odd finding on necropsy

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by debp, Feb 11, 2015.

  1. debp

    debp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had a 10 month old pullet die suddenly today - was fine yesterday. On dissecting her, I found that her heart was encased in a thick white tissue. Has anyone seen this before or know what it is? And her liver was not looking right either. The liver is above and around the heart in this picture.

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  2. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Visceral gout?
     
  3. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What were you feeding her? If you fed chick starter at first, at what point did you change to a layer feed?
     
  4. debp

    debp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I fed non-medicated chick starter until POL at about 5 months. Until mid-Dec. I fed layer feed with 19% protein, then replaced a 1`/4 of the layer mix with scratch (which was corn, oats and sunflower crushed). They free-ranged until Dec. and are free-ranging again now. I treat with sunflower seeds, meal worms and "garden delight" - up to 1 cup of sunflower seeds in mid-winter, 1 handful of meal worms and 1 handful of garden delight per day for 15 birds. The layer feed and scratch combined is 1/4 lb./chicken/day. This bird was very fat, I thought, especially for a 10-month old pullet with a yard and free-ranging until Dec.
     
  5. debp

    debp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just read up a bit on visceral gout. Maybe. It has me questioning calcium consumption. My layer feed has calcium, of course, but my chickens always eat the oyster shell I give them. I put a light colored grit that I have trouble distinquishing next to it when they are not free-ranging, but they eat mainly the oyster shell. Will chickens overconsume calcium? I thought it was safe to give oyster shell free choice.
     
  6. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    She may have been born with a defect, and the heart grew big enough and that casing didn't stretch to accommodate.
     
  7. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I admit I don't know a whole lot about gout, but I don't think it is always caused by consuming too much calcium. It can also occur in birds that have compromised kidneys. Basically, the kidneys aren't able to remove the urates from the blood like they should so they build up in the bird and deposit on and around the organs. Lots of things can cause reduced kidney function and therefore gout, excess calcium is only one. Here's a link: http://www.hyline.com/aspx/redbook/redbook.aspx?s=5&p=36

    I too assume that the birds would be good at self-regulating their calcium intake. I wonder if there has been a formal study comparing the bone density of birds raised on a calcium-fortified diet vs. those raised on the same diet but with no added calcium and free access to oyster shell. I'd be very interested in results of such a study. I've switched from a layer feed to a flockraiser feed so my roo and young pullets aren't forced to eat calcium they don't need. I'm hoping my hens are getting enough from the free choice shells but I've not really noticed much of an increase in shell consumption. I've not noticed any change in eggshell thickness either.
     
  8. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are you thinking of constrictive pericarditis? It is not so much that the pericardium (sac around the heart) doesn't stretch but that it thickens and thereby constricts the heart. I think it's usually the result of some other condition like an infection or immune response, not a defect the animal is born with.
     
  9. debp

    debp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think it looks much more like you describe for constrictive pericarditis. It was a quite thick and tough white tissue, not a deposit. I would feel better about that - i.e., less worried it is the diet. Thanks for all the ideas on this.
     
  10. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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