Have you ever seen a hen or chick with rickets?
Well there are, and if you want to keep your flock as healthy as they are the keep this in mind every time you feed and house them or like myself you might just run into new ground.
Both lack of nutrients and excessive consumption of nutrients both have negative effects in poultry, keep in mind to serve the right doses just as the doctor subscribes heheh.
Poultry health is also affected by nutritional and environmental factors, such as insufficient feed or feed deficiencies.
A high mortality rate among chicks during the first days or weeks after hatching may be caused by insufficient feed and water.
A high mortality in adult birds may be due to nutritional problems, such as salt deficiency.
Energy and protein deficiencies and imbalances can arise when the feed contains insufficient quantities of these nutrients, resulting in poor growth in young stock and a drop in egg production and egg weight in laying hens.
Mineral and vitamin deficiencies may result in poor growth, low production or death.
Vitamin D deficiency causes rickets (bone deformities) in young chicks and, if combined with a calcium deficiency, in chickens of all ages. A lack of manganese results in deformities of the feet of older chickens.
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An excess of certain nutrients, especially minerals, can cause abnormalities.
An excess of common salt (NaCl), for example, results in deformed eggshells as well as increased water consumption, and if drinking water is restricted (as is often the case with free-ranging birds), signs of toxicity may develop.
Free access to feed of high carbohydrate and low fat, combined with lack of exercise, high temperatures and stress, can cause Fatty Liver Syndrome, which can result in high mortality.
Ingestion of toxic plant parts (such as leaves, seeds and sap) is a common hazard for free range birds. Some toxins are produced by micro-organisms, such as those liberated by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum and C. perfringens, both found in the soil.
- perfringens causes necrotic enteritis, caused when the bacteria multiplies in the favourable conditions of the digestive tract and liberates a potent toxin that results in high mortality.
Occasionally affected birds show anorexia, depression and diarrhea, but most die without showing any clinical signs.
- botulinum causes botulism disease, which is acute food poisoning. This is more common in ducks, which show the nervous symptoms of neck bent down and feathers falling out easily when lightly pulled. Botulism results from the bird eating rotting vegetable scraps, which contain the toxins produced by the C. botulinum.
Household vegetable scraps which are not regularly removed are a potential hazard for botulism.
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