Pantothenic acid, also known as vitamin B5, is a water-soluble vitamin that is a precursor in the synthesis of coenzyme A.
B vitamins are also needed to maintain healthy skin, eyes, liver, and for the nervous system to function properly. The NRC recommends chickens to receive approximately 2 to 16 mg of pantothenic acid per kg (0.9 to 7.3 mg/lb) of diet.
Signs of deficiency
Pantothenic acid deficiency is somewhat rare in chickens, since this vitamin is ubiquitously found in foods of plant and animal origin. Chickens suffering from a deficiency in pantothenic acid have a reduced growth rate and poor feathering. Crusty lesions develop on the corners of the chicken's beak and on their feet---outer layers of skin between toes and on bottoms of feet peel off, and small cracks and fissures appear. In some cases, skin layers of the feet thicken and cornify, resulting in wart-like protuberances occurring on the balls of the feet. The foot problem is usually exacerbated by bacterial invasion of the lesions. In pantothenic acid deficiency, dermatitis of the feet is evident over the toes, in contrast to biotin deficiency
, which primarily affects the foot pads and is often more severe than a deficiency of pantothenic acid.