Bird, flock health critical for production, sustainability
With interest in backyard chicken production during COVID-19 increasing the number of small flocks in Texas, experts are advising producers, especially beginners, to focus on the health of their birds for sustainable success.
There are two preventative measures backyard producers can practice to protect their flocks – basic but consistent biosecurity and buying vaccinated birds, said Martin Ficken, DVM, Ph.D., resident director of Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory’s, TVMDL, Sam and Sally Glass Poultry Diagnostic Laboratory, Gonzales.
Chickens face many common diseases and pests, including internal and external parasites, that can negatively impact a flock, he said. But buying vaccinated birds and practicing biosecurity – or procedures and practices that can protect the flock from outside pathogens and pests – can greatly reduce potential problems.