Chicken owners say they’ve noticed an increase in chicken deaths, with some saying they’ve found out the cause of death on their own.articleChicken owners say their own chickens are dying, with a number of them describing the symptoms as “burning eyes” or a “facial discharge”.
“I’m not sure if it’s an illness or if it might be a chicken infection.
I have my own vet that treats them for the infection, but it’s not like they’re going to put the infection on me,” said Kim Dang, a former farmer who now owns a chicken farm in the Gold Coast.
“They just don’t seem to be as worried about it.
In the last couple of weeks, I’ve had a few chicken deaths in one day and I’ve found a few on my own.”
The disease has been traced to a strain of Clostridium difficile, which causes pneumonia and respiratory distress.
Dr Mark Latham from the University of Adelaide’s School of Veterinary Medicine said chicken deaths could be caused by a range of factors, including an animal’s diet, stress and stress-related illness.
“A lot of chickens are infected, but the virus can spread easily between chickens in the farm environment,” Dr Latham said.
Chicken owners have been urged to contact vets if they suspect their own poultry is suffering from chicken pneumonia.
The Queensland Government has ordered all chicken farms to be monitored to ensure the outbreak is under control, and urged the public to report any suspected chicken infections.
A spokeswoman for Queensland Health said the state’s Chicken and Egg Safety and Standards Act states a chicken can be deemed infected when its skin is “very thin”.
“The skin should not be more than one millimetre thick, and it must be removed within 24 hours,” the spokeswoman said.
“The act also provides for quarantine and quarantine inspection, and a chicken may be deemed ‘infected’ if there is evidence of the virus on the chicken.”
“We recommend that all chickens in Queensland receive vaccination against Clostriid and other strains of C difficiles before they are released into the wild.”
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