Unknown infection in broiler flock! PLEASE HELP!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by reeds16, Nov 19, 2013.

  1. reeds16

    reeds16 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 27, 2013
    I'm raising my last batch of 100 meat birds for the year and they were growing really well. I was going to have them out on pasture like I usually do, but it got really cold so I've been raising them in our barn on hay. It has decent ventilation and windows so they get natural light. I hadn't lost a single chick and got to keep the 5 extras that the hatchery sent, but a few weeks ago I found one that looked like it was having trouble breathing. The next morning I found it dead. I didn't think it was a big deal because losing 1 out of 105 is very good, but about a week later, I saw two more that seamed like they were struggling to catch their breath. I took them both out and killed them for dinner which I usually do with the weak birds so they don't go to waste. After they were plucked I made a cut near the vent to gut them and their abdomins practically popped with thick, yellow tinted liquid. Almost the whole inside of the birds were full of the gross liquid. I burried them in a pile of woodchips away from the rest of my chickens. The rest (now 7 weeks old) seamed fine until today when I got home from school. There were two more lying dead in the barn. They were both bloated and I could tell they too were full of the "mystery liquid"[​IMG]. Does anyone know what this infection could be and how to treat it? I really need to know soon because I'm butchering them all in a week and I want to know if they're safe to eat. It would be a huge waste and loss of money if I had to throw them away, plus my dedicated customers wouldn't have any chicken over the winter. Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    I really don't know your answer, but chickens can get ascites (fluid in the abdomen,) and if there is a liver problem, it is probably yellow. But I wouldn't think it would thick. Did it have a bad odor? I tried researching necropsy sites, and couldn't find an answer. Keep posting, I'm sure an oldtimer will see this.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    This may be helpful https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/785873/yellow-fluid-in-meatie and

    Here is part of an article in The Poultry Site about broilers and ascites that states that poor air circulation and lowered temperatures can cause ascites:
    Factors that Trigger Pulmonary Hypertension and Ascites

    Ascites mortality tends to be highest in the fastest growing flocks, and that incidence can be lowered by any strategy that slightly slows the overall flock growth rate. This slightly slower growth rate reduces the demand on the heart, pulmonary hypertension and ascites. The incidence of ascites increases whenever broilers are exposed to cool temperatures. Cool temperatures increase cardiac output since the bird’s metabolic rate must increase to meet the demand for body heat production. Exposing broilers to low oxygen immediately triggers an increase in pulmonary arterial pressure since the efficiency of respiratory process is reduced. When birds are chronically exposed to low oxygen levels, it tend to lead to a high incidence of ascites. The respiratory damage associated with disease, dust, or poor air quality can reduce respiratory efficiency. In addition, these conditions can partially obstruct the airways, reduce the number of vascular channels available for blood flow, thereby reducing blood oxygen, increasing pulmonary vascular resistance and pulmonary arterial pressure, and causing ascites in broilers.
    Conclusion

    Broilers susceptible to ascites are capable of outgrowing the capacity of their lungs to oxygenate blood. Factors that increase oxygen demand include: exposure to cool temperatures, low oxygen levels, and respiratory damage associate with disease, dust or poor air quality. Pulmonary hypertension and ascites in modern broiler strains may be reduced by any strategy that reduces the metabolic demand for oxygen and thus reduces cardiac output. Slight restrictions in broiler growth and providing a thermoneutral environment are two strategies that work.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013
  4. reeds16

    reeds16 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 27, 2013
    Thank you everyone for your advice! Now I know that I can keep the flock. I'm going to butcher them on Tuesday and it seams to have gone away. They look much healthier.
     

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