The intensive overcrowding and barren environment faced by the majority of hens means they are prone to a wide range of disease problems. Damage to their feet and claws can also occur causing foot infections. This results from the hens having to continually stand or crouch on thin wire floors, especially as these are generally sloped. Steep sloping floors lead to high levels of foot deformities as birds are more likely to slip. Infectious bronchitis, cage layer fatigue, leukosis and egg peritonitis are other problems encountered by laying hens.
This is a parasite that affects chickens, coccidiosis is the name given to a group of closely related diseases. The parasite develops inside cells lining the intestine and as they reproduce they cause bleeding and massive swelling of the gut. This leads to the bird being unable to absorb the nutrients from its food, many birds die as a consequence.
Many hens are infected with salmonella and campylobacter though they may not show any symptoms. Salmonella for example causes infection in both animals and humans. It lives in the digestive tract of a wide range of mammals. Eggs from infected hens may contain Salmonella. This can cause severe food poisoning in humans following consumption of contaminated eggs. The infection in humans is usually short-lived causing high temperature, diarrhoea and blood poisoning.
< Previous | Next > 1 | 2 | 3 | 4