Infectious Bursal Disease (IBD) is a highly contagious disease among young chickens less than 17 weeks of age and is also present in ducks and turkeys. Also called Gumboro disease, this viral disease is caused by an avibirnavirus called infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV). It can survive in different environmental conditions which makes it harder to decontaminate.
This disease was first discovered back in 1957 in Gumboro, Delaware, and has spread worldwide. The mortality rate is usually up to 20% but sometimes climbed up to 60%. Among the symptoms include diarrhea, depression, ruffled feathers, and lack of appetite. Young chickens between 3 and 6 weeks old are the most susceptible to contact with this disease.
Transmission is primarily through the fecal-oral route, which means a healthy chicken has ingested the contaminated feces of an infected one. Signs are most obvious in chickens of 4-6 weeks old and White Leghorns are more susceptible than brown-egg layers and broilers.
How To Prevent or Cure Infectious Bursal Disease in Chickens
As of now, there’s still no specific treatment available. However, some multivitamin supplements and access to clean water may be helpful. if a secondary bacterial infection occurs, it is likely to be treated with antibiotic medication. As a preventive measure, do some strict cleaning, pest control, and disinfection, and provide adequate downtime after a contaminated farm has been depopulated.