Are our broiler chickens in Mauritius affected with Transmissible Viral Proventriculitis ?
Some people in industry believe that Transmissible Viral proventriculitis (TVP) is affecting young broilers between 3-5 weeks of age. This observation stems from the fact that in several broiler operations, production losses during that period associated with decreased body weight gains, reduced uniformity of birds, wet litter and increase in food conversion ratio in the absence of elevated mortality ,have been observed. Post mortem examinations have revealed enlarged proventriculus with obvious hemorrhagic mucosa in about 10% of birds.
It is important to have the disease confirmed as there are several causes of non uniformity of broilers. These include deficient feeds especially grower feeds which are normally fed as from 18 days old, infectious bursal disease virus, other agents associated with the Runting and Stunting syndrome and the presence of mycotoxins in the feeds.
Feed trials comparing different sources of feeds can easily eliminate feed deficiencies as a possible cause. It would appear that based on such trials, some feeds have been incriminated. However, the only practical way to establish a plausible diagnosis is to carry out histopathology of the proventriculus. Characteristic histopathological lesions include necrosis of the epithelial glandular cells, abundant lymphocytic infiltration in the lamina propria of the mucous membrane and hyperplastic epithelium replacing the glandular epithelium (metaplasia).