Avian influenza in chickens and roosters

Avian influenza in chickens is one of the most common diseases in birds. The death of livestock leads to ruin and huge losses on farms. Death is predetermined in most cases, so this flu is called the classic plague of our time. Scientists are trying to invent a vaccine, but the virus mutates too rapidly, which leads to the emergence of new varieties of the disease. Today, there is no cure for chicken flu.

Avian influenza in chickens

Avian influenza spreads quickly with excrement excreted by sick or sick chickens. Infection also occurs through eggs or feathers. Wild birds are not susceptible to infection, but are carriers of the virus, which is why every farmer should limit the communication of poultry with wild individuals. Most often, infection occurs due to waterfowl ducks. In farms, infection occurs through infected feed and equipment.

Types of Bird Flu

The causative agent of influenza is an RNA-containing virus that belongs to orthomyxoviruses. It tends to multiply in developing 10-day-old embryos, which leads to even greater spread.

How to recognize bird flu and what will be the first signs or symptoms of bird flu in chickens? Externally, you can immediately see the extensive inflammation of the mucous membranes, the feathers lose their healthy appearance and are heavily tousled. Hens abruptly cease to eat fully, which leads to exhaustion. Breathing is rapid, intermittent, severe wheezing is noted. General intoxication leads to fever and fever up to 43 ° C. Irreversible changes in the nervous system occur, manifested by constant convulsions and neuroses.

The feathered birds lose their coordination and can no longer move, barely keep their feet. Such a disease is also manifested by the curvature of the bones of the neck and wings, this can be determined by appearance. Chickens have their heads down and their eyes closed. The gastrointestinal tract is also affected, severe diarrhea is observed, the litter turns brown and greenish.

How else is bird flu showing up? Birds stop responding to irritants. They lose their ability to carry healthy eggs in the same quantity. Death with such symptoms occurs due to asphyxiation, pulmonary edema.

Forms of flu

There are several forms of influenza:

  • spicy;
  • subacute;
  • chronic

The H5N1 and H7N7 viruses cause an acute phase, which leads to the most dangerous consequences. Within 2 days, all chickens die.

The subacute form lasts much longer: from 10-20 days, as a result of which recovery most often occurs.

The chronic form is the rarest and develops only in case of infection with a low pathogenic strain of the virus. There are no manifestations and it is almost impossible to recognize this form.

Stages of the disease

With the development of the disease, several stages are distinguished. The first is characterized by the penetration of influenza through the mucous membranes, followed by multiplication inside the cells. In the second stage, the accumulation of viral particles increases significantly, they begin to circulate in the circulatory system. The third stage is the formation of antibodies in the body itself. As a result, by the beginning of the fourth stage, antibodies are involved in a protective reaction and stable immunity is developed.

The most dangerous chicken flu is called the H5N1 subtype. Chickens suffer from multiple hemorrhages in all internal organs, the vascular and circulatory system is disturbed, so the blood circulation changes. Death occurs as a result of fulminant edema of the brain.

You can see and find out what bird flu is and how it affects birds in a photo or video on the Internet.

Diagnostic Methods

Diagnosis of influenza is possible only after the death of chickens. Use pathological material, examine the presence of a strain of the virus in the tissues and cells that infect an individual. Conduct multiple studies of blood serum in order to find developed antibodies.

An autopsy shows multiple hemorrhages localized in the gastrointestinal tract, spleen, and heart.

To stop the spread of the disease, veterinarians should isolate sick chickens from healthy ones at the first sign of bird flu. It is advisable to keep such individuals in a separate room for at least 20 days in quarantine.

Unfortunately, today there is no treatment, so all diseased birds need to be destroyed so that the virus does not spread to the entire population. It is useless to treat with antibiotics or other medicines, since the virus is resistant to them.

In the chronic or the very initial stage of infection, you can change the diet of chickens and add more vitamins and drinking water to it. This measure helps to strengthen the immune system and restore the bird.


There are certain rules that must be observed when growing, keeping and breeding birds, then the likelihood of contracting chicken flu is significantly reduced. All efforts should be devoted to preventing infection and the spread of infection, so prevention is very important. Personal protection and hygiene are required.

A person must use medical gloves, mask respirators when disposing of sick chickens, as well as in any contact with infected birds. You should often wash your hands and do not forget to use modern disinfectants. Any contact with wild birds is prohibited. Dead chickens should be disposed of in designated areas.

All eggs must undergo hygiene, medical, veterinary checks before they go on sale. Also, storage should be carried out in a separate refrigerator, where meat and eggs of chickens will be stored in isolation from each other.

To use the products in cooking for cooking, you need heat treatment: you should boil the meat well, it is recommended to boil the young carcass for at least 30 minutes, adult for up to an hour, boil the eggs hard boiled.

In frozen carcasses at -20 ° C, chicken flu retains its pathogenicity for 440 days, so you need to be especially responsible for prevention. Be sure to carry out the disinfection of meat and egg bowls. It is carried out using bleach, phenol and hydrochloric acid. These compounds contribute to the destruction of bacteria. If it was possible to detect a sick bird in a timely manner, then it is urgent to report this to the veterinary service so that the necessary protective measures are taken and mass spread of the virus is excluded.

Recently, active work and research is underway to create a vaccine designed to prevent an epidemic. Any poultry farm should be able to protect its livestock from this disease and take all possible measures to prevent birds and humans from contracting the bird flu virus. In Russia, several drugs have already passed numerous tests. Also in the United States, China and other countries, they are trying to find the necessary treatment to stop the spread of the epidemic.

Risk of human infection

Numerous news and reports from various portals claim that in fact there is a danger of infection with the human H5N1 virus. At present, cases of infection with a real virus have not been registered, but subtypes and pseudo-avian influenza have been recorded in the suburbs.

During a virus outbreak in the Moscow Region, all sources of possible infection from birds or other animals were eliminated.

You can get infected from infected animals or birds, so it is very important to follow safety precautions and regularly disinfect rooms where there was contact with infected birds.

Both broilers, chickens and common chickens, which could catch the virus from an infected individual, have chicken flu. Symptoms of an infected person are just as severe and dangerous. How does bird flu manifest itself? In connection with general intoxication of the body, body temperature rises to 39 ° C, severe painful muscles in the muscles worry. General weakness and increasing fatigue are observed. Toxic and infectious shock can occur, death will also occur with fulminant edema of the brain. Numerous lesions of the kidneys, liver and gastrointestinal tract with a manifestation of diarrhea and severe vomiting occur. In such cases, you must immediately consult a doctor in a medical institution.


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