The presence of clean fresh water, high-quality food, dry and clean litter.
  9. Equipment of barriers at the entrance to the farm, to the incubation and quarantine department, as well as to the room where the young are kept.
  10. Sufficient ventilation for maintenance.

Figure 6. The correct content of ostriches for the prevention of pathologies

When a diseased bird is detected, it must be isolated and called by a veterinarian for diagnosis and further treatment.

Bird flu

Avian influenza is a viral disease and can be caused by a subtype of human influenza virus. The disease is transmitted by airborne and alimentary routes, as well as through food and contaminated equipment. Most often, young individuals under the age of 1 year are ill.

Note: The presence of the disease can only be confirmed by laboratory tests, since the symptoms of the disease are similar to other infections. Signs of bird flu are poor bird appetite and green urine, a decrease in female productivity, or even cessation of egg-laying, disorders of the respiratory system and the gastrointestinal tract, and an increase in body temperature.

As a complication, discharge from the eyes and inflammation of the air sacs begins. The bird becomes lethargic, refuses to eat. The course of the disease depends on the age of the affected bird and the presence of complicating factors, such as the presence of other diseases and overcrowding. There is no specific treatment for avian flu. Birds with obvious clinical signs of this disease are destroyed to prevent infection of the rest of the birds. Prevention consists in the introduction of a special vaccine.

Fungal gastritis

The causes of fungal gastritis are the lesions of this internal organ with foreign bodies or the consequence of feeding birds with poor-quality feeds that are infected with fungus.

To detect the presence of worms in the livestock can only be through laboratory tests of their feces, which should be carried out regularly.

Figure 2. Signs of diseases of the gastrointestinal tract

A bird's poor appetite, slow weight gain, or lack of growth may guard it. It is important to know that deworming is recommended only when there is a proven presence of parasites in the body of birds, so as not to provoke the occurrence of bacterial enteritis.

Диарея у страусов возникает достаточно редко и только при сильном вирусном поражении. Такое расстройство носит название вирусного энтерита. Нередко он сопровождается бактериальным энтеритом (рисунок 3).

Рисунок 3. Признаки диареи

This disease is caused by various pathogens, including Salmonella. Unjustified administration of anthelmintic drugs, overfeeding raw alfalfa to birds, as well as various viral infections can provoke bacterial enteritis. The most susceptible to this disease are birds that are contained in inappropriate conditions.

Bird pox

Outbreaks of avian pox among ostriches are most often observed at the end of summer, when the number of blood-sucking insects that carry this infection reaches its maximum. It is possible to recognize the disease in its skin form by the appearance of peculiar warts located on the skin areas not covered by feathers, especially in the region of the eyes. In addition to the skin, there are also diphtheroid and mixed forms of smallpox.

Note: Symptoms of avian pox of the difteroid type are nodules that appear on the mucous membranes of the oral and nasal cavities, as well as in the larynx. Soon, white or yellow crusts appear on the infected areas. They are quite tightly attached to the mucous. At the same time, birds often have purulent conjunctivitis, secretions from which glue the eyelids together, thus preventing the birds from seeing the food. As a result of the defeat of the larynx and oral cavity, many birds die from exhaustion, because they are not able to properly absorb food.

For the treatment of avian pox in ostriches use the same antibiotic therapy as in the treatment of chickens. The main task is to prevent the development of secondary infections that can enter the bird's body through damaged skin or mucous membranes. In order to prevent vaccination of birds, and strictly follow the quarantine regime for new birds.