While the use of various pharmaceutical compounds has contributed significantly to the development of the modern poultry industry, their misuse can result in toxicity. Some of the more common drugs that can result in problems if used at toxic levels are:
- Sulfonamides - Toxicity is manifested by signs of ruffled feathers, paleness, poor growth and increased blood clotting time. Hemorrhages in skin and muscle may be noted and necrosis of the liver, spleen, lungs and kidney are often seen.
- Nitrofurans - Toxicity results in depressed growth and hyperexcitability, where chicks cheep and dash about. Enteritis and congestion of the kidneys and lungs, along with body edema and cardiac degeneration may be noted.
- Nicarbazin - Toxicity in chicks results in birds being listless and showing signs of ataxia, with incoordination and a stilted gait especially in hot weather. Fatty degeneration of the liver may be noted. The most common problem with nicarbazin is its effect on laying hens. Brown eggs will be depigmented and yolk mottling may be noted with white and brown eggs.
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