Symptoms Of Newcastle Disease In Poultry And Its Prevention

Symptoms Of Newcastle Disease In Poultry And Its Prevention

Welcome to Nagro Farms, in this article, we will be discussing how you can easily spot Newcastle Disease symptoms in poultry and also the prevention procedures.


Newcastle disease is a highly contagious bird disease caused by a para-myxo virus. Fowls, turkeys, geese, ducks, pheasants, partridges, guinea fowl, and other wild and captive birds, including ratites such as ostriches, emus, and rhea, are all affected by this disease.

Humans are not normally affected, but people who come into direct contact with infected birds may develop a very short-term eye infection that goes away on its own.

Newcastle disease has long been recognized as a leading cause of loss for poultry farmers; it is fatal to birds. Newcastle disease can cause a temporary halt in egg production in laying birds that last 4-6 weeks.

It is one of the significant poultry diseases, present in almost every country and causing economic losses due to high levels of mortality, decreased production, and trade embargoes.


If the birds survive, the disease can cause digestive, respiratory, and/or nervous clinical signs ranging from mild, almost unnoticeable respiratory disease to very severe depression, drop in egg production, increased respiration, profuse diarrhea followed by collapse, or long-term nervous signs (such as twisted necks). Severe forms of the disease are extremely lethal.

Also Read Green poop in Chicken and Treatment

Causes of Newcastle Disease

Newcastle Disease is caused by a paramyxovirus that can vary in pathogenicity from mild to highly pathogenic. Spread is usually by direct physical contact with infected or diseased birds. The virus is present in manure and is breathed out into the air.


Other sources of infection are contaminated equipment, carcasses, water, food, and clothing. People can easily carry the virus from one shed or farm to another. Newcastle Disease virus does not affect humans in the same way that it does birds but it can cause conjunctivitis in humans.

How Newcastle Disease is Spread in Poultry

The disease is spread through the droppings and secretions of infected birds’ noses, mouths, and eyes. The disease is spread primarily through direct contact between healthy birds and infected birds’ bodily discharges. Virus-carrying material can also be picked up on shoes and clothing and transferred from an infected flock to a healthy flock.

Contact between poultry, as well as the movement of contaminated vehicles, equipment, manure, feed, and water, are thus potential transmission routes.

The virus can survive for several weeks on the feathers, manure, and other materials of birds in a warm and humid environment.

Direct contact with infected birds’ bodily fluids, particularly their feces, and aerosol contact spread the disease.

Clinical Signs of Newcastle Disease

The clinical signs in affected birds can vary. The disease can be present in a very acute form with sudden onset and high mortality or as a mild disease with respiratory distress or a drop in egg production as the only detectable clinical signs. A sub-clinical (asymptomatic) form of Newcastle disease and many intermediate forms of the disease can also occur. The main signs are:

  • sneezing
  • nasal discharge
  • coughing
  • greenish, watery diarrhoea
  • depression
  • muscular tremors
  • drooping wings
  • complete paralysis
  • swelling of the tissues around the eyes and in the neck
  • sudden death
  • increased death loss in a flock
  • in laying birds there can be a partial to complete drop in egg production; and the production of thin-shelled eggs

Also Read What to do When Your Chicken Start Dying

Prevention Measures of Newcastle Disease

Poultry farmers must increase sanitary procedures and give their baby chicks “Intra Ocular: (i/o) vaccines between “Day Old” to 10 days before taking them to the farm.

There is no cure for Newcastle Disease, though antibiotics to control secondary infections may help. The virus can live for up to two months in manure and up to a year in dead carcasses, but it is easily killed by disinfectants, fumigants, and direct sunlight. Good quarantine and biosecurity procedures, as well as vaccination, are essential for prevention. Symptoms Of Newcastle Disease In Poultry

Vaccination Schedule for Newcastle Disease (ND) in Nigeria

S/N ND vaccine Age of vaccination Route of inoculation
1. Live attenuated Hitchner B1 Day old at the hatchery Intra-ocular through spraying
2. Live attenuated La Sota 1–2 weeks Oral through drinking water
3. Live attenuated Komarov 7–10 weeks Intramuscular through injection
4. Inactivated oil-emulsion NDV 16–18 weeks Intramuscular through injection

Some Frequently Asked Questions

Can Newcastle disease affect a week-old bird?

Newcastle Disease affects a week-old bird, that’s why you should always vaccinate your poultry always using the above Vaccination Schedule for Newcastle Disease guideline.

Can birds get disease through Newcastle disease vaccination?

Well-vaccinated birds may not show any signs of being infected except for a decrease in egg production, but these birds will shed the virus in saliva and feces.

How many days will a Newcastle disease virus take to complete its life cycle?

The disease is very contagious. When the virus is introduced into a susceptible flock, virtually all the birds will be infected within two to six days.

Newcastle Disease Vaccine current price in Nigeria?

The most popularly used one is LaSota Vaccine and it is sold at Afrimash ranging from 580.00 – 720.00