Pest’s management practices in poultry
Pests are those creatures that are not wanted in the poultry environments especially, inside the poultry house. Pests are unwanted creatures because they fight against the progress of the poultry farmers by destroying the health of their birds which is their main target in business.
Some pests are more deadly than some diseases. Every farmer should be wise enough to detect any pest that invaded the poultry house because the earlier you detect the presence of such pest, the better and easier to fight it before it becomes rooted and difficult to eliminate from the poultry house. Some pests can be prevented from penetrating into the poultry house like the issue of thieves. A farmer must consider biosecurity measures such as fencing the poultry house to avoid easy entrance of neighbours and strangers while a pest like hawk can also be prevented from entering and carrying chicks by constructing good wired demarcation, these will help to control higher pests or predators.
Examples of pests are; hawk, lice, mite, thieves, snake, ticks, rodents, etc.
Signs of pest’s infestation in poultry house
These are the following signs that will make a farmer know that there is pests infestation especially lice and mites infestations in the poultry house;
- Weight loss
- Dropping of feathers excessively
- Restlessness or General discomfort. Most times you see the birds very restless and uncomfortable to an extent that the birds will begin to look for a hiding corner but unfortunately, these parasites get stuck on their skins and feathers.
- Reduction in laying productivity
- Pale combs or anaemia. This is because, pests like lice, mites, ticks and some other ones suck blood from the birds, they hide under the wings and skins of these birds, thereby causing them a lot of problems and health issues.
- Redness or scabs on the feet, skin or legs
- White or grayish eggs clumps along the feather shafts
How to eliminate pests generally in the poultry house
The best method of controlling Pests is to prevent it from entering the poultry house and this can be done by regular sanitation and implementing good biosecurity measures in the farm.
Pests like lice, mites and ticks can be prevented or eliminated through the following procedures;
- Removal of pests habitat, food sources, and breeding areas.
- Prevention of access to handling facilities
- Good management of environmental factors like light(constant light is required), sources of heat(always try to heat up to 35-36.5°C),moderate humidity, atmosphere, adequate air circulation in order to prevent the reproduction of pests.
Therefore to control these pests also;
- Provide good dust bathing areas with wood ash as part of the dusting soil. The birds will dust frequently, which will help them to absorb excess body oil and help them shed organic debris that would otherwise feed these pests
- Spraying pesticides on walls, fences and perches where mites or lice may hide. Follow all chemical use instructions carefully and keep the birds protected from accidental contamination. Some chemicals can be used in the birds in severe infestations but always consult a veterinarian or used appropriate precautions to avoid problems or damages to the health of the birds.
- Keep the coop dry always and well ventilated and so there are no good conditions for pests to infiltrate the house. Be sure to cut down grasses or weeds closed adjacent to the poultry house so that they will not harbour pests within a close range.
- Chemicals like permethrin and tetraclorvinphos can be used to eliminate pests. At times, birds can be treated one by one to make sure the disturbing pests are totally eliminated.
- In the case of snake invasion, bitter kola can be used for prevention by throwing it around poultry house and carbide can be used in the environment to chase it away.
Remember, Keep all chemical use instructions to avoid contamination of any kind.