Ascites (Water Belly) in Broiler Chickens

Ascites (Water Belly) in Broiler Chickens during Winter Season

Published on: 12/20/2011
Author/s : Ganesh Kumar Dahal (Guybro)
Ascites (or water belly) is a condition of fast growing broiler chickens in which the excess amount of ascitic fluid accumulated in the abdominal cavity. It has become major concern to the poultry industry around the world. This condition is extremely common in high altitude & more particularly during winter / cooler season. Ascites is associated with inadequate supply of oxygen, poor ventila...
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Dr.D.Desinguraja Dr.D.Desinguraja
Animal Nutritionist
December 20, 2011

The addition of the Betaine in the diet may partially reduce the ascites in broilers.

Reply
August 9, 2018
Is the chicken with water belly edible
Reply
Irshad Irshad
Student
August 11, 2019
Dr.D.Desinguraja sir ...I need ur number ...As we have (poultry) birds are facing the issue called ascites...pls help me out sir...
Reply
Ganesh Kumar Dahal Ganesh Kumar Dahal
Managing Director MDH Pharmaceuticals Pvt.Ltd.
December 20, 2011

Dear Dr.Desinguraja,

Thanks for your supplements.

There are some literatures available which state that no significant effect of supplemented betaine was found on water consumption and excreta moisture. There was a negative correlation between excreta moisture and dietary added betaine at 42-d (p
Although betaine can be used to spare some cholin, betaine was recently reported to be less bioavailable and less efficient at maximum growth than cholin supplementation alone.

There is no iota of doubt that betaine has strong potential as an additive in poultry diet however its role to reduce ascites (water belly) condition in broiler if any documented would be beneficial for all concern.

Regards,

G.K.Dahal

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Dibesh Thapa Dibesh Thapa
Director
December 21, 2011

Dahal sir,

Good article about ascites (Water Belly) in Broiler Chickens. Now a days in Nepal, most of case is found in clinic is water Belli i.e. Ascites. first medicine of this is to aware farmer about ventilation.

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Irshad Irshad
Student
August 11, 2019

Dibesh Thapa Can you please suggest the best medicine for Ascites? I need it as in our birds are facing Ascites. Please help me out, sir.

Reply
Douglas Choto Douglas Choto
Veterinary Doctor
December 21, 2011

We have also observed ascites as a result of respiratory damage during brooding, either due to high or low temperatures or massive flactuation.

Reply
December 21, 2011

Dear Sir,
Thanks a lot for your nice presentation. but i have 2 more questions. 1. about microscopic finding, how cartilage nodules increased in the lung? 2. Most of the broiler birds Cobb500 rared in Bangladesh & Ascites is most common. Which breed is genetically not susceptible to this condition.

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Maheswar Rath Maheswar Rath
BVSc &AH,MVSc &AH,poultry science, Ph.D. Poultry science
December 21, 2011

I found the winter season is more contributing Ascites in broiler chicks and make good losses for the farmer. I have observed the main reasons for such water belly situation is not a winter effect it is the management mismanagement. If any farmer has to floor broilers on deep litter or cages has to ensure oxygen availability to shed or cross ventilation. Farmers have poor electric source or poor gas brooder source which compel them to keep the shed side curtains completly close. Even curtains are not opened after morning. In the 1-2wk age the day time curtains are to be made open completely for cross ventilation which demand a effective brooding equipment which will create or maintain brooding areas temp like 90-95degree F or 30-35 degree centigrates. In case of EC houses there is provisions for continuous ventilation but in open type of sheds which are normally seen in asia should have ventilation while making brooding. So ventilated brooding is the demand. If growth is 40days 2.4-2.5kg bwt with fcr of 1.7-1.8 then there is need of the breed to get oxygen adequetly. So is the height of the shed also important . I feel winter has to be handled for better growth in the bird. dr m rath .

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Arshaq Ramzee Arshaq Ramzee
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
December 22, 2011

Natural Betaine has certainly help to improve osmosis or movement of fluids between tissues, synthetic betaine HCl has a negative effect as it is manufactured through chemical reaction oi HCl, which is corrosive in nature thus destroy epithelium, supporting Ascites. Natural Betaine,has ability to increase the length of villi in intestinal walls thus increasing the surface to absorb more nutrients and water, it also decrease the production of mucin.

I strongly recommend use of natural Betaine with feed that will help to reduce the symptoms of Ascites in broiler.

Reply
December 22, 2011

Good article Ganesh,we seen alot of ascites in winter as well. This is more common with the back yard poultry guys. Thank you all for your educative contributions.
Luka.

Reply
Dr.kedar Karki Dr.kedar Karki
M..V.SC.Preventive Veterinary Medicine with specialization on mycotoxin management in livestock and poultry
December 22, 2011
ramro lekh rahechha mycotoxin management na gare k hunthiyo hai
Reply
Dr. Naseem Chaudhry Dr. Naseem Chaudhry
Consultant
December 22, 2011
I agreed with author, it all related to management chore, particularly at the time of winter minimum ventilation. But another thing which also create this problem, that is mycotoxins.
Reply
Ganesh Kumar Dahal Ganesh Kumar Dahal
Managing Director MDH Pharmaceuticals Pvt.Ltd.
December 22, 2011

Dear Dr.Mohammed J.Kadir,

I would like to enlighten following:

1. Cartilaginous or Osteo-cartilaginous lung nodules are most commonly encountered In Broiler Chickens after the age of 3 weeks. They are divided into Hyaline Cartilaginous, Mineralized Cartilaginous and Osseous. Their localization is in the parenchyma of pulmonary lobules at a distance from large air ducts or blood vessels. The causes are unknown. The condition is largely prevalent in chickens having survived an Ascites episode.

2. It will be better to differentiate ascites susceptible breed as per the experience scores of the particular territory. However, studies suggest that a post hatch fast growth rate may induce a higher incidence of ascites sensitivity as previously reported by Buys et al. (1999). Breed selected for rapid post hatch growth increases broiler sensitivity to ascites.

Dewil et al. (1996) showed that ascites-resistant broiler hatched earlier than more sensitive ones, and that this is linked to the higher thyroid activity in the resistant line. Ascites sensitive birds are believed to be limited in their thyroxin production (Scheele et al., 1991, 1992)

Thanks a lot for your comments !

Reply
Ganesh Kumar Dahal Ganesh Kumar Dahal
Managing Director MDH Pharmaceuticals Pvt.Ltd.
December 22, 2011

Dear Dr.Kedar & Dr.Naseem,

You people are right ! Ascites may develop secondarily to some infections and intoxications. Hepatotoxins usually increase the susceptibility; Shlosberg et al. (1997) found increased ascites in birds with ocratoxin intoxication.

Hence Liver enlargement is often seen as sign of ascites along with other prominent signs of ascites conditions.

Thanks for the supplements !

Reply
Atul Rajput Atul Rajput
Veterinary Doctor
December 24, 2011

Dear Sir,
First of all thank you for the article.
In north India Ascites is a major problem during winter season. Along with ventilation, strong brooding, ammonial level in shed is also to be checked regularly. Restricted feeding in severe outbreaks of Ascites has poven beneficial to reduce the mortality.
Also Vitamin E & Selenium along with Liver tonic helps to improve the condition.



Reply
Dr Jaydip Mulik Dr Jaydip Mulik
Master Of Veterinary Science & Master of Business Administration
December 27, 2011

Dear Mr. Ganesh,

Thanks for providing the excellent general theoretical tips on one of the major Poultry metabolic disorder i.e. ASCITES. Every fast growing bird fed with dense feed is get this problem and now its not only concerned with high altitude. Its better to check out the productivity over different feed formulations at a field level Viz. it better to compare" high potential breeds with dense feed having less morbidity/mortality problems of ascites" with "choosing low productivity potential breeds with less dense feed having no problems of Ascites"

I hope your second part of this article will be continued with actual field study stating the differential Economics.


Regards,

Dr Jaydip

Reply
Ahmad.salahi Ahmad.salahi
Student
January 8, 2012
when you mentioned level of sodium must decrease to 400 ppm. it is difficult and not practical suggestion. in normal ration we regulated 0.25-0.3 % then 0.04 % ( your idea) is probably not good suggestion.
Reply
Ahmad.salahi Ahmad.salahi
Student
January 8, 2012

whats your idea about effects of consumption water temperature in chicken house? for example some farm supply water from reserves from out of house and consumption water nearly 12- 14 during winter and cold month. maybe this factor is important and effects on increase of ascite in broiler flocks.

Reply
Maheswar Rath Maheswar Rath
BVSc &AH,MVSc &AH,poultry science, Ph.D. Poultry science
January 9, 2012

- the only cause of water belly broilers seen it due to oxygen deficiency in the shed, which need to be attended carefully with optimum brooding and ventilation.
-Salt toxicity is not a problem associated although it can lead to ascites. Actually salt we say Na sodium and normally it is 0.16-0.2Percentage in poultry ration.
-water quality is not the issue .
-mycotoxin may not cause the water belly so extensively rather mcotoxicosis would increase mortality % other symptoms.
-flocks showing water belly in broilers are going to disturb the economics of the flock and early corrections may be helpful to save partly .
-best growing broiler demand more oxygen than low growing broiler or common birds so the difference. we can control such situation if we have brooding equipments and related ventilating provisions.

This issue seems to be important all over where open housing system of broiler is practiced.
Thanks sirs
rathm

Reply
Ganesh Kumar Dahal Ganesh Kumar Dahal
Managing Director MDH Pharmaceuticals Pvt.Ltd.
January 9, 2012

Dear Dr.Rath,

Thanks for expressing the same opinions. Good ventilation management for proper fresh air circulation in the poultry shed avoiding temperature misbalance & controlling ammonia formation will be Key to reduce Ascites problem. Other vital points also need to look into for over all precaution against Ascites.

Regards,

G.K.Dahal

Reply
Bibek Bandhu Regmi Bibek Bandhu Regmi
BVSc & AH, Production Manager at Cobb Nepal Pvt. Ltd.
January 16, 2012
thanks for such a beautiful article.
we have layer farm in nawalparasi district. in order to conserve heat, this winter we put overhead curtains at a height of 6 feet (the shed is 11 feet high). we have just completed the 3rd week of brooding today. though we haven't yet noticed the condition of water belly, we are highly concerned about the poor growth of our chicks (as compared to the same stage of brooding during the month of ashwin-kartik). is it the consequence of our overhead curtains?
the temperature remains low even during day time due to SHIT-LAHAR.
can u please give some guidelines about what other measures we can take in order to conserve heat.
also, too much consumption of gas this season has made a big economic hit on us. could you please explain about when will it be appropriate to turn off the brooders.
WITH BEST REGARDS
BIBEK BANDHU REGMI
Reply
Ganesh Kumar Dahal Ganesh Kumar Dahal
Managing Director MDH Pharmaceuticals Pvt.Ltd.
January 17, 2012

Dear Dr.Regmi,

Thanks for the compliments !

As you are aware, under the normal brooding schedule; temperature is reduced 5°F each week. At the 5th week of age, chicks maintain their own body temperatures if the room temperature is kept near 75°F (24°C approx.) degrees.

In ecological cold wave problem like yours, insure adequate warmth in this season by using the higher brooding temperature; when cold night use curtain arranged by you in the house, chicks are likely to have enough warmth.

With growing cost on energy consumption day by day, a strong emphasis must be given to brooder management & operation. Following tips may help to conserve energy:

? Use dry litter materials treated with litter conditioner like “LIITERON” @ 1 Kg per 100 square feet to reduce ammonia problem & bacterial load of litter.
? Place brooders near the centre of the house. This reduces heat loss through walls.
? Use the correct brooder height, as recommended by the brooder manufacturer.
? A solid brooder guard keeps thermal balance closer to the brooder area.
? Check the accuracy of brooder thermostats & thermometers to ensure proper heat for the chicks.
? Brood the maximum number of chicks under each brooder, but should not be overcrowded.
? When desired temperature is achieved, practice to turn off every other brooder. The remaining brooders help prevent problems if internal house temperature drops suddenly.
? Check the comfort zone of chicks several times each day, especially in the evening.

We must remember that for healthy poultry house environment, the “KEY” is to get maximum oxygen level from environmental air and water supply. Do we have oxygenated water supply system?

Regards,

G.K.Dahal

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