Egg Industry Center

Flock Health Best Practice Review

Dr. Pat Wakenell speaking at microphone.Veterinarian Pat Wakenell of Purdue University’s College of Veterinary Medicine delivered a lively presentation on avian necropsy at the 2017 Iowa Egg Symposium. Wakenell’s full slate of colorful slides packed with her detailed narrative helped participants learn what is necessary to determine different conditions that may exist within their flock.

One of the questions Wakenell addressed was if necropsy work should be done on the farm by farm personnel or by diagnostic lab personnel. Wakenell’s experiences illustrated a need to know when something is contagious to humans as well as properly diagnosed for the welfare of the entire flock. This confirmed that in every case the job should be done by a highly-trained professional, and a third-party should be used in any circumstance involving potential ligation.

Wakenell highlighted best practices when shipping for necropsy work. These included:

  • Immediately rinsing birds in cool soapy water and placing them in the refrigerator until shipment. (Do not freeze because it damages the tissues.)
  • Sending whole birds.
  • Double wrapping in plastic or sending in leak-proof containers such as coolers.
  • Packaging with ice packs. (Use of dry ice requires a Department of Transportation certification and given the container and temperature changes can explode.)
  • Ensuring submission documentation is properly filled out.

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