Sat. Sep 19th, 2020

Supporting Farmers

How to treat poultry disease by yourself, step by step guide –

5 min read

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Traditional treatment and control of disease is important, as most developing countries cannot afford to import or subsidize veterinary drugs and vaccines for smallholder farms. There is also increasing concern about the effect of synthetic drugs on animals and the environment.
Most of the information presented below on traditional medicine used for poultry has been collected informally , and has not been scientifically tested. The main reason for its inclusion here is to encourage  formal research.

Viral diseases

Newcastle Disease:

In Nigeria, either Lageneria vulgaris or the bark of Parkia filicoidea are given to the flock in drinking water .
In Zimbabwe, the leaves of Cassia didymobotrya or the latex of Euphorbia matabelensis are given in drinking water .
In the United Republic of Tanzania, in the regions of Arusha and Kilimanjaro, the stem of Euphorbia candelabrum Kotschy var. candelabrum or the fruit of Capsicum annuum together with the leaves of Iboza multiflora are given.

 Fowl pox:

In Zimbabwe, the leaves of Aloe excelsa are soaked and the extracted fluid is added to drinking water (Chavunduka, 1976).
A poultry disease named “Yoko yoko” by the Fulani of Mauritania, Mali and Senegal, is a serious epidemic, affecting hens of all ages.
The exact cause of the disease is unknown, but Ba (1982) suggested that it might be a type of Fowl Pox. The signs and symptoms, as described by the Fulani, are dejection, breathing difficulties with the emission of the sound ‘yok yok’ and sneezing.
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Obstruction of the nostrils by yellowish crusts makes the birds breathe through their beaks, which are also encrusted. Lack of appetite and purulent conjunctivitis have also been noted.

Mortality and symptoms

Eventually, the birds suffocate and die. The mortality rate can be as high as 100 percent in growing chickens, but some adults survive. The birds are systematically slaughtered and the hen house burnt to prevent spread.
The symptoms, as described above, are indicative of the “wet” form of Fowl Pox, where eventually the bird suffocates from a cheesy growth in the trachea. The pox lesions are sometimes less obvious in this type of Fowl Pox disease, but they can be found on close examination.
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In Nigeria, Hibiscus subdariffia is pounded, mixed with drinking water and given to birds with ruffled feathers (Nwude and Ibrahim, 1980).

Protozoan diseases


In Nigeria, Lageneria vulgaris is dipped in the flocks’ drinking water (Nwude and Ibrahim, 1980).

Bacterial diseases

Fowl Cholera

In Nigeria, the fruit of Adansonia digitata is broken and soaked in the birds’ drinking water.
The fruit of Capsicum annuum is mixed with soot from the ceilings of thatched buildings (Hausa: Kunkunniya) and given in drinking water (Nwude and Ibrahim, 1980).

Metabolic and infectious diseases

Abdominal disorders:

In Nigeria, the young leaves of Boswellia dalzelii are chopped and soaked in water, and the extracted fluid is given as a diarrhoea treatment (Nwude and Ibrahim, 1980).
In South Africa (Natal Province), Leonotis leonurus Ait.f. is  given to treat both yellow and green diarrhoea (Watt and Breyer-Brandwijk, 1962). Farmers also  use a cold infusion of the leaves of Aloe saponaria Haw, to treat enteritis and indigestion in poultry (Watt and Breyer-Brandwijk, 1962).
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In West Africa, the chopped leaves of Pergularia extensa are fed to turkeys suffering from diarrhoea (Dalziel, 1937).
In Zimbabwe, the bulb of Adenium multiflora is soaked in water for 12 hours, after which the sick animals are drenched to treat for bloody and watery diarrhoea. For the same purpose, the latex of Aloe chabandii or Euphorbia matabelensis is given in drinking water (Chavunduka, 1976).

Blood in the excreta:

In Zimbabwe, the bark of Cussonia arborea is soaked in water, and the sick birds are drenched with the fluid (Chavunduka, 1976).

Poor  growth and low production

In Nigeria, the fruit of Cucumis pustulatus is mixed with bran and placed in drinking water to help growth, prevent disease and increase egg production. The fruit of Cyperus articulatus is also placed in drinking water (Nwude and Ibrahim, 1980).
In West Africa, the fruit of Cucumis prophetarum or C. pustulatus is placed in drinking water to help growth, prevent disease, discourage predatory hawks and increase egg production (Dalziel, 1937).


Various ectoparasites and parasitic diseases:

In Nigeria, the dried leaves and twigs of Guiera senegalensis Lam. are burned in poultry houses to reduce ectoparasites (Nwude and Ibrahim, 1980).
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In Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, Thamnosma africana Engl. is placed in chicken pens to repel fleas and ants (Watt and Breyer-Brandwijk, 1962).


In Nigeria, the leaves of Bandeiraea simplicifolia are placed in hen houses to kill lice (Dalziel, 1937; Nwude and lbrahim, 1980). Ash from the burnt leaves of Nicotiana rustica, N. tabacum or Carica papaya is rubbed into feathers to protect against infestation (Nwude and Ibrahim, 1980).
In Senegal, the leaves of Calotropis procera Ait.f. are used to kill lice on poultry (Dalziel, 1937; Watt and Breyer-Brandwijk, 1962).



In Nigeria, the fruits of Cucumis prophetarum and Solanum nodiflorum are used by the Hausa people to treat poultry for worms (Nwude and Ibrahim, 1980).


Lameness in ducks:

In Nigeria, the Hausa people pulverize the leaves of Momordica balsamina and mix them with feed to treat ducks for lameness (Nwude and Ibrahim, 1980).
Source FAO
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