How to handle Smothering Problem in Poultry Farming
1. Smothering is caused by crowding or piling in a corner. It may occur when birds are moved to new quarters, when they are frightened by a loud noise or intruder in the house, or when birds are chilled.
2. It is often more common at night. Smothering of chicks occurs in boxes due to overcrowding or when boxes are staked too high, or when there are insufficient air ventilation holes.
3. A postmortem exam of birds reveals congestion of the trachea and lungs.
4. The condition can be reduced by encircling chicks around the brooding area with a guard.
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5. Guards should be made of a netting material, which provides no blockage of air or light and can be easily disinfected.
6. The house should be prewarmed 24 hours before receiving the chicks. When the birds are moved to new quarters, lights should be dimmed and birds frequently checked for piling.
7. Care should be made to prevent frightening the birds by loud intruders.
8. Condition birds to humans and outside noises (trucks, machines, airplanes) with an inside radio.