Calcium Tetany in Laying Hens

Calcium Tetany in Laying Hens

Calcium Tetany in Laying Hens

Happenings / Clinical Signs

Calcium tetany is seen in commercial layers, particularly in Non-Cage Systems from the mid-lay period.

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

 

 

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 544

Steven Leeson, John D. Summers. 2008. Commercial Poultry Nutrition. Third Edition.

Donald D. Bell, Williams D. Weaver. 2009.  Commercial Chicken Meat and Egg Production. Fifth Edition.

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