Chickens can make a great addition to your household. As pets, they have charming personalities, eat garden pests such as slugs and can also produce eggs for you and your family to enjoy. However, from time-to-time your chooks may suffer from thrush. What is thrush and how can your vet help to get your feathered friends laying again?
Thrush is a disease caused by the fungal yeast candida albicans. Thrush affects the alimentary tract of poultry and enters the bird through the digestive system when mouldy food or dirty water is ingested. Sometimes, an outbreak of thrush can be preceded by the use of antibiotics to treat another condition.
The following signs are usually indicative of thrush:
Your chooks may also appear 'ruffled' and unkempt. If one bird in your flock is affected, it is highly likely that all the others will be too.
Treatment of thrush
The good news for your chickens is that thrush is not usually fatal and can be relatively easily cured and prevented. Your vet will prescribe the drug Nystatin for a week to 10 days. Alternatively, you could try adding copper sulphate to the chickens' feed at a rate of 1kg per tonne of feed for five days or so. Copper sulphate can also be added to the birds' drinking water for a few days at a rate of 1gm per two litres of water.
If your chickens are quiet to handle, you can make them more comfortable as they recover by washing the vent area to remove the unpleasant crusting. To do this, fill a shallow bowl with warm, salted water and place each bird into the water to soak the vent area for a few minutes.
You can take steps to prevent thrush from attacking your precious chooks by practising good hygiene in their home. Keep all water bowls clean and freshly filled twice a day, and ensure that all feed is fresh and free from mould. Be sure to clean the chickens' run and house daily to remove droppings and spilled food.
Thrush is an unpleasant condition that attacks chickens periodically and can sometimes seem like a vet emergency, especially if you don't notice it early on. You can protect your chooks from thrush by following the tips given above. If you are concerned about the health of your chickens, ask your vet for more guidance and advice.
Welcome to my blog. Adopting a pet is an exciting experience, but it also has its own challenges. Your whole family has to make adjustments as you welcome your pet to your life. If you have small children or if you have to alter your work schedule for things such as dog walking, it can be especially challenging. Hi, my name is Molly, and I love to write about pets and animals. If you have recently adopted a pet, I want you to take a look at my posts. They are designed to inform and entertain you but primarily to help you with your new pet experience. Thanks for reading!