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Kinky Back Takes Costly Toll on Broilers

29 September 2014
Zoetis

US - Broiler producers are being urged to watch for signs of kinky back, an emerging bacterial disease of poultry that can cause significant losses in birds four to six weeks of age, says a poultry veterinarian with Zoetis.

Drew Parker, DVM, a technical services veterinarian for Zoetis Inc., says infected birds often show signs of lameness and have difficulty getting to water lines, which leads to dehydration.

“Mortality can get anywhere from one to five per cent,” he told Poultry Health Today, adding that morbidity can range from 20 to 30 per cent.

And the losses don’t end there. Infected flocks are also less uniform, which causes problems in the processing plant, Dr Parker says.

Paying closer attention to flock environment – ventilation, water, lighting, litter temperature – will help “limit the debilitating problems of Enterococcus cecorum and kinky back,” the veterinarian says.

Taking measures to prevent opportunistic infections of E. coli – which Dr Parker says “will set up shop” when a bird’s vertebral column has been compromised – may help reduce the impact of kinky back.

Further Reading

Find out more information on kinky back by clicking here.

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