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Cage Layer Fatigue, Brittle Bone Disease, Metabolic Bone Disease, Nutritional Secondary Hyperparathyroidism, Fibrous Osteodystrophy, Osteomalacia, Rickets
Avian osteoporosis is a metabolic bone disease (MBD) that occurs commonly in laying hens, in which it is often referred to as 'cage layer fatigue'. The reason hens are particularly susceptible to osteoporosis is related to egg laying. The formation of the eggshells require large amounts of calcium. If hens do not receive enough calcium in their diet, each time they lay an egg, calcium will be depleted from their bones instead. The condition can be made worse by metabolic deficiencies related to other nutrients as well---such as inadequate or unbalanced quantities of phosphorus or vitamin D in the diet. Heat stress can also make the condition worse because it has an affect on the levels of circulating ionic calcium in her blood.
Clinical Signs of Avian Osteoporosis
Chickens (usually hens) with avian osteoporosis have really fragile bones. Many of these birds may find it difficult to walk, and as such, are very reluctant to move. Their legs may appear slightly deformed and distorted. Others may develop sudden paralysis. These birds are at high risk of bone fractures, with the most common being their keel and leg bones.
Can actually reverse the effects quickly, however because it pulls the calcium out of the bloodstream, the bird must first be given calcium and vitamin D3. This drug can be fatal if it is given incorrectly and therefore should only be administered by a vet who has had prior experience using the drug before.
Since affected chickens are very susceptible to bone fractures, they need to be handled very carefully and kept protected from potential injury.
Treatment of any secondary complications
Such as bone fracture and deformities.
The chicken's feed needs to be evaluated and corrected accordingly, in order to ensure they are getting the proper balance of vitamins and minerals in their diet.
Ensure laying hens receive a balanced diet with extra calcium. Feeding calcium in particulates, either as oyster shell or limestone granules, may extend the period of calcium absorption during the night, which reduces the depletion of medullary bone and benefits the eggshell quality
Allow hens plenty of exercise
Oral supplementation with 20 mg/kg of ipriflavone in feed
Provide supplemental Omega 3 Fatty Acids in diet - Studies showed a significant 40 to 60% reduction in keel bone breakage rate, and a corresponding reduction in breakage severity.