Nutritional Deficiencies

A nutritional deficiency can arise simply due to a nutrient being omitted from the diet, or due to interaction between nutrients or between nutrients and antinutritional factors. Such conditions are difficult to diagnose because, on analysis, the diet is found to contain a normal level of the suspect nutrient. Micronutrients are often packaged into premixes, so it is rare to see classic individual deficiency signs—rather the effect is a compilation of many individual metabolic conditions. In many instances, a correct diagnosis can be made only by obtaining complete information about diet and management, clinical signs in the affected living birds, and results of necropsies and tissue analyses.

The composition of individual ingredients in a diet is variable; some nutrients are comparatively unstable, while others are unavailable in their natural form. A diet that, by analysis, appears to contain just enough of one or more nutrients may actually be deficient to some degree. Stress due to bacterial, parasitic, or viral infections; high or low temperatures; low humidity; or drugs may either interfere with absorption of a nutrient or increase the quantity required. Thus, a toxin, microorganism, or other stressor may destroy or render unavailable a particular nutrient that is present in the diet at normally adequate levels.

Only deficiencies occurring in practical diets in the field are discussed below.
1. Mineral Deficiencies

2. Vitamin Deficiencies

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