Although birds are kept for a variety of reasons, many owners raise backyard chickens for personal consumption of meat and eggs. There is some concerns that poultry can be exposed to heavy metals, such as lead, and then pass lead on to people in their eggs or meat. Poultry are most commonly exposed to lead through soil that has been contaminated by lead-based paint flakes that have come off older buildings or even…
The most widespread mineral in the body, calcium is required for normal metabolism and bone mineralization.
Calcium homeostasis is under the control of calcitonin, which is produced by the ultimobranchial gland, vitamin D, and parathyroid hormone. In laying hens, most dietary calcium is used for egg production. Rising estrogen levels promote increased intake of calcium supplements like cuttlefish bone and calcium-rich foods, however the quantity of calcium ingested daily is insufficient for the massive deposition of calcium required for eggshell calcification.
Detecting a shelled egg on physical examination is not necessarily a problem—birds lay eggs everyday! However palpation of a shelled egg is an important clinical finding that can be associated with dystocia. The egg is shelled in a distal part of the oviduct called the uterus or shell gland. Therefore a shelled egg would normally be palpable in either the…
The bird egg, sometimes called a “miracle of packaging”, can be intimidating for the avian veterinarian. This amazing structure comes with a plethora of new vocabulary terms, complex anatomy, and intricate physiology. LafeberVet’s “Understanding the Avian Egg” describes the basics of egg anatomy from the eggshell to the embryo with a brief description of hatch.
Are you confident in your medical approach to pediatric health problems ranging from constricted toes to omphalitis, but hazy on the details of incubation and hatch? Many avian veterinarians deal with aviculturists only sporadically, which can diminish your ability to extract relevant patient history. Use Aviculture Vocabulary & Concepts to quickly review common breeder concepts and terms, so that you are better able to focus on your patient’s medical care.