Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/23/1995
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary: It has been suggested that a poultry medication used to treat coccidiosis in poultry may cause chickens to be more susceptible to a heart problem known as ascites, and to leg problems. A study was conducted feeding chickens this medication known as monensin, to determine if it had any affect on the chickens hearts or legs. These did not find any evidence that the medication, monensin, caused any heart problems that made the chickens more susceptible to the disease known as ascites. In addition, these data did not demonstrate that monensin caused leg problems in chickens. Overall there was less mortality in the birds that were fed the medication, monensin. These data suggest that the medication, monensin, does not play a direct role in causing heart problems and ascites in poultry, nor does it cause leg problems in poultry.
Technical Abstract: The performance of broilers reared in floor pens and given monensin in the feed at 121 ppm was compared with that of birds given no drug. Feed intake and BW gain of medicated birds was significantly lower than that of unmedicated birds from 0 to 22 d of age. Feed intake and feed conversion of medicated birds was significantly reduced, compared with unmedicated birds, from 22 to 53 and 0 to 60 d of age. Total mortality, and mortality due to leg abnormalities from 22 to 53 and 0 to 60 d, was significantly lower in birds given monensin. There was no difference in the incidence of tibial dyschondroplasia (TD) by 60 d. No differences in mortality due to pulmonary hypertension syndrome (PHS) were observed for any age period. Birds removed from pens at 28 d taht had received monensin had lower hematocrit and percentage saturation of hemoglobin with oxygen in the blood than unmedicated birds. No differences in these variables were found at 54 d. There were no differences in the right ventricle weight:total ventricular weight ratios or electrocardiogram lead II values at 28 or 54 d. The results indicate that PHS does not occur more frequently in broilers medicated with monensin.