Chickens live an average of 5-8 years as many of you know and are prone to experiencing ovarian cancer. Naturally, pullets start laying eggs around the age of 5 months and continue to lay; depending on their breed; anywhere between 200-400 eggs until they turn 2 years old.
At the age of 2, hens in their natural lives will tend to lay around 200 more eggs. Work on ovarian cancer currently available in egg-laying hens starts at the age of 2.
It is then when hens start to become vulnerable. By far the greatest risk factors it comes down to are the fact that the more eggs you produce in your lifetime, the higher the risk of ovarian cancer developing.
The risk factors in backyard chicken for ovarian cancer
Laying of eggs
During the conduction of an experiment, some hens were given a progestin injection. This hormone stops the development of the laying of eggs. Not unexpectedly, this therapy has been shown to reduce ovarian cancer growth by 90 percent.
A researcher, in another study, analyzed wild-type bird’s verses of birds whose ovulation had been inhibited. Similar results have been seen that research has enabled the correlation of higher egg-laying rates with a higher risk of ovarian cancer2 development.
Researchers examined a caloric diet restriction when studying diet which causes a decrease in the number of hens-produced eggs. In this study, they discovered a fivefold decrease in ovarian cancer development.
In addition, about 64 percent more eggs were produced by the chickens who had an unlimited diet. For another test involving hens, some were fed a diet consisting of a four-year diet supplemented with 10 percent flax seed.
These hens showed a decrease in ovarian cancer severity and incidence. By the way, flaxseed is what the commercial egg companies feed their hens into the eggs to get Omega-3 fatty acids.
Ultimately, one thinks that having a diet high in soybeans will effectively turn on genes associated with reproductive cancers. Soy is rich in plant estrogens called isoflavones (phytoestrogens).
Genetics / Characteristic breeding
Genetics, in the end, play a key role. As you know, chickens are valued for their eggs, and sometimes the more successful a hen is to the farmer or chicken keeper, the higher her value. Often we hear stories from folks who mostly hold chickens for their eggs.
Their flocks are then turned over every two years or so. With commercial farmers, this is the same practice. For example, at approximately 18 months of age, egg-laying hens in factories are considered gone. As a consequence, for the typical backyard chickens, hens were selectively bred to produce eggs, up to 240 eggs per year on average.
Ways of preventing ovarian cancer in your backyard chickens
One of the first signs for them is that they’ll start walking with a broader gait. Their legs turn up farther apart. Subsequently, they feel like a water balloon when you sense their bellies.
Unfortunately, it’s hard to say at first because, under all those feathers, they can cover everything. A daily examination of their abdomen can aid in fluid assessment.
Also, hens do not have treatment for ovarian cancer. Yet there are some things that can help. Perhaps those steps could curtail ovarian cancer growth.
- Consider buying breeds which are not strong layers of eggs.
- Enable hens to have a natural break from laying eggs in the winter.
- Omit artificial lighting to stimulate egg-laying within the chicken coop.
- Enable the hens to go broody as this also requires rest periods for an egg-laying.
- Consider injecting flax seed into your diet.
- Try restricting the caloric intake. (About 1/4 of a cup of chicken feed per day/hen)
- Consider feeding your flock an option that is soy-free.
- Find alternate sources of protein other than soybeans for your flock.
- Consider reaching out to the major national chicken feed suppliers and asking them to develop/provide a soy-free or flax seed-including feed.
- Weigh organic to prevent exposing your flock to needless pesticides, and harvest by-products like glyphosate (a recognized carcinogen) and GMOs (genetically modified organisms).
- Increasing the free-ranging variety of your flock and complement their diet as well.
Where to buy Chickens in Akwa Ibom State
Since chicken is the only meat that has no negative health conditions, you can always use it to prepare any local and continental dishes of your choice. In Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria, you can buy chickens from sofreshchikens.
Uyo, The Akwa Ibom State capital:
Number 215 Udo Umana Street opposite Akpan Andem Market, Uyo
Oron, Akwa Ibom State:
Number 27 Market Square by Aba Street, Oron, Akwa Ibom State
The safe handling practices listed above are not the only ones, if you know more, you can feel free to share with us in the comment box.