Infectious Bronchitis – Do we have a problem?

Do we have a problemInfectious bronchitis virus (IBV) has been a hot topic in some parts of Canada recently, with the emergence of variant serotypes that we had never contended with before. But what does an IBV challenge look like?

Infectious bronchitis can be a frustrating disease, because it can look like a lot of different things other than just the respiratory disease that we often associate with IBV.  For example, an increase in airsacculitis condemnations at the processing plant may initially be thought of as a systemic bacterial issue, when in fact, an underlying IBV challenge may have played a part in creating what we are observing. Likewise, excessively wet litter may initially be associated with some sort of digestive dysfunction, when in fact, birds may have suffered a degree of kidney damage as a result of certain bronchitis types which prefer to grow in the kidneys. In these particular cases, the damage can be so extensive that we see an increase in mortality.  In laying birds, we can often see egg-associated issues, including poor shell quality and drops in egg production.  So if IBV can look like so many different things, how can we truly determine that we have a bronchitis issue?

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Coccidiosis control

Elise MyersWe all know that coccidiosis control is important, and this is why dozens of podcasts, conferences and meetings are dedicated to this subject every year. But how often do we really have a true handle on coccidiosis? When it comes to broilers, often we assume that as long we have good performance, we must have good cocci control, right? The answer to that is “maybe.”

In many cases it is not until production losses are so great or that “the wheels have fallen off” in a flock that birds might be evaluated by a veterinarian. When the diagnosis comes back as severe coccidiosis, treatment is often recommended, adjustments are made to the in-feed anticoccidial program, and what I call “the waiting game” begins. We wait to see if birds will respond to treatment. We wait to see if the damage from the infection is going to give us problems later in the life of the flock in the form of bacterial infections. We wait to see if birds will break again before they are shipped. We wait to see if the changes made to the in-feed program are going to work in the next flock…and the list on, and on, and on. Continue reading