Duck Health Care

August 19, 2008 | By Anonymous

Keeping ducks healthy requires taking the necessary steps to prevent disease outbreaks from occurring in the first place, and in cases where ducks do become infected, administering appropriate treatment to minimize mortality and morbidity. The following guidelines were developed with large flocks of ducks in mind, but they also apply to small flocks.

Disease Prevention

Disease prevention in ducks, and in poultry in general, is discussed in more detail in standard textbooks on poultry diseases and in other related publications, some of which are referenced on this site (Duck Publications). Caretakers must be diligent in three main areas to prevent ducks from becoming infected with disease.

(1) Establish and maintain a biosecurity program that will prevent the introduction of diseases into the premises where ducks are kept. This includes prohibiting the admission of any potential source of infectious agents, such as live ducks, other fowl or animals. In cases where it is necessary to bring live ducks to the farm, the ducks must be from an established disease-free source, and should be quarantined for observation before being placed on the farm premises. Entry of potential carriers of infectious material such as people, trucks, poultry crates and equipment must be denied unless appropriate disinfection measures are taken. Duck caretakers should change clothing and boots and use disinfectant foot baths upon entering the premises or buildings.

(2) Immunize ducks against known infectious diseases. In many cases a high level of protection against common duck diseases can be induced by the administration of appropriate vaccines or bacterins at the proper time. See Duck Biologics for more information.

(3) Minimize environmental stresses which may cause ducks to become susceptible to infections. This includes providing proper housing, management, ventilation and nutrition, discussed elsewhere on this site.

by Tirath S. Sandhu, DVM, Ph.D.
SOURCE: www.duckhealth.com/duckhlth.html
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