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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Maheswar Rath Maheswar Rath
BVSc &AH,MVSc &AH,poultry science, Ph.D. Poultry science
January 17, 2012

when the farmer do not see water belly condition in Leghorn chicks at 3wk age whose genetic expected body wt is about 1250-1500gms at point of lay say 19-20wk of age .You have curtain up to 6ft when shed central height is 11ft total. so you are left some space for air movement. You are concerned about brooding cost through gas brooder. Normally in layer chicks brooding may be continued up to 8wk of age when the body wt touches about 580-620gms of wt and mostly the feathering has been complete which indicate the body can take up self body temp control which is essential. It is clarified that the oxygen needs in the shed is directly related to body wt and rate of growth, and related feed consumption which is more in broiler stocks only. However layer chicks may suffer if requirements are not provided and the requirement is low as would be seen from 8th wk body wt .

The farmer student did not get body wt- it could be due to many factor. But please ensure the feed quality with
ref to cp and ME and other factors including manage mental factors.
Also check feed intake per chicks if crumbled it may consume up to 8th week 1.7-1.8kg.

So situation may be different for low growth which need detail examination.But brooding layer chicks
up to 6-8wk age is crucial by reducing broodier level temp by 5-oF every week in deep litter system of brooding.
Finally chick will feel comfortable in room temp ie 65-70oF.
Thank you sir mr Regmi
m rath

Reply
Ganesh Kumar Dahal Ganesh Kumar Dahal
Managing Director MDH Pharmaceuticals Pvt.Ltd.
January 18, 2012
Dear Dr.Rath,

Thanks for the supplement comments !

G.K.Dahal
Reply
Bibek Bandhu Regmi Bibek Bandhu Regmi
BVSc & AH, Production Manager at Cobb Nepal Pvt. Ltd.
January 18, 2012
Dear Mr. Ganesh,
Thanks for your guidelines.
Reply
Bibek Bandhu Regmi Bibek Bandhu Regmi
BVSc & AH, Production Manager at Cobb Nepal Pvt. Ltd.
January 18, 2012
Dear Dr. Rath,
As you were concerned, the ME & CP levels of the ration are 2780 KCal/Kg & 15.8% as indicated by the software with me. These were the same for the chicks brooded 3 months earlier. Other manage-mental practices were also almost the same. Only difference is in order to preserve heat, we put overhead curtains due to extreme cold climatic condition this time. And I can distinctly notice poor growth of the chicks as compared to those which were brooded 3 months earlier. I am worried if this is the consequence of overhead curtains which wasn't there for the chicks brooded 3 months earlier. On the other hand, its almost impossible to preserve the heat inside the shed without those curtains due to extreme cold condition this time. So I am stuck in a situation of dilemma on whether or not to remove the curtains.
Reply
Bibek Bandhu Regmi Bibek Bandhu Regmi
BVSc & AH, Production Manager at Cobb Nepal Pvt. Ltd.
January 20, 2012
Overhead curtains are parallel to the ceiling (shed's roof).
Reply
January 30, 2012

Ascites-major cause would be ventillation(Poor ventillation would lead to low o2) resulting in ascites.
Most of the broilers rearing uses ration of high energy diet,for growing the bird at higher growth rate.Hence restriction of feed at 2 weeks to 3 weeks and supplementing high energy ration at finisher would help in reducing the problem.
Light control would reduce the problem

Reply
Maheswar Rath Maheswar Rath
BVSc &AH,MVSc &AH,poultry science, Ph.D. Poultry science
January 30, 2012
mr regim ji,

shed side curtain need proper management. some farmers feel to put a curtain as ceiling. Keep in mind oxygen is more important than preserving created worm environment.

- Shed height is important .shed wide is important. positioning side curtain during chick brooding time is important. the best way is to open the side curtain in the day time to proper levels and run the brooder 24hrs if the cold impact is more .
-the idea is chicks will choose the warmer zone while moving on litter according to their body condition for
therm-regulation so that body functions are not affected and growth /metabolism is normal.

-Mr regim ji , you have adopted soft ware without knowing nutritional requirement. In chick period the nutritional
requirement is -CP-20/21% and ME-is 2800-2900kcl/kg which is mandatory. Now i got your point that you
have used poor formula which has disturbed your growth. If the birds have not grown you have to continue the
chick feed with at least 20%cp and 2800kcl for more time for recovery and give ventilation. Now after 8week age
brooding requirement is less or nil.

thank you sir

thanks to author of the main subject

m rath
Reply
Maheswar Rath Maheswar Rath
BVSc &AH,MVSc &AH,poultry science, Ph.D. Poultry science
January 30, 2012

my friend ,

high density diet for broiler is not the cause of water belly -ascites -when high tech genetic stocks are used to use the benefits of quality feed needs. If we have quality chicks which can grow very fast say 30days-14kg with fcr1.5-1.6 then one should make management provisions. one side high growth chicks and high quality feed other side poor ventilation may not match and ascites has to come. So reducing feed is the solution after ascites not before. It is because all vital organs have been damaged due to ascites and we cannot feed then feed of even 20cp and 2900kcl. so post ascites condition one is bound to modify feed to less protein diet .
Closing light is a method to restrict feed consumption but bird adopt to any light schedule.
thanks for the opportunity to discuss due to main author of the subject.

m rath

Reply
Bibek Bandhu Regmi Bibek Bandhu Regmi
BVSc & AH, Production Manager at Cobb Nepal Pvt. Ltd.
February 4, 2012
Dear Maheshwar Rath ji,
The CP was actually 18.8%, but I mistakenly happen to report it as 15.8%. Anyway, I can understand that it is quite low. Also, the ME seems to be lesser than what you have recommended. I've already corrected the CP & ME levels as per your suggestion. The climate is getting warmer, so the overhead curtains are also completely removed now. Let's see their impact on growth. I will be updating you.
I am very much grateful to you for your constant concern and beautiful suggestions. I look forward learning a lot from you in days to come. Thank you very much.

Regards
Bibek Bandhu Regmi
Reply
Hedza Hedza
Poultry farmer
September 4, 2014
Thanks Ganesh i know its an old article but really relevant to my present crises, my broilers are 5 weeks old and they have this Ascites (Water Belly. is there anything i can give them at this late stage so that they i can save them. by the way am in Zimbabwe and we are in late winter
Reply
Ganesh Kumar Dahal Ganesh Kumar Dahal
Managing Director MDH Pharmaceuticals Pvt.Ltd.
September 4, 2014
Dear Mr.Hedza,

I have had enlighten brief note on preventing Ascites (Water Belly) which you must have gone through. However following steps may help you to reduce problem in broiler chickens:

# Reduce ammonia level in your farms by treating litter immediately.
# Manage proper ventilation adequately.
# Provide low protein diet.
# Reduce percentage of salt (Sodium Chloride) in feed ration. Salt should be < 400 ppm. Also check sodium level of water supplied.

Hope these tips will help to sole your problem.

Thanks,
G.K.Dahal
Reply
ravindra ravindra
Veterinary Doctor
January 9, 2015
There is no way to escape acities except proper ventilation and proper heat managment. as we manage temperature by closing curtion down, ventilation and oxygen is reduced. winter needs more expenses on brooding. I agree Dr Rath sir
Reply
Ganesh Kumar Dahal Ganesh Kumar Dahal
Managing Director MDH Pharmaceuticals Pvt.Ltd.
January 9, 2015
Thanks for your comment Dr.Ravindra !
GKD
Reply
Emeka Ogazi Emeka Ogazi
Poultry farmer
January 11, 2015
Experience reveals high ammonia has gas from the fermented droppings in brooding room with intense heat force the chicks to have water accumulation in their belly. “LIITERON” is the answer.

Elder Ogazi Emeka
+2348068598809
Reply
Ganesh Kumar Dahal Ganesh Kumar Dahal
Managing Director MDH Pharmaceuticals Pvt.Ltd.
January 17, 2015
Yup Mr.Emeka Ogazi ! Liiteron can help you reduce Water Belly (Ascites) problem from your poultry farm as it curbes out Ammonia gas which is a major factor for this condition.

Thanks for your comments !

GKD
Reply
July 30, 2015
I'm a learner in this field of poultry, what could be the remedy for Ascites (water belly) in broiler chickens? They're dying in numbers. Thank you.
Reply
Ganesh Kumar Dahal Ganesh Kumar Dahal
Managing Director MDH Pharmaceuticals Pvt.Ltd.
July 31, 2015
Dear Mr.Simwale,

Following steps may help you to reduce problem in broiler chickens:

# Reduce ammonia level in your farms by treating litter immediately.
# Manage proper ventilation adequately.
# Provide low protein diet.
# Reduce percentage of salt (Sodium Chloride) in feed ration. Salt should be < 400 ppm. Also check sodium level of water supplied.

Hope these tips will help to solve your problem.

Thanks,
G.K.Dahal
Reply
Asitbaran Mandal Asitbaran Mandal
Animal Nutritionist
July 31, 2015
1. Try to maintain brooding temperature, and do not allow the birds for any type of suffocation during brooding period. Avoid any smoke (carbon dioxide production) in the shed.
2. Avoid overcrowding, wet litter condition and reduce ammonia production through proper management and dietary manipulation (low protein and optimum lysine to arginine ratio).
2. Add sodium bicarbonate in diet.
3. Reduce light hours and nutrient density during starting phase (14-21d of age).

Reply
DR.ASHWIN MAHURKAR DR.ASHWIN MAHURKAR
M.V.Sc in Animal Nutrition
August 1, 2015


Dear Sir
Kindly check the calorie : Protein ratio in feed
and control ammonia level in sheds
Also take care of brooding during chicks stage to reduce problems of Ascitis
Reply
Atef Abou Zead Atef Abou Zead
professor of viral poultry diseases
August 1, 2015
This condition can reduced by :
-control of ammmonia
-added betain,vitamin E,selenium, argenin and sodium bicarbonate
to ration

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