Broilers: Slow and Steady Wins the Race?

Broilers: Slow and Steady Wins the Race? Recently, M&S has become the first UK retailer to commit to removing all fast-growing broiler chickens from their supply lines. In the next 12 months, all fresh chicken products will be sourced from slow-growing breeds. Processed chicken products, for example those in ready-made sandwiches or meals, will be sourced from slow-growing broilers by 2026. This announcement comes at a time when animal welfare is very much in the public eye with the launch…

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Bird Flu: How to spot Avian Influenza and what your next steps should be

Bird Flu: How to spot Avian Influenza and what your next steps should be In our last article, we explained what bird flu is, the types of strains,  categorisation of low and high pathogenicity and reports of recent outbreaks within the UK. In this article, we will look at recognising signs of bird flu, how to then report it to DEFRA, increased biosecurity measures you should be taking whilst the UK is an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone, and what to do…

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Bird Flu: What is Avian Influenza and is it present in the UK?

Bird Flu: What is Avian Influenza and is it present in the UK? What is it? Bird flu is a disease that most birds can catch. It is caused by the Avian Influenza virus and occurs naturally in aquatic birds such as wild ducks, geese, swans and gulls. It can also infect domestic poultry and other animal species too. Occasionally, it has also been known to infect humans. For instance, the strain H5N1 continues to infect humans sporadically. It is…

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Necrotic Enteritis: A Devastating Disease Caused by C. perfringens

Necrotic Enteritis: A Devastating Disease Caused by C. perfringens What is Necrotic Enteritis? The bacterium Clostridium perfringens causes necrotic enteritis (NE). It is a type of gastrointestinal condition called enterotoxemia. NE has a single causative agent and thus is a much simpler disease than bacterial enteritis, which it is commonly confused with. Although many of the contributory factors are the same the diseases are quite different and necrotic enteritis is less complex than its bacterial counterpart. Clostridium perfringens C. perfringens can infect…

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Bacterial Enteritis in poultry

Bacterial Enteritis in Poultry What is Bacterial Enteritis? Bacterial enteritis (BE), also commonly referred to as Dysbacteriosis, Dysbiosis and Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) is a disease observed in poultry which entails extreme inflammation and pathology in the gastrointestinal tract. Due to similar pathologies in the intestine, bacterial enteritis can commonly be confused with coccidiosis and necrotic enteritis, which are two entirely different diseases (see here for our article on coccidiosis). Misdiagnosis can lead to use of antibiotics or anticoccidials…

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Coccidiosis causes severe illness and death in chickens.

An Introduction to Coccidiosis in Poultry

An Introduction to Coccidiosis in Poultry What is coccidiosis? Coccidiosis is caused by a protozoan parasite called Eimeria or Isospora. There are many different genera and species that can infect a wide variety of mammals, birds, reptiles and fish. Typically, Eimeria or Isospora parasites are host specific and cannot infect other species than their target species. How does coccidiosis occur? Coccidian parasites must reproduce within cells inside the digestive tract. In poultry, a bird consumes a sporulated oocyst. Only sporulated…

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Anthelmintics: When Should I Use a Wormer?

Anthelmintics: When Should I Use a Wormer? What are wormers? An anthelmintic, or wormer, is a drug which treats infections of parasitic worms. These could be nematodes — roundworms like Ascaradia galli in chickens, cestodes — tapeworms like Moniezia expansa in sheep, or trematodes — flukes like Calicophoron daubneyi in various livestock species. Anthelmintics are widely used across the globe, but misuse is leading to the growing issue of resistance. How do I know which wormer to use? Firstly, how do you know your animals need…

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