Attention! This is a potentially life-threatening condition for your bird and/or flock. Time is of the essence, contact your veterinarian immediately.Find me a Vet
Heart failure (HF) is suspected to become increasingly more common in older chickens, especially in breeds developed by the commercial poultry industry such as broilers. Broilers are most at risk of HF as a result of their unnaturally fast growth rate coupled with their excessively large body mass relative to the size of their organs, particularly related to their respiratory system and heart.
HF occurs when the bird's heart can no longer cope with pumping the full amount of blood needed in each heart beat. When HF occurs, it may only affect the right ventricle (known as right-sided heart failure) or the left ventricle (left-sided heart failure), or both. The associated clinical signs observed in affected chickens vary depending on the affected portions of the heart. When chickens have left heart failure, they usually develop signs relating to having a more difficult time breathing and show reduced exercise tolerance. Chickens with right heart failure are more likely to develop ascites and a build up of excess fluid in their abdomen or cause an increase in size of the liver.