3 Causes of Leg Disorders in Broiler Chickens
We can’t avoid that broiler chicken is highly potencial to infected by disease. The unnatural growth to provide high population in short time is one of the causes of this problem. But the symptom of one disease is also contributed to this legs disorders. Some diseases showed leg disorder as main symptom like virus or bacterial infection. This legs disorders also caused by genetic and the character. Some effort of the farmer which wants to raise the broiler chicken quickly is also contribute in this problem. Here are 3 causes of Leg Disorders in Broiler Chickens you need to know.
1. Bubble foot
This disease also known as bumble foot disease. This legs disorder is mostly attacking broiler chicken in 25-40 weeks old. It caused by skin that is torn or injured. Injured skin usually occurs on the soles of the feed caused by sharp wire or bamboo cage, so that joint inflammation occurs on the soles of the leg. This is initially seen on one leg but if it continues, it can be seen in the joints of both leg. This disease categorize as 3 stages:
- Wounds in the damp of the broiler chicken and also red mark arising in some time at the front. This stage can be overcome by giving cream at the leg of broiler chicken.
- Red part at the leg of the broiler chicken is increasingly widespread. As a result, the chicken leg became unstable. This stage can be overcome by using antibiotic.
- Bumble foot appearing with a large size can cause the broiler to become paralyzed if not handled from the start will result in death.
The result of bumble foot disease is the weight of broilers has dropped dramatically in 1-2 weeks since the appearance of infection, no appetite, and the leg can’t function properly (lameness), broiler chickens are threatened with unproductive.
For prevention, avoid the broiler chicken from getting foot hurt, especially if broiler chickens are in the cages that used by wood, bamboo, or wire. Avoid until there are not sharp objects around the area that it provided by broiler chicken. Sharp objects are the main enemies of broiler chicken. If the broiler chicken that you maintain uses sawdust for the base (as a substitute for husk), examine the quality of the sawdust, avoid until there are not many sharp pieces of wood. But if broilers start getting this disease, separate the chicken broiler into other cage for quarantine.
2. Dry feet
This legs disorders mostly caused by heat stress or stress over hot season. This case is mostly happen in the middle of summer time which the weather is so hot and the cage construction unable to reduce it.
The factors that caused this disease are:
- The number of minimum place isn’t balance with the number of broiler chicken in a cage
- No appetite because the brooding condition uncomfortable
- In the hatchery step, the pull chick process is too long
- The way from hatchery to cage location is too far and the temperature inside the car box isn’t ideal. The road condition is also contributed.
When summertime, the chicken’s body is tried to outing body heat by doing panting. If it is not balanced by providing enough drinking water, the chicken will become dehydrated. Stressed chickens due to heat will be difficult to breath by panting and their wings open. If this situation is not immediately addressed so that the ambient temperature exceeds the ability of the chicken’s body to adjust as a result the chickens as if choking can even experience death by flooding (like flying). This is because the breathing process becomes very difficult so that the chicken lacks oxygen. This condition also infected to their leg. The leg become so dry and sometimes peel skin and ended with lameness and paralyzing.
You can give vitamin and electrolyte by water drinking and if needed drop it into their mouth. You have to reducing cage density. The density of the cage for broiler chickens that are kept in hot areas should be 6-8 tails per meters or reduced by 10% from the usual state. This is to increase the opportunity of broiler chicken to get oxygen so that the chicken can be breath properly. The age should have a good air circulation system so that air quality remains good. In addition, the temperature of the cage is relatively fresh. A gap of 20-30 centimeters at the top of the cage wall will ensure good air circulation. The width of the cage should be no more than 7 meters, if it more you can add more fans or blowers. When in hot temperature, the broiler chicken will increase consumption of drinking water. This aims to maintain body fluid balance. The drinking water provided should be clean and fresh.
3. Pigmentation leg
Have you ever seen there is white broiler chicken had black leg? Or have you ever seen pale chicken feet? If you ever seen it, that because pigmentation inside their body. Well the healthy one is the yellow pigment. The pigmentation process will make some colors to broiler chicken feet. There are many results by this pigmentation, based on the food that giving to the broiler chicken. The pigment comes from a feed that we often call the name xanthophyll. However not necessarily when the xanthophyll content in high feed can be ascertained the color of the feed will be yellow. There are other factors influenced the process of absorption of these pigments in the body of broiler chicken:
- The raw material for pigment sources on feed is quite a lot including yellow corn, CGM, alfalfa leaf flour, marigold, DDGS, and algae. The more ingredients used in the feed, the higher the yellow pigment content in the feed.
- Formulation of feed. If xanthophyll of raw material is insufficient, substitution with carophyll reed, charophyll yellow, oroglo, or citranxantin can be an alternatife to meet the lack of xanthophyll in feed.
- Management condition of broiler chicken. For pigmentation problems, lighting is believed to be quite influential. Dark cages will increase pigmentation. Differences in strain and age can also make the yellow color on the legs and beaks different. Older broiler chickens have more pigment deposits in the legs, beaks and skin. This is because it takes time to deposit pigment in the body. At least it takes 21 days to get the desired color in the broiler. Excessive xanthophyll administration does not always add to the yellow color, because the pigmentation process is also influenced by pigment deposits in the body. Some diseases are also known to affect the pigmentation process in broiler chickens including coccidiosis, enteristic, Eimeria sp infection, gastrointestinal infections and parasitic infections.
- Feed condition. Feed is a mixture of various types of raw materials, as discussed above each raw material has different xanthophyll pigment content. Different pigment (xanthophyll) sources also have different abilities in terms of pigmentation. Zeaxanthin in corn is more dominant in influencing skin color compared to lutein from alfalfa flour.