Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1953 Page: 20
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20 REPORT ON EXPERIMENT STATIONS, 1953
strains of market poultry. Although as much as. 1,200 International
Chick Units of D3 per pound of ration did not harm the chicks in the
Nebraska station's experiments, nevertheless, some tests have shown
that excessive amounts of this vitamin have an unfavorable effect on
growing chickens'. It is concluded that slightly more than 300 International
Chick Units of vitamin D8 per pound of ration are required
for normal calcification of the bones of broiler chicks.
Vitamin K deficiency
An experiment conducted by the Texas station has brought out the
fact that hens used to produce eggs for commercial chick hatching
should get ample dehydrated alfalfa as a source of vitamin K. From
tlhe early research carried on in this field by the California station,
dehydrated meal was shown in 1935 to be a good source of vitamin K.
But the studies also revealed that the amount of alfalfa in the diet of
the hen could influence the occurrence of spontaneous hemorrhages in
chicks fed a vitamin K deficient ration. In vitamin K deficiency there
is a failure to form prothrombin in the blood-clotting cycle of the
chick. The deficiency goes unnoticed in uninjured chicks, but if an
open wound injury occurs to a vitamin K deficient chick, the blood
will not clot and the chick will bleed to death.
The Texas experiment called attention primarily to the fact that
hemorrhages may occur during the first week of the chick's life when
the dams are not fed alfalfa or some other source of vitamin K. The
number of chicks that die just after hatching is also decidedly increased
by hemorrhaging of the navel cord. Hens from which the
chicks for the Texas experiment were obtained had been fed a practical
type of diet made up of corn and soybean oil meal plus' added vitamin
A, vitamin D, riboflavin, calcium pantothenate, niacin, choline, and
vitamin B12, along with sources of calcium, phosphorus, and manganese.
From 35 to 40 percent of the chicks bled to death within 24
hours after wingbanding.
In another test in which fishmeal was added to the basal ration, a
high percentage of chicks from hens not fed alfalfa hemorrhaged to
death shortly after hatching, either from bleeding at the navel cord
or from wingbanding when this operation was carried out.
Similar observations have been made at the Illinois, Kansas, West
Virginia, and other stations in studies in which alfalfa was not a component
of the breeder ration of laying hens. A source of vitamin K
had to be added to the rations to prevent hemorrhaging of the newly
Fur Animal Diseases
Distemper is one of the serious problems facing the mink industry
of this country. The U. S. Department of Agriculture's Fur Animal
Disease Laboratory at Pullman has been working in cooperation with
the Washington station in testing the effectiveness of live egg-adapted
distemper virus as a vaccine. It was found that this type of vaccine
provided protection more rapidly than could be expected from the
older type killed-virus vaccines. Commercial vaccines of this livevirus
type have only recently become available.
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United States. Office of Experiment Stations. Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1953, book, 1953; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5989/m1/22/: accessed March 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.