Commercial Hy-Line W-36 pullet and laying hen venous blood gas and chemistry profiles utilizing the portable i-STAT®1 analyzer

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Abstract

Venous blood gas and chemistry reference ranges were determined for commercial Hy-Line W-36 pullets and laying hens utilizing the portable i-STAT®1 analyzer and CG8+ cartridges. A total of 632 samples were analyzed from birds between 4 and 110 wk of age. Reference ranges were established for pullets (4 to 15 wk), first cycle laying hens (20 to 68 wk), and second cycle (post molt) laying hens (70 to 110 wk) for the following traits: sodium (Na mmol/L), potassium (K mmol/L), ionized calcium (iCa mmol/L), glucose (Glu mg/dl), hematocrit (Hct% Packed Cell Volume [PCV]), pH, partial pressure carbon dioxide (PCO2 mm Hg), partial pressure oxygen (PO2 mm Hg), total concentration carbon dioxide (TCO2 mmol/L), bicarbonate (HCO3 mmol/L), base excess (BE mmol/L), oxygen saturation (sO2%), and hemoglobin (Hb g/dl). Data were analyzed using ANOVA to investigate the effect of production status as categorized by bird age. Trait relationships were evaluated by linear correlation and their spectral decomposition. All traits differed significantly among pullets and mature laying hens in both first and second lay cycles. Levels for K, iCa, Hct, pH, TCO2, HCO3, BE, sO2, and Hb differed significantly between first cycle and second cycle laying hens. Many venous blood gas and chemistry parameters were significantly correlated. The first 3 eigenvalues explained ∼2/3 of total variation. The first 2 principal components (PC) explained 51% of the total variation and indicated acid-balance and relationship between blood O2 and CO2. The third PC explained 16% of variation and seems to be related to blood iCa. Establishing reference ranges for pullet and laying hen blood gas and chemistry with the i-STAT®1 handheld unit provides a mechanism to further investigate pullet and layer physiology, evaluate metabolic disturbances, and may potentially serve as a means to select breeder candidates with optimal blood gas or chemistry levels on-farm.

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