Why is FLS a problem in breeders?
Even in well managed flocks, FLS occurs if there is a mismatch between energy intake and energy requirements.
- If the energy intake is below requirement, the liver will start metabolising carbohydrates into fatty acids.
These fatty acids need to be transported to the ovaries to support egg production, but if transport out of the liver cannot match the extra production, accumulation of fat in the liver leads to fatty liver disease.
- If the energy intake is above requirement, the liver does not have the capacity to metabolise the total amount of carbohydrates in the diet. This leads to accumulation of fat in the liver resulting in FLS.
FLS in breeders can occur at any stage during the laying cycle, with an increased risk at peak production and at the end of the laying cycle.