Calcium Tetany in Laying Hens

Calcium Tetany in Laying Hens

Calcium Tetany in Laying Hens

Calcium tetany is seen in commercial layers, particularly in Non-Cage Systems from the mid-lay period. Cage Layer Fatigue is another similar condition in osteoporotic birds.

Observed Clinical Signs Happenings

Visibly sick birds

  • Marked leg weakness
  • Affected birds may be recover if removed to a recovery pen, usually, after they have laid an egg
  • Reluctant to move
  • Sometimes weak birds are found on the litter (It is presumed that they are too weak to jump up to the nest box).

Lameness or unusual movement incoordination ataxia

  • Marked leg weakness
  • Affected birds show marked leg weakness but many recover if removed to a recovery pen, usually after they have laid an egg

Neurological / Nervous

  • Paralysed birds are found on the nest. Sometimes weak birds are found on the litter (It is presumed that they are too weak to jump up to the nest box)
  • Paralysis in severe cases

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

  • Marked leg weakness
  • Leg paralysis

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

  • Recent formulation /diet
  • Changing to a layer diet before beginning to lay appears to predispose to this condition (happening in Broiler parent)

 

 

Calcium Tetany in Laying Hens DOES NOT exhibit or manifest any of the following clinical signs happenings:

  1. Egg drop
  2. Mortality above the standard
  3. Many visibly sick birds
  4. Flock behaviour activity change
  5. Droppings abnormalities
  6. Respiratory abnormalities
  7. Eyes abnormalities
  8. Head, Comb, Wattles, Face, Nostrils, Sinuses, Mount, Beak, Earlobes, abnormalities (except eyes)
  9. Feathers abnormalities
  10. Feed Consumption Changes
  11. Shell quality defects
  12. Internal Egg defects

 

 

 

 

Causing Agents
Metabolic disorder. Hypocalcemia. Low available calcium in the bloodstream. This indicates that the hen used all available calcium from the bloodstream in an effort to complete the egg shell.
Affected Systems/Organs
Locomotion system. Legs
Spread
N/A
Mainly Affects
Performance,
Solution
Supplementation of calcium in the form of shell grit from first egg. Vitamin D in drinking water. Increased vitamin D in the diet. Managing birds for maximum uniformity.
Suggested Actions
  • Can be confirmed with clinical signs and gross lesions
  • 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

0

Impact on Liveability

0


Impact on Production

0

Overall Economic Impact

1



Mark Pattison, Paul F. McMullin, Janet M. Bradbury. Dennis J. Alexander. 2008. Poultry Diseases. 6th Edition. Page 543

Paul MacMullin 2004. A Pocket Guide to Poultry Health and Disease. 5M Enterprises Limited. Page 93

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