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1 September 2018 REVIEW OF MORTALITY AND EFFECTIVENESS OF NEONATAL TREATMENT IN CAPTIVE ATTWATER'S PRAIRIE CHICKENS (TYMPANUCHUS CUPIDO ATTWATERI)
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Abstract

A retrospective study of mortality and neonatal treatment for 975 Attwater's prairie chickens (Tympanuchus cupido attwateri) was conducted from 2009–2015. Gross necropsy, histopathology, and medical records for chicks less than 8 wk of age at the Houston Zoo were reviewed and summarized. The total mortality rate was 36% (n = 352). Yolk sac infection was the most common cause of death (21%; n = 73) followed by maladaptation (19%; n = 68), musculoskeletal abnormalities (19%; n = 66), necrotic enteritis (13%; n = 44), and mucoid enteritis (11%; n = 39). Gavage feeding of a highly digestible formula was associated with a higher proportion of necrotic enteritis and a reduced occurrence of both mucoid enteritis and maladaptation. Meloxicam administration had a significantly reduced incidence of mucoid enteritis. Survival past 10 days of age, prevention of neonatal bacterial infection, and supportive treatment with meloxicam are important factors to increase chick survival and improve captive breeding success for Attwater's prairie chickens. Gavage feeding of a diet low in digestible carbohydrates has the potential for reducing disease due to necrotic enteritis in this species.

Copyright 2018 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
Lauren Mulreany, Joseph Flanagan, Christine Molter, Lauren Howard, Maryanne Tocidlowski, Stephen Werre, Stanley Vanhooser, and Michael Morrow "REVIEW OF MORTALITY AND EFFECTIVENESS OF NEONATAL TREATMENT IN CAPTIVE ATTWATER'S PRAIRIE CHICKENS (TYMPANUCHUS CUPIDO ATTWATERI)," Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 49(3), (1 September 2018). https://doi.org/10.1638/2016-0297.1
Accepted: 24 April 2018; Published: 1 September 2018
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