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Farm & Ranch

Nematodes in Chickens

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By Barry Whitworth, DVM

Nematodes (roundworms) are common parasites in chickens. With the modernization of commercial poultry production, many nematode infections have been reduced. However, free range and backyard flocks have issues with parasites because they are in constant contact with the outdoors. Fortunately, clinical illness is not usually a problem unless parasite burdens become severe. The most common roundworms causing issues in poultry are ascarids, cecal worms, and thread worms.

Ascaridia galli species, commonly referred to as ascarids, are the largest nematode in poultry. The white female roundworms may measure over four inches in length. Ascarids are located in the small intestines of domestic and wild birds. The worms have a simple and direct life cycle. This means that the worm eggs pass in the fecal material of the parasitized birds. Birds are infected when they ingest feces or fecal contaminated food or water.

Adult birds rarely have issues with ascarid infection, but chicks are more susceptible. In moderate infections, clinical illness is rare. However, heavy burdens of worms result in weight loss, weakness, and diarrhea.

To read more, pick up a copy of the October issue of NTFR magazine. To subscribe by mail, call 940-872-5922.

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Farm & Ranch

Ranch Biosecurity

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By Barry Whitworth, DVM

With beef, pork, and poultry exports playing a vital role in the economic health of livestock operations, producers need to understand the dangers that foreign animal diseases and other diseases may have on the viability of their operations.

The recent discovery of Influenza A H5N1 virus in dairy cattle demonstrates the vulnerability of livestock operations to disease events. Sick animals are not the only consequence of a disease outbreak. The economic cost associated with disease can be high. Also, in foreign animal disease outbreaks, export markets can be temporarily lost. Currently, Columbia has restricted fresh/frozen beef and beef products from states with dairy herds testing positive for Avian Influenza. The best defense against these threats is a good biosecurity plan.

To read more, pick up a copy of the June issue of NTFR magazine. To subscribe by mail, call 940-872-5922.

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Farm & Ranch

Ag Elsewhere: Montana

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In Montana, June brings irrigating, brandings, and some wondrous sights from Mother Nature.

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Farm & Ranch

Ag Elsewhere: Wyoming

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By Tressa Lawrence

Happy June from the lands of Wyoming!

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