In this article we will discuss about:- 1. Types of Breeds of Fowls 2. Methods of Rearing Birds 3. Diseases and their Management 4. Prevention and Treatment of Diseases.

Types of Breeds of Fowls:

The domestic fowl, Gallus domesticus, are descendants of wild fowl Gallus Gallus.

The following breeds of fowls are common:

1. Asiatic breeds:


Large-sized birds with feathered shanks and heavy bones; ear lobes small and red; wattles minute. Eggs small and light brown. Aseel, Brahma, Chittagong and Cochin breeds are common.

2. American breeds:

Large-sized; shank yellow and un-feathered; skin yellowish; ear lobes red; eggs large and light brown.

Examples; Bucueye, Delwares, Jersy black giant, Rhode Island red, etc.


3. English breeds:

Large-sized; shank white and un-feathered; skin white; ear lobes red; eggs large and light brown.

Examples: Australorp, Cor­nish, Dorking, Sussex, etc.

4. European breeds:


These breeds are named after their coun­try of origin. They are of very little economic importance.

Examples. Polish class (Poland), Hamburg class (Holland), French class (France), Continental class (Belgium and Germany), Oriental class (South-eastern Asia).

5. Mediterranean breeds:

Medium-sized; shank yellowish and un-feathered: skin yellow; comb single or rose-like; eggs medium-sized and white.

Examples: Anena, Minorca, White leghorn, etc.

Methods of Rearing Birds:

Newly hatched chicks are transferred to Brooder and kept there in controlled envi­ronment for four weeks. On the termination of this period, young chicks’ are trans­ferred to deep litters or battery cages or slatted floors. Here the birds are properly fed and preventive measures for diseases are taken.


It is done with the help of feeders or containers in which food is supplied. The arrangement in a feeder is such that the birds can reach the food easily but cannot sit on it. This prevents spoiling of food. The number of birds receiving food from a feeder is reduced with the age of birds.

Water supply:


Water supply to birds is done through containers called waterers. Demand for water by the birds is quite heavy and a constant water supply is essential. The waterer is of fairly large size and is heavy so that it cannot be upturned by birds and at the same time the birds should have easy access to water. The waterer is covered to prevent spoiling of water with bird drop pings and other materials.

Nest boxes:

On the average one bird requires 0.15-0.3 sq m floor space in semi-intensive system and 2.5-4.0 sq m in a shed. The ideal size of a community nest is 3.65 x 1.25 m with a depth 0.6 m. 0.2 m. openings at a distance of 1.5 m. are provided on the back of the cage for entry of birds. Openings are pro­vided on the front for collection of eggs. In most cases the floor of the cage slopes towards the front to facilitate egg collection.

A nest must have the following arrange­ments:

1. It must be strongly built and well- ventilated.

2. It should allow easy passage for birds.

3. Collection of eggs and cleaning can be done easily.

4. The inner side is less lighted.

5. It can be closed at night.

Diseases and their Management:

Diseases of broods:

1. Brooder pneumonia or Aspergillosis is caused by a fungus Aspergillus sp. Clean brooder management is somewhat preven­tive.

2. Pullorum disease or Salmonellosis is  caused by the bacteria Salmonella pullorum. White diarrhoea is the symptom. The dis­ease is transmitted through eggs (transovarian) and appears in the chick 2- 20 days old.

Prevention and treatment:

(a) Prevention through pullorum control programme and by not exposing the chick too cold for the first few days.

(b) In treatment, strict hygiene is to be maintained. 0.4% Furazolidone (NF 180) is effective.

3. Coccidiosis is a protozoan disease infecting caecum and intestine of 3-9 weeks chick. Loss of appetite and colour of comb and wattle and ruffled feathers indicate infection. There may be blood diarrhoea.

Prevention and treatment:

(a) Free move­ment of chicks in open and dry cages are preventive.

(b) Coccidiostat should be ad­ministered.

4. Ranikhet disease is a highly infectious viral disease. The mortality rate is 25 to 100%. Respiratory difficulty causing shiv­ering and gasping. The head is placed be­tween the legs or at the back of the shoulder. Marked salivation and foetid diarrhoea occur.’

Prevention and treatment:

(a) Nasal drops of Fi strain vaccine for one day and again at 4 to 6 weeks, and injection of R2B vaccine at 10 to 12 weeks are preventive.

(b) No treatment is known.

Diseases of growing flocks:

1. Worms:

Both round and flat worms cause much harm to the birds. The worms are endoparasites. Symptoms — general weakness, loss of appetite, retarded growth, less egg-laying.

Prevention and treatment:

(a) Proper hygienic conditions for round worm and this, along with not allowing to eat interme­diate hosts are preventive for tapeworms.

(b) Phenothiazine fed with food or water for roundworms and Dicestal or Nilverm for tapeworm are effective.

2. Marek’s disease:

A serious viral dis­ease causing paralysis and high mortality.

Prevention and treatment:

(a) One-day chick vaccinated against this disease ensures life-long immunity.

(b) No treatment.

Diseases of egg-laying birds:

1. Chronic respiratory disease:

A transovarian viral disease causing cough, respiratory trouble and nasal discharge.

Prevention and treatment:

(a) Identifica­tion of infected birds through serological test and their elimination.

(b) Application of antibiotics with feed.

2. Laryngotracheitis:

A very serious viral disease. Watery discharge from mouth and eyes, violent cough, forced breathing are symptoms.

Prevention and treatment:

(a) Vaccina­tion of six weeks’ bird is preventive.

(b) No treatment.

3. Lymphomatosis:

It is a viral disease. The disease is named after the symptoms in the infected bird.

(a) Fowl paralysis:

Partial paralysis of one or more organs.

(b) Grey eye disease:

Iris turns grey and the contour changes.

(c) Visceral lymphomatosis:

Weight and appetite loss, pale combs.

(d) Thick bone disease:

Bones thickened.

Prevention and treatment:

(a) Hygienic condition, nourishing food and organism- free water are preventive.

(b) No treatment.

4. Chicken pox or fowl pox:

A viral disease transmitted through contact or mos­quito, affecting skin, comb and oral mucous membrane. Black blisters on comb and wattles, appetite loss and reduction of egg production are the symptoms.

Prevention and treatment:

(a) Vaccination at 6-8 days is preventive.

(b) No treat­ment.

5.Fowl cholera:

Pasteurella aviseptica, a bacteria, is the causative Organism. It is highly infectious and causes high mortality. Inactivity, droopiness, fever, dark head colour and green diarrhoea are symptoms.

Prevention and treatment:

(a) Hygienic environment and vaccine are best preven­tive.

(b) Treatment with Sulphamethazine is effective.

6. Tuberculosis:

The Myobacterium tu­berculosis cause the disease. Dry skin, pale colour, shrinkage of comb and wattles, weight loss and cessation of egg laying are symptoms.

Prevention and Treatment of Diseases:

(a) Hygienic condition and nutritious food are preven­tive.

(b) Streptopenicillin treatment is effec­tive.

Principal diseases of chicken and their percentage distribution:

Disease and Age of Birds