CAUSES OF EARLY CHICK MORTALITY

  Jeremy Riro   Jun 23, 2016   Uncategorized   0 Comment

chicksA) Effect of high brooding temperature

High brooding temperature causes the following problems:

Dehydration:
The body of young chicks comprises of about 70 % water, when temperature remains continuously high, it causes loss of water from the body, when this water loss reaches about 10% the chick die due to dehydration.

Pasting:
This is another problem of high brooding temperature in which feces become stacked around the vent area causing blockage of the vent which ultimately results in death.

B) Effect of low brooding temperature

Low brooding temperature causes the following problems:

Chilling or brooding pneumonia:
Temperature below normal causes pneumonia problem in young chicks, in which the colour of lungs become blue.

Smothering:
During low temperature chicks huddle together to maintain body temperature which results in smothering and death.

>Prevention of temperature problems:
To prevent the problems of dehydration, pasting, chilling and smothering we should adjust the brooding room temperature 24 hours before putting the chicks in the brooding room and during the brooding period. Try to maintain the normal temperature throughout the brooding period and brooding areas.

C) Effect of poisoning

Mortality due to poisoning is also high in young chicks such as;

Feed poisoning:
Fungal contaminated feed and toxic material in feed causes feed poisoning .

Salt poisoning:
Salt poisoning also causes mortality which is due to excess salt in drinking water and feed.

Gas poisoning:
High concentration of different toxic gases also causes mortality which are;

Ammonia:
It causes irritation of mucous membrane & eyes, low feed consumption, reduced growth rate, loss of cilia in the trachea , hemorrhages and death at level above 100 ppm, so its concentration should be less than 25 ppm.

Carbon monoxide (CO):
CO combines with hemoglobin to form carboxy-hemoglobin which is unable to transport oxygen. The lethal conc. of CO is 2000-3600 ppm .

Carbon dioxide:
If the conc. of CO2 goes beyond 30% ,it causes suffocation and death.

Tennin or Litter poisoning:
The ingestion of toxic material like tannin in saw dust causes mortality.

D) Effect of injuries
If chicks are not handled carefully during various operations it causes injuries and death which are; sexing, vaccination, dubbing, debeaking.

E) Starvation
Young chicks do not have fat storage to fulfill body needs during starvation, so it results in death .

F) Less floor, feeder and waterer spaces
Less floor space is another cause of mortality in chicks as over crowding causes dampness of the litter material which become a suitable site for the multiplication of micro organism, causing, coccidiosis etc. Less feeder and waterer space causes starvation and death specially in young chicks.

G) High relative humidity
High relative humidity in brooding house causes the dampness of litter material which facilitate the growth of micro organisms causing infections.

H) Predators
If brooding houses are not properly constructed against predators they also causes mortality, e.g. Rat, Dog, Cat etc.

NUTRITIONAL CAUSES OF EARLY CHICK MORTALITY

a) Water
Water play an important role in maintaining the health and performance of the birds. It acts as a transport medium for nutrients and metabolic end products. It helps in maintaining deep body temperature during hot weather.
Water play an important role in weight gain of broiler.
Water fulfill the minor deficiency of mineral like Na, Cl, K etc.

Imbalance and unhygienic water causes high mortality.

b) Effect of fat soluble vitamins deficiency
Severe deficiency of these vitamins (A, D, E & K) causes death, but minor deficiency causes cessation of growth, ruffled feather, lacrimation, rickets, encephalomalacia, exudative diathesis and anemia etc.

c) Effect of water soluble vitamins deficiency
Severe deficiency of these vitamins (B-Complex & C) causes death, but minor deficiency causes, loss of weight, poor feathering, poor growth, dermatitis, perosis, nervous signs and anemia etc.

Courtesy: Laban M Mwangi

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