By: Modou Touray
Ansu Trawally, a rural poultry farmer in Farafenni has expressed his frustration over the death of 100 of his poultry birds because he could not afford what he described as “expensive medication” for the poultry. He told The Fatu Network that his farm is now virtually empty.
“The cost of medication for the poultry birds is very expensive, making bird rearing challenging. I used to get some drugs, however, the financial challenge to continuously buy the required medications, has hampered the productivity of my poultry farm. I have the calendar for administering drugs to the fowls, but if I don’t get drugs on time, it adversely affects the health of the poultry which eventually causes death,” Trawally explained.
In producing poultry birds, constant medication enhances their health and reduces mortality. Survival of the poultry to a large extent depends on proper medication, timely vaccination, and regular caring. It contributes to the growth of the poultry and overall production.
“My long-term goal is to contribute to the eradication of imported chicken. If my farm is not well vaccinated, my aspiration is being hampered because I cannot afford the prescribed medication for my poultry on time. I need support so that I can employ other youths,” he said.
Poultry farming or production involves the raising of birds either for egg or chicken meat.
“In every two to three weeks, the birds need vaccination. If their supply is delayed, it affects their survival. Sometimes, the veterinary officers don’t respond early whenever I request for their presence at the farm.”
At Ansu Trawally’s poultry farm in Farafenni, layers were almost empty, making the survival of the remaining birds critical. Disinfectants and other essential medications are not enough.
“I am in a critical stage now as my poultry farm is crippling and the risk of infection is high. I appeal for support to make it viable.”
The Fatu Network later contacted a senior livestock officer working with the Department of Livestock Service who urged poultry farmers to report their constrains and concerns to livestock officials on time.
“We do give them technical support hence the department is the technical arm of government on livestock matters. If they don’t report to us timely, we cannot respond on time. There is medication support for poultry farmers but its purposely for community initiatives. The private individual farmers need to buy the medications themselves because they are doing business.”
According to Pa Alhamdu Ceesay, a veterinary expert and specialist in poultry, a proper and adequate medication is important for poultry birds.
“There are infections which normally transfer from one poultry to another, therefore, disinfectants must be available at every poultry farm and medication must be given accordingly. Also, not every person should be allowed inside a poultry farm. Even before starting a poultry farm, you need to know the required medication.”
According to experts, unvaccinated poultry birds are more likely to get serious sickness than birds that have been vaccinated. Poultry farmers must procure all vaccine doses recommended to them by veterinary doctors. The health of the poultry is crucial, and any act of negligence could have deadly consequences on the poultry birds.