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Poultry Knowledgebase

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A/B Antibiotics
ACV Apple Cider Vinegar
AE Avian Encephalomyelitis
AI Avian Influenza
AOC Any Other Colour
AOV Any Other Variety
AV Any variety
Air Cell The empty space between the white and shell.
The air space between the two shell membranes, usually at the large end of the egg, which can be seen when an egg is candled.
Air Sac Part of the respiratory system. There are four pairs, and one double sac, inside the body cavity.
When a bird breathes, air passes down the windpipe and into the lungs where the oxygen/carbon doixide exchange takes place. The air then moves on into the air sacs.
On exhalation, the reverse happens. with the air passing through the lungs where gasses are exchanged for a second time.
Albumen The white of an egg, consisting of outer thin, firm, inner thin, and chalaziferous layers.
Albumen accounts for most of an egg's liquid weight, about 67%. It contains more than half the egg's total protein, niacin, riboflavin, chlorine, magnesium, potassium, sodium and sulfur.
Alektorophobia An abnormal and persistent fear of chickens.
Allantois One of four extra-embryonic (outside the embryo) membranes inside an egg.
The four membranes are: allantois, chorion, the amnion and the yolk sac.
Allele One half pair of genes, occupying similar positions on corresponding chromosomes.
The gene in chickens may determine feather colour, but one allele may be for white and the other for black.
American Breeds Breeds of poultry that originated in America; popular examples include the Rhode Island Red, New Hampshire Red, Plymouth Rock and Wyandotte.
Amino Acid The basic constituents of proteins. Protein in the feed is broken down into amino acids, which are then converted by the bird into specific types of protein tissue, such as muscle, feathers, blood, egg material, etc.
Amnion One of four extra-embryonic (outside the embryo) membranes inside an egg.
The four membranes are: allantois, chorion, the amnion and the yolk sac.
Anaemia A deficiency of iron in the blood. External signs in poultry include a pale comb and wattles, whitish faces and lethargy.
The most likely causes are red mite, coccidiosis or parasite worms.
Anconas Anconas
Anconas are classified as light and of Mediterranean origin.
Andalusians Andalusians
Andalusians are classified as light and of Mediterranean origin.
Antibiotic A drug used to kill bacteria. They are sometimes given to birds suffering from a viral attack.
Appenzeller Breed of chicken, classified as light, originating from Switzerland.
Araucanas Araucana
Araucanas are classified as light and originating from Northern Chile.
Artificial Brooding Method of rearing chicks, other than naturally with a broody hen.
The most important feature of any brooder system is heat, starting very warm at around 35 degree celcius with a gradual reduction as the birds feathers grow.
Artificial Incubation The hatching of eggs other than with a broody hen.
Incubators come in a range of sizes, holding from a few eggs up to many thousands.
Artificial Lighting In winter natural light is often extended with artifical lighting to maintain 12 to 14 hours of light for good egg production.
Ascarid A parasite worm measuring 4-12cm. They can be found in the small intestine and prevent food from moving along. At the same time their waste can poison the bird.
Birds so affected stop producing eggs, lose condition and may die.
Ash The mineral portion of the diet.
Asiatic Breeds Breeds of chicken such as Brahma, Cochin and Langshan.
Asil (Aseel) Breed of chicken, as a game fowl it is classified as hard feather and of Asiatic origin.
Aspergillosis Fungus which can effect chicks around 4 weeks of age. Found mainly in battery, intensly reared chicks.
It is the most common fungal infection in birds.
Augsburger Breed of chicken, classified as light, originating from Germany.
Australorps Australorps
Breed of chicken, classified as heavy, of British origin.
Auto-Sexing Where the sex of the chicks can be determined at day-old through differences in their down colour or pattern. Breeds such as Legbar, Rhodebar, Dorbar, Welbar and Cambar are examples.
Avian To do with birds.
Avian Encephalomyelitis Primarily a viral infection of poultry, chickens, turkey and pheasants. Most prevalent in chickens 1 to 6 weeks of age.
Most prevalent in chickens 1 to 6 weeks of age. Susceptible chickens more than 5 weeks old will develop antibodies to AE, but do not show clinical signs at the time of infection.
Avian Influenza (AI) Avian influenza is caused by type A influenza virus. A virulent strain of avian influenza, which affected the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany in 2003, led to the slaughter of 28 million birds.
The symptoms can vary from a mild disease with little or no mortality to a highly fatal, rapidly spreading epidemic.
More avian influenza viruses have been isolated from ducks than any other species although most free-flying birds may also be infected including shorebirds, gulls and other seabirds
Signs: Decreased food consumption and drops in egg production are among some of the earliest and most predictable signs of disease.
Signs including coughing, sneezing, ruffled feathers, swollen heads, nervous signs like depression, and diarrhea may occur together or singly. In some cases, birds die rapidly without clinical signs of disease.
Prevention: Wild birds and their excreta should be considered a major source of avian influenza.
Preventing direct contact with free-flying birds and protecting domestic poultry from contact with the feces of wild birds is an important way to prevent avian influenza.
Influenza viruses are very sensitive to most detergents and disinfectants. They are readily inactivated by heating and drying.
However, flu viruses are well-protected from inactivation by organic material and infectious virus can be recovered from manure for up to 3 months. Complete removal of all organic material is required.
Avian Lymphoid Leukosis A neoplastic disease of chickens caused by a virus of the leukosis/sarcoma group and characterized by tumor formation of the bursa of Fabricius with metastasis to other tissues and all abdominal organs.
Avian Tuberculosis Chronic slow-spreading infectious disease of adult fowl caused by a bacterium. Infection is most common in chickens older than l year, but younger birds can become infected.
Aviculture The science of raising avian species.
Avidin A protein found in small amounts (about .05%) in egg albumen. Avidin is inactivated by heat.
Axial Feather Feather between the primary and secondary wing feathers.
Aylesbury Duck A breed of duck originating from around the Buckinghamshire town of the same name in England.

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