I was always wondering why chicken breeders do not have this problem of diseases in their birds and even though they keep a really big number in a small cage or area. The reason I thought about it is because I used to breed birds when I was at high school, but when one of my birds coughs a disease, such as diarrhea, all the other birds in the same cage get the disease and either die or become very sick, which is not just painful for me to watch them die but is also too costly for me. I came to understand why these business owners do not suffer big losses when I learned in class about vaccination and got a deeper understanding of vaccination around the world. However, I was able to link to my aviculture business only when Andrew discussed in class how chicken industries vaccinate chickens to prevent diseases from spreading and causing chickens to die.
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I also used to hear that almost all rabbit breeders vaccinate their rabbits, but I never paid a lot of attention on it. In fact, I did not really care about how important vaccinating was and did not even care if any of the animals that I would buy are vaccinated until I heard from Andrew about the chicken farm he visited to do his research. I then realized how important vaccination is and how useful it is for aviculture businesses and how it could help think of it from both a business and perspective and a science perspective.
when I was at high school, I managed an aviculture business. The birds I was breeding are called Zebra Finches. They are known to their tendency live in big groups in their original habitant. In addition, many bird breeders prefer to put a group (4-50)of them in one cage. When I first bought these birds I put them in one cage, but because of the spreadable diseases that came to many of my friends birds and because of the recommendations my friends had given me, I later decided to put each pair of birds in a separate cage, which, by the way, is very costly and takes a lot time and effort to feed them and clean each cage. But now that I have a better understanding of vaccination, I decided to a research into this topic and look for studies that suggest vaccinating bird, as If I discovered that vaccinating is “proved” to be very efficient in aviculture, I will change my breeding method from keeping each pair in a cage to just one big cage for all birds of a single species, which as I mentioned earlier will help me take care of them in a more efficient way and also prevent diseases from spreading. It will also make the birds feel that they are in their original nature.
While I was researching, I read an article that talks about the potential negative effects of using the current chicken vaccine. I was surprised to know that not only the article talked about the same topic that Andrew discussed in class, but the article has also included quotes from Andrew.
The article was mainly talking about the effects of the current vaccines that are used to deal with some of chickens’ popular diseases such as Marek’s disease.
The article mentioned that in a study done by Andrew and his group, where they studied the effects in Marek’s disease on vaccinated and unvaccinated chickens, they noticed that the unvaccinated birds died after 10 days of getting the disease. The article concluded with a quote from Andrew that said that even though vaccines could have negative effects such as causing viruses to evolve and be able to fight the vaccine, breeders should still vaccinate their birds because of the fact that the chance of an unvaccinated chicken dying from a disease like Marek’s disease is much higher than if we chose to vaccinate all chickens and that we should still vaccinate chickens because they are considered an important role in the food industry.
However, this conclusion does not necessarily mean that it is the same thing with other birds, as the article has mainly discussed Marek’s disease effects on chicken, which I later learned that is not popular with birds such as Zebra Finches. So, I decided to do more research into this topic to decide if I should or should not vaccinate my birds.
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After an hour of research, I found out that there any many fast-spreading diseases among Finches species and that the diseases that I should worry about do not have vaccines to “cure” them. The only vaccine that many articles recommended Zebra Finch breeders to use is a vaccine called Polyomavirus Vaccine. I did not know about this disease. However, I have just discovered that the symptoms associated with this disease were almost the same that I noticed in my birds when almost 20 of them died in two to three months. I did not know what the disease was. I also could not find a cure for it even though I kept asking many professional breeders about it. But now that I read about it and know that there is a vaccine for it, I decided to vaccine all my birds when I go back home in order to prevent the disease from spreading and killing my and friends’ birds.