Some countries have higher rainfall level that also have rainy season longer. For poultry that need warm, it can be very big problem. However, there are few things that you can do on how to manage your poultry farm during rainy season.
Effects on Rainy Season
We all know that rainy season can bring some diseases, not only for human, but for animals as well. That’s why you need to get pay more attention to animals during rainy season, by understanding the symptom of the disease. If you know it, you can get immediate treatment that can avoid the worst possible effect. For instance, if you know when to bring your dog to the vet, he/she can get healthy sooner. Or, the sooner you know the symptom of rabies in your cat, the easier you prevent the disease to spread out.
The main problem of rainy season related to the poultry farm is not only because the cold weather. The dripping water from many sources can bring parasites and pathogens that can make your chicken sick. Not to mention the intestinal worms that can infect the chicken and get all the nutrition from their body. There are few diseases that are common in chicken during rainy season.
- Fowl Pox
Caused by pox virus, Fowl Pox is really contagious and can cause death in chicken. Mosquitoes and other blood-sucking insects are the main agent for this disease and we all know that rainy season is the perfect weather for them to multiply. The clinical signs of this disease include lesions on the wattle, face, comb, and sometimes on the legs. In the worst cases, pox virus can trigger lesions in the throat that can make your chicken suffocate.
- Fowl Cholera
Different from Fowl Pox, this disease is caused by bacteria called Pasteurella multocida. It’s a very awful disease because sometimes you can’t see it’s coming, but to find your chicken dead. However, in not so much hyper acute course, there are clinical sign that you can see, include diarrhea, appetite loss, that can lead into anorexia. You can also see the inflammation and color-changing in combs and wattles. In chicken raised for eggs, their production will decrease. In some cases, you can see their head is tilt, too.
- Infectious Bursal Disease (Gumboro)
This is one kind of viral infections among immature birds, which as old as 3 to 18 weeks. Usually, this disease targets the bursal component of the immune system of your chicken, that can cause immunosuppression and susceptibility to secondary infections. The clinical signs of this disease include severe prostration, incoordination, watery diarrhea, soiled vent feathers, vent picking and inflammation of the cloaca.
- Escherichia coli, Salmonella, Aspergillus
When your chicken get the gumboro disease that lower their immune system, they may catch infection from other bacteria or viruses, like Escherichia coli and/or salmonella. The common symptom from these infections are breathing difficulties, appetite loss, depression, umbilical stump infection and low growth rates.
There are also the threat from fungus, like aspergillus since the foods and litter can get damp during rainy season. This fungus infection can trigger lesions that look like green and yellow nodules that fill the lungs, causing respiratory discomfort.
- Mudballs in Chicken’s Toes
If you decide to use deep litter method in your farm, you might want to check out your chicken’s feet regularly during rainy season. Since they will walk in wet litter, the soil and manure can get stuck in your chicken’s feet and create mudballs. If you don’t clean it up right away, this mudballs can get bigger and break your chicken’s toes.
- Decrease Eggs Production
Usually, chicken produce eggs in the daylight. During rainy season, the daylight will be less and it causes less in eggs production also.
Farm Management during Rainy Season
Once you know the danger of rainy season can bring into your chicken flock, you can learn about how to manage your poultry farm during rainy season to prevent the worst. I always said that the ideal poultry farm building is the one with proper ventilation. However, during rainy season, this ventilation can emerge another problem, like making foods and litters in chicken become damp.
- Provide the Heater/Flouresence Light
The heater is very important since chicken need to be warm, especially baby chicks that haven’t been able to control their body temperature yet (see how to raise baby chicks here). Not only to make them warm, this heater or flourescence light can encourage eggs production since the light can act the same as the daylight.
- Put oil/fat in the chicken’s food
Just like us, chicken tend to get hungrier in cold weather, so they will eat more during rainy season. To reduce costs of their feed, you can add some oil or fat into their foods. The oil and the fat will produce higher energy and avoid unnecessary feed production costs.
- Administer the de-wormers
In winter, we can easily get heater to avoid the chicken drink become frozen, but in rainy seasons, the water can cause trouble in chicken’s health instead. As I mentioned earlier, the water from the rain might bring many worms and parasites. So, during rainy seasons is important for you to give your chicken de-wormers to avoid infection from intestinal worms. You can give them an effective de-wormers like piperazine once in 2 months or 3 months.
- Prepare more dry padding
Since rainy season will increase humidity level, the wood shavings that you use as bedding can get easily damp. That’s why you need to prepare more dry wood shavings and put extra bedding in your chicken coop to keep them dry. In the other hand, you might need to change your chicken bedding more often than usual. So, it’s good to be prepared.
- Construct the roof overhang over the entrance and sides of pens
The leaking water will cause us much more trouble, since it can make the bedding wet. Not only it will make your chicken cold, it will create bad odors faster and you don’t want that. To ensure that the water doesn’t get leak into your chicken coop, you can add some more roof overhang over the entrance and sides of pens. With this construction, you can avoid the leaking water, while keep air circulates well through ventilation.
- Vaccination before rainy season is coming
Rainy season can reduce the immune system of your chicken, and they can get easily infected by bacteria and viruses. Not to mention the mosquitoes and other blood-sucking insects that multiply well during this season, thus can increase the possibility of transmitting viruses to your chicken. Instead of waiting your chicken to get sick and treat them, you can avoid the disease by vaccinate them. Besides, there are few diseases that can’t be treated other than waiting for some lucks. And it can also mean that the infection make your chicken become carriers and wait another chicken gets the turn to get infected.
These farm management is important, not only for your chicken’s health, but also to get efficient production costs. Especially, for you who raise chicken for live stocks. But, it’s not enough if you know how to manage poultry farm during rainy season, you need to start to act now, because preparation is the best way to manage everything right.