Coccidiosis is one of the oldest poultry disease that cause economic losses worldwide. Poultry farmers are having serious challenges in managing the protozoan disease despite various researches and management upgrade. In cage rearing system the problem is not common as birds will not have access to coccidia oocysts which is shed with the feaces. Live oocyst can survive in poultry litter, inside and outside poultry houses.
Poultry farmers have to take note of these five management procedures that will help in tackling coccidiosis effectively:
- Thorough Cleaning and Disinfection: cleaning of poultry houses must be done thoroughly by scraping the old litters, evacuation, scrubing with detergent and washing so as to clear off the oocysts, this is possible with the use of power washer or pressurized water. Use of Ammonium Hydroxide will help in destroying the oocyst, the use of slate lime, formaldehyde and ammonium sulphate can be used after washing for effective control.
- Maintain Healthy Gut: This can be achieved by eliminating or minimize the level of infections or diseases outbreak in the flock for excellent immune system. Good bacteria in the digestive tract will eliminate bad bacteria and help make the environment unfavourable for coccidiosis oocysts to grow. Use of broad spectrum probiotics in feed and water has been reported to be effective.
- Good Nutrition: Use of balanced ration will help in maintaining good intestinal health which is essential for effective coccidiosis control and other diseases. Excellent gut health depends on good balanced ration.
- Good Housing: This is very important as pens must be properly constructed and concrete floors must be smooth without cracks or crevices so that during washing oocysts will not have places to hide and if they exist they should be plastered with cement. Any wooden materials in the poultry house that cannot be properly cleaned must be removed.
- Strict Biosecurity Measures: The farm premises must be clean, dry and foot dips must be available at the poultry entrances as this will help to prevent spread of oocysts. Farm workers must stay in their assigned poultry houses to prevent transfer of oocysts from one pen to another, changing of foot wears before entry, separate inside from outside foot wears and prevention of local birds from entrying the poultry houses or farm premises is recommended.