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Monensin toxicity seen in broiler breeder flocks

A 42-week-old broiler breeder flock experienced extremely high morbidity and mortality after receiving feed containing monensin at about seven times the approved level for broilers, report investigators from the University of Georgia, USA.

The birds refused feed, had decreased water consumption and suffered severe paralysis ranging from an abnormal gait to a complete inability to move. During the first 10 days after ingestion of the suspected feed, mortality in hens reached over 13% and over 70% in the roosters. Hen-day egg production declined from 67% to 3% during the same time period, reports Guillermo Zavala, DVM, PhD, and colleagues, in the September 2011 issue of Avian Diseases.

Mortality returned to normal levels in hens and roosters 21 days after removal of the suspected feed, but feed consumption and egg production remained extremely low, prompting the producer to eliminate the flock, they say.

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