Music So poultry are a naturally active and inquisitive animal so a healthy, a healthy chook should be very active, and should be very aware of its surrounds, you and the other chooks and it should be interested in such. So if we start with the head of a healthy chook, in the majority of breeds, the healthy chook has a bright red comb, face and wattles. Fowl pox lesions would cause abnormalities on the head, face and wattles of the chook and these present as raised, brown to black lesions and indicate infection with the fowl pox which can be spread by mosquitoes. Moving down the chook, feathers of fowls or chooks should be tight, and shiny and free from any breaks or missing feathers. So the healthy chook is a complete chook. It’s feathered all over and presents shiny. Absence of feathers or broken feathers anywhere on the body can indicate the presence of feather pecking in that flock of chooks and problems that cause feather pecking generally relate to stocking densities or having chooks too crowded. The legs of poultry are naturally scaled and the bone is round, so the healthy chook should have a closely scaled, round leg that is shiny. The most common problem we see with the scales of poultry is when they get infected with the scaly leg mite and what that does is cause a roughness to the scale, so it loses that smooth round appearance and smooth texture. So a healthy bird, when you are handling it should have round muscles on the breast, and the keel bone, which is the sternum of the chook, should not be sharp to the hand when holding the bird. That indicates good muscling of the fowl and indicates adequate nutrition, general health and freedom from disease. The beak on a healthy chook, the top beak should sit smoothly over the bottom beak. If the top beak overgrows the bottom beak too far, sometimes it needs to be trimmed. When we talk about external parasites of poultry, the most common would be lice and mites. The lice and the mites are spread by the access of the poultry to wild birds so that’s an important consideration in shed design. So lice is commonly seen as a small, brown and rapidly moving creature, most commonly seen on the vent of the fowl and you’ll also see clumps of white eggs that the lice leave on the poultry. So the lice live on, on the fowls 100% of the time and they feed on blood and skin from the fowl. The poultry will lose condition from irritation from infestation with lice, so when we’re considering the control of lice firstly if we can restrict the access of the birds or the poultry to wild birds that’s going to remove a great deal of the lice from the environment. However, the application of insecticides, whether that be in a spray or in a dust formulation to the poultry and to their shedding will reduce the incidence of the lice. Red mite are different from lice because they do not live on the poultry 100% of the time. They actually reside in the shed. They like to live in cracks in wood and we particularly find that they live in cracks in the wood on the poultry shed perches. What they do is they leave their environment at night time and feed on the poultry. This causes intense irritation to the fowls but what it does also causes a great deal of blood loss and anaemia and we can actually have deaths in poultry from blood loss from red mite. The most common sign you will see is paleness to the head from red mite infestation and if you pick the birds up you will actually find scars around the vent of the fowl which is where the red mites feed. Red mite, again, are transmitted by wild birds so we’ve got to consider our shed design or range design when we’re considering how birds are becoming infected or infested with the red mite and thus how we control it. Insecticides are very effective against red mite and should be applied to both the birds, but more importantly, the shed. So we need to ensure that we spray all wooden surfaces, litter and nest boxes in the shed to kill the red mite. Northern mite differ to red mite because they, like lice, spend most of their life on the fowl. The northern mite, similar to red mite cause severe anaemia in the fowl but also severe irritation. They’re controlled similarly to red mite by the application of insecticides to the poultry but also to the poultry environment. The easiest way in a school situation to do this is to actually get a liquid insecticide, make this up into a garden pump pack sprayer and this allows the sheds and the birds to be sprayed at once. I think it’s more effective and it’s simpler. Music .