Keep fe­male grow­ers off lay­ers’ ra­tions

Country Smallholding - - Vet’s Forum -

Q

How long would pul­lets have to be on lay­ers’ pel­lets for kid­ney dam­age to oc­cur? What are the signs of kid­ney dam­age in chick­ens? I was sold eight to 10-week-old Light Sus­sex and a Pekin ban­tam pul­let as point of lay chick­ens. As a re­sult, my pul­lets were on lay­ers’ pel­lets for six weeks be­fore I switched them on to grow­ers’ pel­lets. I am now plan­ning to keep both pul­lets on grow­ers’ pel­lets with a sep­a­rate side dish of crushed oys­ter shell un­til they are both lay­ing. Is this the right course of ac­tion?

VIC­TO­RIA ROBERTS SAYS:

Oh dear, you won’t be go­ing back to that sup­plier again, I imag­ine. I have stated be­fore that a layer ra­tion should not be fed to fe­male grow­ers as it can cause kid­ney dam­age due to ex­cess cal­cium in non-lay­ing chick­ens. The signs of kid­ney dam­age in­clude lethargy, be­ing off food, de­pres­sion and an un­will­ing­ness to move. The ex­cess cal­cium can cause stones to form in the ureters — which is very painful. Vis­ceral gout may hap­pen too as part of kid­ney fail­ure, which is where urate crys­tals are de­posited on the ab­dom­i­nal vis­cera. This is also painful. By putting these two birds back on a grower ra­tion, you will cer­tainly be help­ing them, but I would add cider vine­gar to their wa­ter at a dose of 75ml:500ml for sev­eral weeks. Good luck.

Fe­male grow­ers should not be given lay­ers’ ra­tions

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