Water Supply Deprivation or Acciden ...

Water Supply Deprivation or Accidental 48-hours Cut in Laying Hens

Water Supply Deprivation or Accidental 48-hours Cut in Laying Hens

Laying hens need a constant water supply or production will drop. Usually, the mobility of the flock decreases and birds may show signs of depression and weight loss. (1, 2, 5)

The effect of an accidental 48-hour cut in water supply in laying hens production dropped very quickly to virtually 0%.  Most birds that resumed production within 28 days achieved normal output for the age and there was an indication of improved shell quality. (1, 2, 5)

Production may drop as much as 30% when hens are deprived of water for 24 hours, and it may take as long as 25 to 30 days before production returns to normal (1, 2, 5)

In older hens, excessive water restriction may limit the amount of feed ingested (3)

Observed Clinical Signs Happenings

Egg drop

  • Egg production declines rapidly
  • Production dropped very quickly

Visibly sick birds

  • Many visibly sick birds show signs of depression

Flock behaviour

  • Decreased flock mobility or activity

Body Parts

  • Weight loss or weight depression

Feed Consumption

  • Feed intake reduced

Shell quality

  • The ungraded or second's eggs increased
  • Thin-shelled and soft-shelled or porous eggs
  • Ungraded or second's eggs increased
  • Egg specific gravity score lower (should be above 1.080 (1.068 thin shells)

Water Supply Deprivation or Accidental 48-hours Cut in Laying Hens DOES NOT show or exhibit or manifest any of the following clinical signs happenings:

Egg drop

  • Egg production drops gradually
  • Mortality above the standard
  • Few visibly sick birds
  • Increase flock mobility or activity
  • 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, abnormalities (except eyes)
  • Feathers abnormalities
  • Feed intake increased
  • Diet or Feed Changes (Recent Feed delivery, Recent formulation /diet, Other silo or improper storage, another feed brand)
  • Internal Egg quality
Causing Agents
Cut of water supply accidentally. A deterring factor in water
Affected Systems/Organs
Whole Body, Kidney
Mainly Affects
Liveability and Egg Production
Water supply immediately
Suggested Actions
  • Can be confirmed with clinical signs and gross lesions
  • Can be dealt with in house
  • Technical assistance recommended

Impact on Egg quality


Impact on Liveability


Impact on Production


Overall Economic Impact


  1. Y.M. Saif.2008.Disease of Poultry. 12th Edition. page 1150
  2. David E. Swayne. 2013. Diseases of Poultry 13th Edition. page 1235
  3. Mark Pattison, Paul F. McMullin, Janet M. Bradbury. Dennis J. Alexander. 2008. Poultry Diseases. 6th Edition. Page 538
  4. Paul McMullin. 2004. A Pocket Guide to Poultry Health and Disease. First Edition. page
  5. Steven Leeson, John D. Summers. 2008. Commercial Poultry Nutrition. Third Edition. Page
  6. Donald D. Bell, Williams D. Weaver. 2009.  Commercial Chicken Meat and Egg Production. Fifth Edition. Page 118-119
  7. Gail Damerow 1994. The chicken Health Handbook.

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