Vitamin deficiency signs

Vitamin A deficiency

Signs of a Vitamin A deficiency may not show in an adult bird for several months, depending on the amount stored in the liver. Day old chicks may show signs after seven days, but if adequate reserves of Vitamin A are passed down from the breeder hen, this period may extend to several weeks.

  • emaciation, weakness, ruffled feathers
  • drop in egg production and hatchability
  • increased embryonic mortality in incubated eggs
  • watery eyes

In chicks

  • growth retardation
  • loss of appetite
  • drowsiness, weakness, incoordination
  • ruffled feathers

Vitamin D3 deficiency

Required for the normal absorption and metabolism of calcium and phosphorus.

  • loss of egg production
  • poor shell quality -even if calcium and phosphorous is available
  •  osteoporosis

In chicks

  • Retarded growth and severe leg weakness
  • soft and pliable beaks and claws
  • difficulty in walking
  • rickets

Vitamin E deficiency

In chicks

  • cerebral softening (encephalomalacia, or crazy chick disease)
  • weakening and wasting of the muscles (muscular dystrophy).
  • tremors
  • oozing of fluid from cells and tissues.

Vitamin K deficiency

In chicks

  • Impairment of blood clotting
  • subcutaneous and internal hemorrhages

Vitamin B12 deficiency

In chicks and growers

  • reduced weight gain and feed intake
  • poor feathering

Niacin (Nicotinic Acid) deficiency

A deficiency can only occur is there is a deficiency of tryptophan

  • general weakness
  • loss of appetite
  • diarrhea
  • reduced egg production

In chicks

  • bowing of the legs
  • dermatitis on head and feet
  • enlargement of the ankle joint (tibiotarsal)
  • black tongue in 2 week old chicks
  • retarded growth

Pantothenic Acid deficiency

  • reduced egg production
  • reduced hatchability

In chicks

  • brittle feathers
  • reduced growth and feed intake
  • dermatitis affecting the corners of the beak, underneath the beak, and the feet

Folic Acid deficiency

  • poultry are more susceptible than other farm animals
  • poor feathering
  • slow growth
  • anaemic looking white and waxy comb

Biotin deficiency

  • dermatitis of the feet and skin around the eyes (similar to pantothenic acid)
  • perosis (retarded growth and deformation of leg bones)

Vitamin B6 deficiency

  • loss of egg production
  • loss of fertility
  • reduced apetite

In chicks

  • retarded growth
  • anaemia
  • dermatitis
  • nervous movements of the legs

Vitamin B1

  • lethargy and head tremors
  • neuromuscular disorders
  • star gazing, and weakness
  • convulsions
  • anorexia
  • polyneuritis (inflammation of the nerves)