Broiler producers should be on the lookout for three emerging clinical conditions, Philip Hammond, partner at Crowshall Veterinary Services, told the conference.

Enterococcous septicaemia has stood out in the past six months, he says, presenting initially at three to 12 days. “You tend to see birds stargazing, or with twisted necks.” Mr Hammond reported up to 4% flock mortality and, after five days, a spate of endocarditis and wry-neck. There can also be an increase in spinal abscesses.

Myopathy has also been on the increase over the past two years. Mainly found in older birds, post-30 days, it is detected at processing. Affected birds have “hard, white pectoral muscles”. In some cases, 10% of a flock are affected, though only one breed at the moment, said Mr Hammond.

Finally, Mr Hammond described a hypoglycaemia complex affecting birds. Presenting between 14 and 30 days, the birds have increased mortality for around three to five days. “Sometimes mortality can be up to 5%.” The birds display nervous symptoms, such as tremors, and post-mortem examinations can reveal orange to pink tissue and a streaked appearance to livers and kidneys.