By Rizwana Noor, Dr. Arshad Javid
Birds have cosmopolitan distribution and believed to be 150 million years old class of vertebrates. Their diversity unveils morphological and ecological relationships and they are densely populated in the Neotropics.
Besides their role in maintenance of ecosystems, many of the avian species are used as food source in their natural habitats as well as they are farmed for human consumption and are raised as pet birds. Their farming and display in the aviaries have become most profitable businesses in many countries.
The confined systems help enhance the population of the birds however, high densities in these systems are responsible for transferring parasitic agents and pathogenic microbes that can hinder growth and reduce egg production. Therefore, the farmers face lot of challenges including disease outbreak and management of farmed birds as they are very sensitive to changing weather conditions.
Captive population are more prone to diseases as in captivity the density is high and arthropod vectors can transmit parasitic infections from infected bird to healthy ones. Infectious diseases and parasites are major threats in these birds and may lead to ailments and mortality.
Changes in peoples lifestyles and closer contacts with animals have accelerated parasitic and bacterial infections. It is perhaps due to closer interaction with adopted small animals, which accepted and treated as a family member in communities. On the other hand, more Intensified animal farms, which have a crucial role in the food supplies are greatest sources of food-borne bacterial zoonotic pathogens in today’s growing world. Knowledge of blood biochemical profile is mandatory for proper management of captive birds while parasites and microbiota of the captive birds may have zoonotic significance and must be characterized Understanding about pathogenic bacterial species will be helpful to minimize their pathogenicity.
Blood biochemical profile of some captive avian species including chukar partridge (Alectoris chuka), albino pheasant (Phasianus colchicus), silver pheasant (Lophura nycthemera), rose ringed parakeet (Psittacula kramen) and turkeys (Meleagns galiopavo) were analyzed and compared.
During present study, significantly higher cholesterol was recorded in blood samples of parrot while same was lowest in blood samples of chakur. Similarly, significantly higher glucose was observed for parrots while non-significant differences were recorded for all the other avian species under study. Significantly, higher total protein was recorded in blood samples of parrot while same was lowest for chukar.
The statistical analysis of the study revealed important findings regarding the incidence of Escherichia sp and Salmonella sp in the fecal samples of different captive avian species. During present study, seventeen species of endo parasite fourteen from fecal samples and three from blood were examined.
A biosecurity plant typically involves measures such as regular cleaning and disinfection of cages, proper waste management, controlling access to the bird premises, and implementing protocols for personnel hygiene. These measures can help reduce the risk of parasitic and bacterial contamination and subsequent infections. Implementing a comprehensive biosecurity plan is a recommended approach to prevent the spread of pathogenic bacteria within the area and cages housing the avian species. The author is pursuing this article for PhD degree from university of veterinary and animal sciences, Lahore.