How do chickens get certain vitamin deficiencies if they eat their required commercial feed and scra

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by elizabet253, Dec 28, 2014.

  1. elizabet253

    elizabet253 Chirping

    Sep 7, 2014
    My friend has 6 chickens, she had 7, one recently died. My guess is that they have vitamin A deficiency. So I'm curious as to how they would get that if they eat layers feed and scrapes from the home. They often get blood spots in their eggs, (they've been laying for over a year now so it should be rare at this point), and one of them has pretty jacked up feet (scaly mite leg) so I can only assume they all have it now since I saw this a few months ago. So My guess is both of these causes is from lack of vitamin A. I will be taking her chickens, quarantining them, and treating them. Hopefully it's not too late, but I think one of her chickens died from scaly leg mite? Even though her legs seemed fine to me, but she was losing feathers. The other chickens also law maybe 1 egg a week, I live in WA and it's been 40-50 degrees here. My 3 month old chicks sleep outside, it's warm enough for them.
  2. What are the symptoms she died from? Exactly what makes you think it is a vitamin a deficiency? Any symptoms you can think of will help to figure this out. Are you planning to worm them? I would use Safeguard.
  3. Kikiriki

    Kikiriki Songster

    May 26, 2011
    Central Florida
    I was actually just reading about this! Apparently, many illnesses and parasites cause damage to the digestive system, affecting the ability to absorb nutrients. A way to check if this is going on is to feed grains and see if any birds are passing undigested grain. Evidently this is a problem in broilers worldwide. The paper said the farmers tend to blame poor grain, but that is not really the case since so many illnesses can cause digestive problems.

    Let me find the link so you can read it in case I got anything it!
  4. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Not knowing exactly what your friend was feeding her birds, tough to tell what's going on. I can say that there could possibly be a management problem if there wasnt any attempt to treat scaly leg mites, and the same could possibly be true as far as proper nutrition goes...if this is the case.
  5. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Crowing

    Mar 6, 2008
    Northern California
    X2. OP mentioned layer feed and "scraps". Formulated feeds are so birds can get nutrients they won't find on range. If they range, eat "scraps", they may choose more of what is insufficient nutritive value. Water soluble supplements are used worldwide because what they don't eat can be received in water. A nutrient depleted bird has a weak immune system, and a weak immune system means more susceptibility to disease. Internal parasites can also create vitamin deficiencies. Moulting is especially a tough time and proper supplementation benefits them greatly. Best thing to do in the case of those birds is check them for ectoparasites and treat accordingly, supplement water/feed, deworm them since they likely haven't been.
  6. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Crowing

    Mar 6, 2008
    Northern California
    "Because stabilized dry, vitamin A supplements are almost universally used, it is unlikely that a deficiency will be encountered. However, if a deficiency does develop due to inadvertent omission of the vitamin A supplement or poor mixing, up to 2 times the normally recommended level should be fed for ~2 wk. The dry, stabilized forms of vitamin A are the feed supplements of choice. Forms that can be administered through the drinking water are available and usually result in fast recovery than medication of the feed."

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