Nuusita Ashipala Ondangwa-Laboratory tests done on chickens in Omusati Region recently confirmed that the death of hundreds of chickens in the region is a result of fowl ticks, state veterinary Josephat Peter has revealed. He cleared misconceptions that the chickens are dying of an unknown disease and that the region is Newcastle disease-free. Initially, the veterinary office had only done Newcastle and Marek tests on dead chickens, which were negative, leaving the office at the time to conclude that the disease was unknown. “This time around we have visited homesteads and observed the chickens – and following that we did laboratory tests through which we established that fowl tick is responsible for most chicken deaths in the area,” said Peter. Peter advised farmers to get their chickens treated by purchasing medicine at the local pharmacy – for those who can afford – or to treat them traditionally by rubbing warm ash on the affected areas. He further appealed to farmers to keep in contact with their office and report further deaths of chickens so that the office can establish whether there is a disease causing the deaths besides the ticks. Meanwhile, Peter said they would continue to assess the situation until it improves. He said the symptoms range from chickens gasping for air, loss of blood and weight, and chickens losing feathers, amongst others. The deaths of chickens in Omusati, particularly in Otamanzi and Oshikuku, have been ongoing since the beginning of August, leaving farmers outraged. They complained the ministry was doing nothing to address their plight and as a result they have lost all their chickens. “At least I have six left, about seven neighbours have nothing left,” said one chicken farmer.
2017-09-28 10:29:15 11 months ago