Stunted chicks under investigation
Results of an investigation into the cause of mysterious
growth stunting in chicks in Guyana are expected soon, according to Guyana
officials and dealers.
Poultry farmers in West Berbice and other parts of the country have been
left with four-week-old chicks the size of two-week-old ones - and with no
A poultry industry representative in the affected area said he was almost
certain that the problem was not related to a nutritional deficiency in the
The West Berbice source said he had seen cases in recent weeks where
farmers had responded to the stunted growth of their chickens by giving them
various nutritional supplements.
â€œIf it was merely a case of nutritional deficiency in the feed, the
supplements would have corrected the problem. But even after ingesting these
supplemental doses, or receiving them by injections, the birds showed little or
no progress. In short, they gained a lot of feathers but no weight,â€ he
He feels the problem may be related to the supply of eggs from which the
birds were hatched.
If this was the case, he added, it would not simply be a matter of them
being bad eggs in the normal sense since bad eggs don't generally hatch.
But it could be more of a problem of regression within the genetic
structure of the egg itself, leading to the failure of the chicks to grow after
hatching, he offered.
said it has sought assistance from overseas agencies to
test specimens of poultry to determine the cause, while a large poultry company
had brought in a veterinarian from Miami in the US to help.
Results of the investigation are expected soon.
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