Visceral Gout

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Galaxie_Man, Nov 20, 2007.

  1. We've lost two of our chickens to visceral gout. This was determined by necropsy done at the University of Connecticut Bio-Pathology Lab at Storrs, CT. They went downhill very fast when this happened, and they died a couple of weeks apart. A good explanation can be found at the following link: which is what got me to thinking how and why this happened. We had no problems when we were feeding them chick grower, only when we switched to layer pellets since they were due to start laying. The layer formula we are feeding is approximately 3% calcium which should be OK according to the doctor at UConn my wife spoke to. That is, providing they have fully functioning kidneys. What I think may have happened is this: because they were raised in a cardboard box chicken condo in my basement, as I was building the coop, they used to kick up a lot of litter into their waterer. So much so that it was filled with wood chips by the end of the day, even though it was raised off the floor of the boxes. We tried to keep the waterer filled, but this would happen while we were at work for the day, and we would come home to it filled with litter again. I'm afraid the lack of water during the day may have damaged their kidney's, un-beknowst to us until we changed feed. I guess next time I will have a different arrangement for the waterer to prevent the litter problem. I posted this info for any feedback on this potential problem, and to possibly alert others to learn from my mistake.
  2. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator

    Sep 25, 2007
    Galaxie - thanks so much for posting this - I'm sure it wasn't easy, and we can all learn so much about chickens in this way. I'm very sorry for your loss!
  3. Something else to add, this did not affect all the chicks from that batch, only two (four died due to other known circumstances). The rooster and one hen that are left seem fine, and she started laying. She's one of those EE's and lays what looks like giant robin eggs (blue).
  4. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    Jan 11, 2007
    probably due to the fact that some birds are just more "shy" than others and the more agressive ones will keep them from the waterer.
    One solution for this is to have a piece of watermelon or cantelop and put the starter in the hole (make one in the watermelon) and place this at the opposite end of where the feed and waterer is...the chicks that do not dare (or are bullied away) can eat the moistened feed and the fruit will provide some hydration. you can also add a bit of live culture yogurt.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2007
  5. I got the official necropsy report in the mail yesterday, and will be scanning and posting the report here for all to see. I can't do it right now as I am on standby at the firehouse, but hopefully over this weekend.
  6. Last edited: Dec 26, 2007
  7. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    I'm sorry you lost your birds. I don't know much about the causes of gout in chickens, so I Googled it to read a little more about it. I thought this page was interesting. Here is a link, in case you would like to read it.

    I hope you don't have any further problems. It's so hard to lose them, after you've cared for them and watched over them.
  8. picklespickles

    picklespickles Songster

    Oct 27, 2007
    hang in there.

    that watermelon probably would help. mine LOVE it.
  9. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    Jan 11, 2007

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