UNDER CONSTRUCTION as of May 24, 2018.
Stress is a situation resulting from any external or internal factors that leads to a change in internal balance, homeostasis.
Stress can be caused by physical or psychological reasons and may manifest itself in a variety of physiological parameters, the most important of which is suppression of the immune system.
During stress, different steroid hormones, called stress hormone, are secreted from the adrenal cortex. The most important of which is cortisone, which suppresses the normal activity of the immune system.
When you have chronic inflammation (which is actually an overactive cellular arm of the immune system) your doctor prescribes cortisone and other steroids to reduce the inflammation.
The issue of stress prevention is one of the most important things in preventing a variety of diseases that affect the flock.
I would like to discuss one of the most dreadful diseases, in my opinion, that could harm the BYC flock, Marek's disease. Marek's disease is a viral disease caused by a Herpes simplex virus (a family member of herpes simplex 1 that causes lesions in the lips and eyes of humans and sometimes can cause fatal encephalitis in the brain, Herpes simplex 2, which causes genitals disease and Herpes zoster, which causes chickenpox and shingles in humans.)
This Marek's disease virus contains several strains that cause severe damage to birds. They can infiltrate the lymphatic system, liver, lungs, kidneys and cause various cancers. They can also infiltrate the eyes and cause blindness. They can also damage the nervous system and cause paralysis of the wing and leg on one side of the body. Skin and feather follicles are infected too and the spores are released into the air in billions every day!
This virus is carried in the air and can also be transmitted over distances of more than 100 kilometers from the place of its excretion! The virus can survive in the environment up to a year without any problems and survive at low temperatures even longer.
There is no effective treatment for the disease.
There are a number of vaccines, but they are also not completely effective, either because of the rapid changes that this virus is undergoing, or because they are not so available to private growers like us, especially because of storage reasons. In fact, this virus is found all over the country and almost no place is immune to it.
So what do we do? The best way to reduce the morbidity from this virus is simply to make your chickens happy! What does happiness mean? It turns out that this virus mainly affects the chickens between the ages of 20-28 weeks and especially before entering laying (laying = stress!) And adult birds suffering from prolonged exposure to birds. Birds can be carriers of the virus without suffering any damage or symptom, (more then 70% of the human population carries the virus, but only about 25-33 percent is sometimes bursting into the lips after sun exposure or fever. Herpes viruses in general, and the Marek's virus, in particular, erupt and cause morbidity mainly after exposure to stress, Jeff burst out!
If it were not for the virus, the virus would not erupt and remain dormant without damage and morbidity.
So what is the stress in chickens?
The main causes of stress in chickens are:
large density, food and water regime, frequently bringing in new chickens which changes the pecking order, a multi-age flock that leads to bullying and denial of access to food and water by the major on the young, massive exposure to external parasites. The presence of pets such as dogs chasing the chickens, small children chasing the chickens for long periods of time and generally anything that frightens the chickens for a long time.
So, if you try to reduce the stress factors in your flock, and try to keep a closed farm and a regular schedule, feed them the best food you can give, give them free access to clean and excellent water, keep pets and children from annoying your flock.
Preventing stress in your flock can help avoid much suffering from your beloved chickens!