News from around the Ojai Valley

Chicken owners warned of Newcastle outbreak

Austin Widger, Ojai Valley News reporter
Backyard chicken owners should take stock of their flock after a case of Virulent Newcastle Disease (VND) was discovered in a backyard flock in an agricultural area a few miles west of Santa Paula Aug. 15.
VND is a highly contagious and deadly virus in birds, found in respiratory discharges and feces. The symptoms include sneezing, coughing, nasal discharge, diarrhea, depression, neck twisting, circling, muscle tremors, paralysis, decreased egg production and swelling. If a bird is showing any of these symptoms, it should be quarantined for 30 days.
However, the disease often causes sudden death as well, without any symptoms ever being shown, making it difficult to diagnose.

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