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Quail Pox

Frequently a series of lesions can be observed on the feet and toes of quail that resist even the best efforts to treat them. The lesions can range from a few dried scabs to complete toe loss. Often the lesions will bleed severely. This problem is most commonly observed in birds raised on wire floors during the autumn season of the year.

Many causes of these type foot problems have been suggested and include insect stings, nutritional deficiencies, injuries and diseases. Actually, the most common cause is a combination of these factors.

The condition is usually started from the bites of mosquitoes while they suck blood from the birds. Mosquitoes enter the house in larger numbers in the autumn when temperatures begin to fall. The feet are the most exposed part of the body because the mosquitoes can attack from beneath the wire floor as the bird sleeps. Birds housed on dirt or litter floors do not have a high incidence of this problem.

After the bite has occurred, the foot becomes inflamed from irritation of the bite or from quail pox virus that is injected by the mosquito. The irritation becomes a discomfort that the bird pecks at and the foot forms a scab from the constant pecking. A reaction to the quail pox disease may also complicate the problem. It can get so severe that toes are often pecked off by the bird itself in an attempt to sooth the irritation.

The best solution to the problem is to prevent it before it occurs. Conduct a good mosquito control program to prevent entry of the insects and use residual insect sprays to kill mosquitos that stay in the house. Vaccinating birds will also reduce the severity of the problem if the virus is passed to the birds. Reducing the light intensity and use of antibiotic therapy may be helpful in reducing the severity. No antibiotic therapy is effective against quail pox but medications may be effective for treating secondary bacterial infections and soothing the injuries.

More information on this disease is available in the Diseases of Poultry section.

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Scores of chickens are seen inside a poultry house.
Filed Under: Agricultural Economics, Poultry December 19, 2017

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The poultry industry is the giant in the state’s agricultural economy, as its estimated 2017 production value of $2.8 billion nearly doubles the value of forestry.

Early figures from the Mississippi State University Extension Service show the industry grew at an estimated 13.4 percent from the 2016 value. Brian Williams, Extension agricultural economist, said higher broiler prices are responsible for the value increase.

Dressed in a pink T-shirt and blue jeans, broiler grower Teresa Dyess stands next to two wagon wheels in front of a barn on her family farm.
Filed Under: Women for Agriculture, Poultry October 20, 2017

In three days, Teresa Dyess shifted her business focus from produce to poultry.

The change began two years ago with an offhand remark from her husband, Joe Dyess.

 “He told a broiler grower in Wayne County we wouldn’t mind building pullet houses because we wanted to diversify our farm,” she said. “We didn’t think any more about it, and then the next day a poultry processor called and offered us a contract. A banker came the next day, and everything fell into place.”

Lanette Crocker, coordinator for the MSU Extension Service in Wayne County, said Teresa Dyess’ adaptability has helped her maintain success through the farm’s transition.

Hen flock inventories grew after the poultry industry recovered from the 2015 avian influenza outbreak, increasing the number of eggs on the market and driving down the price. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
Filed Under: Poultry August 4, 2017

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Mississippi's poultry industry remains healthy with a strong demand for broilers and a positive outlook for the remainder of 2017.

Filed Under: Avian Flu March 30, 2017

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- All Mississippians who raise any species of poultry are being urged to follow strict biosecurity practices and review new requirements regarding sales and exhibitions.

Tom Tabler, poultry specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said that while avian influenza is not a threat to human health or food safety, an outbreak would endanger backyard flocks and the state’s nearly $3 billion commercial poultry industry.

Choosing the right breed of chickens for a backyard flock is an important decision. From left, Tripp, Luna and Charlie Sanders examine chicks for sale March 8, 2017, in Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kat Lawrence)
Filed Under: Poultry March 16, 2017

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Families willing to host a flock of feathered friends reap the benefits of fresh eggs delivered daily just outside the door.

What started several years ago as an underground "urban chicken" movement has become much more common and widely accepted. Today, raising backyard chickens has gained popularity nationwide, boosted by interest in locally grown foods that avoid the energy use and carbon emissions typically associated with transporting food.

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