Disease threatens Deberzeit poultry farms


The Ethiopian Poultry Producers Association (EPPA) says dead chickens being disposed in backyards of Deberzeit poultry farms are spreading disease and costing millions of birr.
According to EPPA estimates, more than 100,000 chickens have died from the disease and the number will be higher if something isn’t done.
Newcastle and Gumboroare very contagious diseases found in young chickens. It spreads from their dead bodies and makes its way to chicken farms.
Dr. Demeke Wondemagne president of EPPA told Capital that chickens need to be disposed carefully.
“Disposing dead birds needs to be done with essential tools to reduce the spread of disease. Chicken farms need to start using bio security procedures. If the carelessness continues investors will stop putting their money into the Debrezeit poultry industry.’’
He added that in many developed countries animal by products cannot be buried on land unless it is an authorized site and the material should be sterilized. Those disposing the birds also need to have documentation saying they can transport the byproducts. Ethiopia currently does not have this.
“We must apply compost burial, incineration and rendering to dispose of dead chickens. There should be regulations with consequences for contributing to spreading disease through irresponsible chicken disposal.”
The Ministry of Livestock and Fishery is aware of the problem. They have notified the Debrezit municipality office in an attempt to get poultry farms to dispose of chickens properly.
Currently around five large anda hundred mediumsized poultry farms operate in Deberzeit which has a suitable temperature for chicken but poor awareness, disease, and poor infrastructure are challenging the business.
Recently Capital reported that the sharp increase in corn and soy bean prices, two major components of chicken feed, are challenging the poultry sector. A 100 kg bag of corn, which makes up 60 percent of chicken feed, cost 450 birr in July 2016 but now goes for 900 birr. Soy Bean Cakes, which are another ingredient in chicken feed, have risen from 800 birr to over 1,000 birr. The price increase has caused farmers to ration bird food or mix feed with less nutritious ingredients.