Reproductive and laying disorders

image of Reproductive and laying disorders
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Modern commercial chickens and ducks are able to lay all year round. This ‘chronic’ ovulation and laying activity results in the high incidence of inflammatory, neoplastic and infectious diseases of their reproductive tracts. Aside from disorders of the female and male reproductive tracts, this chapter also covers incubation, hatching, embryo and chick mortality, care of hatchlings and common paediatric problems.

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17.1 This bird with severe ascites has adopted an upright stance to relieve pressure on its respiratory tract. (Courtesy of Ian Brown)
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17.2 Fluids administered via gavage tubing using a lamb feeder tube.
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17.3 (a–c) Intravenous fluids administered into the medial metatarsal vein.
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17.4 A dyspnoeic chicken is placed in a warm, humid environment with oxygen supplementation (in this case a commercially available intensive care/brooder unit).
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17.5 Ovocentesis is performed by (a) identifying and exposing the egg at the uterovaginal opening using lubricated cotton tipped applicators and (b) inserting a large bore needle into the exposed shell and aspirating the contents.
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17.6 Cloacal prolapse can occur secondary to dystocia, normal egg laying or a variety of disease states affecting the reproductive tract including neoplasia.
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17.7 Soft-shelled or misshapen eggs can occur due to malnutrition or infection of the shell gland. (Courtesy of Gary Mounfield)
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17.8 Uterine adenocarcinoma in a laying hen. Neoplastic cells are shed from tumours in the oviduct into the abdominal cavity. They implant on the ovary, pancreas and intestine producing multiple, hard, yellow nodules as shown. (Courtesy of Alan Wren)
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17.9 Fluid drainage of oviductal hyperplastic cyst using a 23 G butterfly catheter and three-way tap.
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17.10 Modern incubator systems use a series of timed rollers to gently turn the eggs, with appropriate heat provided topically by a warm-air-filled latex bag simulating the brooding behaviour of a hen.
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17.11 An egg is candled using a focused light source to monitor embryonic development.
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17.12 In this case drawdown is apparent with the air cell now occupying 20–30% of the egg volume.
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17.13 Chick feeders and drinkers are preferred to open dishes, which are easily contaminated by faecal material. (Courtesy of Andy Cawthray of ChickenStreet)
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17.14 Application of haemostatic clip to an unretracted yolk sac prior to removal in a newly hatched chick.
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17.15 (a, b) Splay leg in chicks can be addressed using a rubber band ‘hobble’ as shown. (Courtesy of John Squire)

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