Breakthrough technique to aid research in hen syndrome
A recent study in the US looked at hen diuresis syndrome in broiler breeders. This poorly understood syndrome has emerged over the past 5 years as a significant cause of mortality in US broiler breeders. Gaining knowledge about the syndrome was difficult… until now.
The syndrome is characterised by elevated mortality, increased urine output (diuresis) and muscle weakness in the vent area. In order to study this syndrome a reliable method of collecting urine from the chickens needed to be found.
Development of surgical technique to collect chicken urine
Chickens evacuate faeces and urine together from the cloaca, which makes it difficult to collect urine not contaminate with faeces. The main aim of the study was to determine if surgical colostomy of hens would provide a means for collecting urine for analysis. The researchers have now developed a surgical technique that will allow future studies on the characterisation and cause of this syndrome in broiler breeders
Hen mortality can reach over 1% per week
The cause is unknown but is thought to be the result of a metabolic disturbance in the birds and related egg production. Affected hens are often seen straining to lay an egg, which suggests uterine contraction, is also inhibited. Related hen mortality, which can often reach 1% or more per week, is believed to be primarily the result of male aggression, which causes trauma of the vent region.
Research conducted by:
The research was conducted at Mississippi State University, Oklahoma State University and Louisiana State University. The project was part of the USPoultry's comprehensive research programme encompassing all phases of poultry and egg production and processing.
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