An interesting theory was recently presented to us by an observer of our industry. During the past three seasons a malady has affected a great many chicks during their first two weeks of life that has been diagnosed as a kidney disease. Quite severe losses have been reported, in any event bad enough to warrant an investigation being undertaken by the University of British Columbia, so far without any great satisfaction resulting.
Our informant stated that it is only recently that our fish oils have been reinforced by synthetic vitamin D, and the period corresponds roughly with the advent of the kidney trouble. His theory is that the synthetic vitamin D, which is a coal tar preparation, may be the cause of the inflammation of the kidneys, and he cites the fact that manufacturers of the synthetic vitamins warn physicians not to prescribe them to patients suffering from any kidney complaint. He therefore concludes that there may be something harmful to kidneys and a percentage of chicks are unable to successfully handle this product. We publicize this theory in the belief that some research work would prove beneficial to the industry. It may be that a normally healthy chick would not be affected and that it is only the weak chick – that should not be alive – that succumbs to an intake of this synthetic product. We suggest that our universities undertake an investigation for the benefit of the industry.