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Poultry Feeds & Nutrition

Causes for Fatty Liver Hemorrhagic Syndrome

This problem is commonly referred to as Fatty Liver Hemorrhagic Syndrome. It results when large amounts of fat is deposited in the hen's liver and abdomen. The liver becomes soft and easily damaged and is more prone to bleeding. The liver contains many blood vessels that rupture easily during egg laying, resulting in massive bleeding and death.

When laying hens are fed diets containing high levels of dietary energy the hens tend to deposit excess energy as fat deposits in their bodies, especially the liver. The problem is more common when feeds containing high levels of corn or other high energy ingredients is fed. Therefore, it is not advisable to feed chopped corn as the sole feedstuff to laying hens.

The condition is most often seen in birds that appear to be healthy and in a state of high egg production. Non-laying hens will not eat as much of the high-energy feed and therefore are not affected as much as high producing hens.

The problem can be prevented by feeding complete layer diets that contain the proper amounts of all nutrients. Corn is an excellent ingredient for poultry diets, but should not be fed as the only feed for hens. Therefore, do not feed corn as the only feed or in combination with complete feeds.

A more detailed discussion of the condition, its cause and prevention is discussed in Diseases of Poultry under the topic of Miscellaneous (Nutritional) Diseases.