Nutrients: Signs of Excess

In general, there is very little room for providing excess amounts of those nutrients that make up at least 0.1% of the diet.6 In some cases, as little as a 50% overage can result in toxicity.6 Trace minerals are the next most likely candidates for toxicity, as feeding 50-100 times the requirement may lead to health complications.6 The fat-soluble vitamins, particularly vitamins D and A, are the next most toxic to overdose, followed by the water-soluble vitamins.6 Nutrients which are unlikely to be toxic include: thiamine, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, folic acid, potassium, cyanocobalamin (vitamin B12), and vitamin C.5 The table5,7 below explains some of the signs and health problems that result from overdosing various nutrients.

Nutrient
Overage
Signs of Excess
Protein
~
  • Weight loss/poor weight gain
  • Gout
  • Behavioral changes (feather picking, rejection of food, regurgitation)
  • Death
Fat
~
  • Obesity
  • Fatty liver infiltration
  • Diarrhea
  • Oily feathers
  • Antherosclerosis
Vitamin D3
4-10 × requirement
  • Gout
  • Increased calcium absorption & bone resorption
  • Hypercalcaemia
  • Mineralization of soft tissue
  • Polyuria
  • Nephrocalcinosis
  • Hypercalcification
Vitamin A
20-100 × requirement
  • Weight loss
  • Decreased food intake
  • Swollen/crusted eyelids
  • Inflammation of mouth and/or nares
  • Decreased bone strength
  • Dermatitis
  • Yellow pigmentation on the sole of the feet
  • Hepatopathy
  • Hemorrhaging
Vitamin E
100 × requirement
  • Decreased growth
  • Anemia
  • Decreased bone mineralization
  • Decreased liver storage of vitamin A
Vitamin K
1000 × requirement
  • High mortality
  • Anemia
  • Hyperbilirubinemia
Niacin
10 × requirement
  • Pruritus
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Vasodilation
Pyridoxine (B6)
50 × requirement
  • Decreased egg production
  • Infertility
Choline
2 × requirement
  • Increased mortality
  • Decreased use of vitamin B6
Calcium
2.5% of diet
  • Nephrosis
  • Visceral gout
  • Renal gout
  • Hypercalcemia
  • Hypophosphotemia
  • Decreased food intake
Magnesium
20 × requirement
  • Decreased growth
  • Decreased egg production
  • Decreased egg quality
Manganese
20-50 × requirement
  • Iron deficiencies
Selenium
50 × requirement
  • Decreased weight gain
  • Weight loss
Selenium
100 × requirement
  • Decreased egg weight
  • Decreased hatchability
  • Dermatitis
Copper
50 × requirement
  • Decreased growth
  • Hepatopathy
  • Death
Zinc
10-20 × requirement
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Decreased food intake
  • Anemia
  • Decreased bone mineralization
  • Depression
Phosphorus
2 × requirement, or if present in greater than the 2:1 calcium: phosphorus ratio
  • Decreased performance
  • Decreased calcium absorption
  • Nutritional secondary hyperparathyroidism
Sodium
5-10 × requirement
  • Decrease in growth
  • Loss of appetite
  • Poor feathering
  • Polydipsia
  • Excessive thirst
  • Polyuria
  • Edema
  • Dehydration
  • Mortality
Iron
~
  • Reduced performance
  • Eventual development of hemosiderosis
  • Possibly hemochromatosis (change in skin pigment)
Iodine
1000 × requirement
  • Antithyroidal or goitrogenic effects
  • Growth affected
  • Egg production affected
  • Hatchability affected
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