Osteoporosis, Calcium and Phosphoru ...

Osteoporosis, Calcium and Phosphorus Deficiency, Cage Layer Fatigue in Laying Hens

Osteoporosis, Calcium and Phosphorus Deficiency, Cage Layer Fatigue in Laying Hens

Observed Clinical Signs happenings

Visibly sick birds

  • Few visibly sick birds
  • Birds are unable to stand, but willing to eat and drink
  • Hens with cage layer fatigue have trouble standing and typically crouch or lie at the back of the cage.
  • Birds often are alert
  • Paralysis in severe cases

Egg drop

  • Egg production declines gradually
  • In laying hens, calcium deficiency results in reduced egg production and thin-shelled eggs

Lameness or unusual movement incoordination ataxia

  • Paralysis due to the collapse of spinal bone (severe cases)
  • Marginal calcium deficiency has often been found to be triggering in cage layer fatigue

Body Parts (Neck wings breast abdomen shanks legs hocks feet joints vent skin)

  • Bone become so thin that spontaneous fractures may occur, especially in the vertebrae, tibia and femur
  • Fractures of ischium, humerus, and keel bones show the highest incidence, followed by fractures of pubis, ulna, coracoid and femur
  • Bone fragility is responsible for up to 30%  of fractures in commercial flocks during their life

Mortality

  • Low mortality or increases gradually
  • Some birds have an egg in the oviduct and have to die acutely

Dead birds

  • Poor bodily fleshing condition
  • Dead birds may be dehydrated or emaciated, simply due to a failure of these birds to eat or drink
  • Some birds have an egg in the oviduct and die acutely (good body fleshing condition)

Egg quality

  • May increase the incidence of thin-shelled eggs
  • Thin-shelled and soft-shelled or porous eggs
  • Calcium and phosphorus deficiency results in reduced egg production and thin-shelled eggs
  • Poor shell quality occurs most commonly in older flocks
  • Eggshell weakness leads to loss of income due to egg cracks and breakage.
  • Hairline cracks (Blind checks) increased
  • Ungraded or second's eggs increased
  • Egg specific gravity score lower (should be above 1.080 (1.068 thin shells)

Diet or Feed Changes

  • Recent Feed delivery
  • Recent formulation / diet
  • Sometimes it is difficult to find a relationship with the diet or feed origin

 

Cage Layer Fatigue, Osteoporosis in Laying Hens show, exhibit, or manifest any of the following clinical signs happenings:

Observed Clinical Signs Happenings

ALWAYS

NEVER

SOMETIMES

Egg drop

 

 

  •  

Egg production drops gradually

  •  

 

 

Mortality above the standard

  •  

 

 

Low mortality or increases gradually

  •  

 

 

High mortality or increases rapidly

 

  •  

 

Dead birds

  •  

 

 

Dead birds in Good bodily condition

 

  •  

 

Dead birds in Poor bodily  condition

  •  

 

 

Visibly sick birds

  •  

 

 

Few visibly sick birds

  •  

 

 

Many visibly sick birds

 

  •  

 

Flock behaviour activity change

 

  •  

 

Droppings abnormalities

 

  •  

 

Respiratory abnormalities

 

  •  

 

Neurological Nervous

 

  •  

 

Lameness or unusual movements, incoordination, reluctance to move

  •  

 

 

Eyes abnormalities

 

  •  

 

Head: Comb Wattles Face Nostrils Sinuses Mount Beak Earlobes (except eyes)

 

  •  

 

Body Parts (Neck, wings, breast, abdomen, shanks, legs, hocks, feet, joints, vent, and skin, abnormalities), skinny body, retarded growth, weight depression

  •  

 

  • *

Feathers abnormalities

 

  •  

 

Feed Consumption Changes

 

  •  

 

Diet or Feed Changes (Recent Feed delivery, Recent formulation /diet, Other silo or improper storage, another feed brand)

  •  

 

  • *

Shell quality

  •  

 

  • *

Internal Egg quality

 

  •  

 

*  Sometimes has not been observed or measured  egg production drop yet or inadequacy of monitoring systems, and even the course time of the disease

*Sometimes has not been observed the relationship between any feed or diet changes and the observed clinical happenings in a flock or several other flocks or different farms

*Sometimes has not been observed or measured the shell quality changes yet or inadequacy of monitoring systems, and even the course time of the disease

 

 

 

Causing Agents
Calcium (Ca) and Phosphorous (P) deficiency or imbalance in the diet. The utilization of calcium and phosphorous depends on the presence of adequate amount of vitamin D in the diet It is defined as a decrease of normal mineralization of structural bone, resulting in increased fragility and susceptibility to fracture. Confinement of laying hens in cages has been showing to reduce bone strength significantly. The "Cage Layer Fatigue" syndrome apparently is not due to a simple deficiency of calcium but involves other etiologic factors not yet identified. Feed formulated to meet the calcium requirements of average production but not the maximum production.
Affected Systems/Organs
Reproductive, locomotor systems and liveability.
Spread
N/A
Mainly Affects
Egg production and egg quality
Solution
Supplementation of vitamin D and implementation of proper Ca and P levels and ratio in the diet. The availability of phosphorous can be increased by inclusion in the diet of phytase of microbial or plant origin.
Suggested Actions
  • Can be confirmed with clinical signs and gross lesions
  • Technical assistance recommended
  • Can be managed with feed additives, off-the-shelf medications
  • Diagnosis should be confirmed with rapid assays and/or a certified laboratory
  • Veterinary intervention is recommended

Impact on Egg quality

3

Impact on Liveability

1


Impact on Production

3

Overall Economic Impact

3



  1. Y.M. Saif. 2008. Disease of Poultry. 12th Edition. page 1137,1157
  2. David E. Swayne. 2013.  Diseases of Poultry 13th Edition. page 1222,1240
  3. Paul McMullin. 2004. A pocket Guide to Poultry Health and Disease. First Edition. page 484
  4. Steven Leeson, John D. Summers. 2008. Commercial Poultry Nutrition. Third Edition. page 218
  5. B.S, Bains. 1979 A Manual of Poultry Diseases. Editiones <Roche>, page 216

 

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