Fowl Mites Devastate Chicken in Buyende Top story

1408 Views Buyende, Uganda

In short
Lubyayi says they were advised by the veterinary officer to use pesticides, which he says are costly for many farmers.

Fowl mites have invaded Buyende district killing about 6000 chicken in the last two months. The most affected are households in Buyaga Sub County in Buyende district. At least 400 households have reporting losing between four to five chickens over the last two months. Fowl mites suck blood for chicken making them unable to feed and lose weight before they eventually die. Isa Lubyayi, a poultry farmer in Buyaga Sub County says he lost 713 birds on his farm to the fowl mites.
 
He says the mites also get into the intestines of an infested chicken and eat them up. Lubyayi says they were advised by the veterinary officer to use pesticides, which he says are costly for many farmers.  He says a dose of the pesticide that can treat 100 chicken costs between 20,000 and 80,000 shillings. Sarah Kyakobye, a poultry farmer in Nkondo village in Nkondo Sub County says they are currently separating the infected chicken to try and control the spread of the mites.
 
She however, says they are finding it costly to feed the chicken, since local chicken prefer to feed on their own. Steven Kaggwa, the Buyende district Veterinary Officer confirm the outbreak of the fowl mite in the district. He faults the farmers for failing to spray their chicken to avoid further spread of the disease.  Kaggwa instead says the farmers are using ash to sprinkle, the chicken, which he says is less effective. He advises the farmers to apply dust powder, Carbaryl Rabon or Permethrin to kill the fowl mites.

According to information from Keep Hens Raise Chicken, a website on poultry farming, fowl mites arevisible during the day as small red/brown insects and various degrees, depending upon the level of infestation. It continues to say infested chicken suffer from anemia as the mites feed on their blood. As a result, they stop laying eggs, suffer loss of appetite, their combs and wattles become pale and feathers will quickly become damaged, with increasing bald patches  appearing as they scratch themselves. If left untreated the birds eventually die.
 
According to website, prevention of fowl mite is difficult to prevent as it is passed from wild birds to chicken and the from bird to bird in the flock. In addition, the life cycle can be less than 7 days, which increases the rate of infection.Keep Hens Raise Chicken suggests that the best way to control infection is early detection and prevention.