Ascites is a condition that involves fluid buildup in the abdomen. There are various causes of this condition also known as “water belly” including liver cirrhosis. There are other conditions like heart failure that can cause ascites in chickens. If you’re in the poultry ore restaurant industry then you’ll want to know issues like what ascites is and whether it’s contagious. This can help to determine whether or not other chickens or humans can get this condition. If you own a restaurant, for example, you’ll want to know whether or not customers could get ascites by consuming a chicken with this condition.
While humans can get this condition it’s also possible for other animals like chickens to experience ascites. It’s still critical to know about the symptoms, causes, and treatments related to the poultry. This can help to provide the best treatments for the birds. There are some similarities between ascites among humans and chickens. However, there are still some differences. It’s important to know about them so you can deal with it effectively if you own a chicken farm, for example. This includes big issues like whether ascites is contagious among chickens. In theory, this could have an effect on your poultry farm.
What Exactly Is Ascites?
This is a condition in chickens also known as “water belly.” It’s found in various types of chickens including fast-growing ones and old hens. It involves extra fluid building up in the abdomen. This condition has become a big problem among chicken farms throughout the world.
Ascites is very common in certain situations. That includes chickens living at high altitudes and also during the fall/winter seasons due to the lower temperatures. There are various factors linked to this condition including oxygen supply, respiratory disease, and bad ventilation.
The morbidity/mortality rates can vary greatly. Up to 5% of chickens with ascites get very sick. However, the figure can be as high as 30% among chickens living at very high altitudes. During the wintertime, chickens are given high-energy diets to help provide them with enough nutrition.
Fast-growing chickens have a high BMR or basal metabolic rate. The chickens need more oxygen in order to process their high-energy diet. The heart/lungs require a high blood level. This helps to provide good body function. This is due to high energy diet and BMR.
Chicken lungs aren’t able to expand much. In addition, the lungs’ blood capillaries cannot handle extra blood pressure or blood flow. This puts extra pressure on their liver due to blood fluids leaking without red blood cells. They leak into the body and form water belly or ascites.
There are various possible causes of ascites. For example, today’s chickens grow much quicker yet by eating less food. They’re gaining weight and breast meat while the heart/lungs haven’t become larger. This results in higher oxygen requirements, which causes the heart/lungs to work harder.
This results in the heart working harder since lung-based oxygen intake is limited. Other common factors include bad ventilation and lung disease. There are many causes of oxygen deficiency.
Is Ascites in Chicken Contagious?
This isn’t possible because the condition isn’t a disease. In fact, not all diseases themselves are contagious. However, it’s important to know which ones can be passed on to other chickens or even humans who consume them.
It starts with various issues related to ascites including risk factors. Water belly is often found in fast-growing chickens. There are times the bodies grow too quickly. This places a lot of stress on the heart. This tends to happen when the chickens range from 4 to 6 weeks. That’s when they experience fast growth.
Genetics is another factor. Water belly and early heart failure can be inherited from the chicken’s parents. It’s important to avoid breeding with chickens that have ascites. That’s because there’s a chance they could pass on water belly to their baby birds.
Another risk factor is the old hens. They have a higher risk due to their older age. Their bodies’ systems start to wear down as they get older.
Other factors include extreme temperatures. It’s important to make sure that chickens/chicks don’t get too cold. Another factor that can put stress on their heart is high temperatures during heatwaves.
Yet another risk factor is high altitudes. Since the air has less oxygen this puts pressure on a bird’s heart. In some situations, the chicken farm’s location must be mountains. However, it’s an issue to think about since this could cause problems in terms of ascites.
Another issue is the amount of ventilation within the coop. If there isn’t enough airflow it can cause ammonia fumes, which might lead to water retention. So try to take care of this issue.
Another factor is diet issues. When you give your birds too much feed this can cause obese birds and stress on the liver/heart. Other issues to avoid are too much sodium/protein. Make sure to consider these issues when feeding your chickens.
Top Health Benefits of Chicken
1. Amino Acids
Besides protein, these are also important for good health. That’s because amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Another interesting issue is different kinds of meat have different amounts of the 9 essential amino acids.
So while all real meats are essential amino acids you get different aminos from chicken than fish or beef, for example. If you’re trying to build lean muscle mass, it’s also important to make sure you’re getting all EAAs.
You can get healthy fat from chicken. There’s some debate if you should consume the skin, which is quite high in fat. However, this is actually healthy fat like pork skin used to make pork rinds. However, regardless of whether or not you eat chicken skin, you can still get healthy fat from the meat.
Fat is an important macronutrient like protein and carbs. It provides several health benefits related to heart/brain health, hair, skin, etc.
You can get various ones from chicken including Vitamin B12, zinc, potassium, and magnesium. These are all important for good health. One of the keys to a balanced diet is getting all the daily vitamins/minerals needed. Animal meat is best known as a protein source although it contains several other nutrients.
This is one of the top benefits of meat like chicken. In fact, chicken/fish are generally healthier options than beef/pork. There are various reasons but one of the main issues is related to lower saturated fat. Unsaturated fat is generally healthier than the saturated type.
In fact, chicken is known as a “complete protein.” In other words, it has all the essential amino acids (EAAs) that humans need to consume daily. It’s important to get protein from different sources including meat, eggs, dairy, beans, etc. so make sure to know signs of ascites in chickens.