Fatty Liver Hemorrhagic Syndrome (FLHS) is a condition that affects the liver and abdominal cavity of poultry and is typically seen in high-producing laying hens. FLHS occurs when high-energy diets are fed to birds in restrictive environments that do not provide enough room for sufficient exercise. While a few cases have been reported to affect males, studies show that high-producing laying hens are at a greater risk of developing FLHS due to increased production of estrogen from overly active ovaries. Signs of this condition can vary, but the most common symptoms are overly plump body condition, pale combs, reduced egg production, and sometimes brittle eggshells due to impaired calcium metabolism.
FLHS can be prevented by monitoring feed intake in the flock and providing enough pen space for adequate exercise. While free-choice feeding is common practice for poultry operations, there are always gluttons in every species. The average adult hen will consume approximately 4 ounces of feed per day, so this amount should be used as an estimate to monitor flock feed consumption. Exercise can be encouraged by allowing birds to free range or increasing pen space with access to fresh forage. Giving the flock access to garden, bedding, or other compost materials to scratch also helps improve body condition, as scratching not only helps to breakdown the waste into quality soil but also provides great exercise for the flock.
As always, should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our Customer Care team at 540-469-0694 and we would be happy to help you and your critters.
Leeson, Steven. Overview of Fatty Liver Hemorrhagic Syndrome in Poultry. Merck Veterinary Manual, www.merckvetmanual.com/poultry/fatty-liver-hemorrhagic-syndrome/overview-of-fatty-liver-hemorrhagic-syndrome-in-poultry.
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