Strange disease hits Kayonza poultry farm

Poultry farmers in Kayonza District are worried after a strange disease has killed hundreds of chickens at one farm. The disease, which was first reported in the past week, causes birds to vomit blood before dying.
The chickens died by the minute leaving the owner desperate. (Stephen Rwembeho)
The chickens died by the minute leaving the owner desperate. (Stephen Rwembeho)

Poultry farmers in Kayonza District are worried after a strange disease has killed hundreds of chickens at one farm.

The disease, which was first reported in the past week, causes birds to vomit blood before dying.

Dativa Mukansanga, a farmer, said in two days, she had lost 500 hens that had just started laying eggs.

“I contacted a veterinary doctor in Kigali, who sent me medicine as usual. But when he heard the symptoms the birds showed, he advised we wait upon God’s to help.

‘‘This is a disease not known to farmers or veterinary doctors…I am convinced they were poisoned by my enemies,” she said.

Several neighbours, some of whom are also poultry farmers, who gathered at the affected farm, were left in shock as they witnessed hundreds of chickens die by the minute.

Mukansanga said that the disease had left heavy financial losses in its wake, adding that she had invested Rwf 4 million in the business.

“I am completely devastated…I have lost the entire poultry farm. I had invested all my money in [poultry] farming expecting to make reasonable profits, but this is not the case now,” she added.

Jean Damascene Murengezi, another poultry farmer, complained that farmers are left on their own to treat their poultry.

“It is a sad reality that local vets don’t help us…we do all the vet work yet we never studied it. Our vets are just reluctant to help…concerned authorities should find a solution for this.

‘‘Until yesterday, no single veterinary officer had arrived to assist this woman yet her poultry continues to die,” he said.

According to Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB) official, Dr. Innocent Shyaka, the cause of the disease would be established.

Dr Shyaka, who is also the Rubirizi hatchery coordinator, told The New Times that poultry diseases don’t easily spread beyond a single farm.

“I need to visit the affected farmer first, but an error could have happened somewhere on the farm. If a farmer skipped some vaccines, or there is a hygiene issue or improper medication, we need to know. Such are the errors that may lead to the symptoms I have heard. Fortunately, it won’t spread to other farms,” he said.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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