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Department of Animal Sciences
The Robert H. Smith Faculty
of Agricultural, Food & Environment

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

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Complex hemograms of isolator raised specific pathogen free (SPF) chicks


Cotter, P. F. ; Heller, D. Complex hemograms of isolator raised specific pathogen free (SPF) chicks. International Journal of Poultry Science 2016, 15, 211-217.


Heterophil/lymphocyte (H/L ratio) statistics and total white blood cell counts (TWBC) determined by light microscopic examination of blood from isolator raised specific pathogen free (SPF) chicks indicated complex hemograms. Brachial vein blood (N =12) obtained at 6 wk was spread into films, air dried, post-fixed in MeOH and Wright’s stained. H/L 1 ratios were calculated by dividing all heterophil types, typical (HT) variant (HV) and classic (HC) by the number of small (resting) lymphocytes (Ls) H/L 1 = (HT + HV + HC)/(Ls). A second ratio (H/L 2) obtained by dividing heterophils by all lymphocytes (resting, reactive and atypical, (HT + HV + HC)/ (Ls + Lm) was calculated; as was the H/L 1-H/L 2 difference (ΔH/L). TWBC’s were determined from the same films. Sorting, non-random distribution of cells and atypia affected all H/L statistics. The mean H/L 1 ratio from standard differential counts (SDC) = 0.17 and H/L 2 = 0.16. Edge based ratios (EB) were  8 times the SDC values. Atypical cells were in all samples and more common in EB counts. The H/L ratios and ΔH/L calculated from SDC and EB values were significantly different (p<0.02). Collectively these observations support earlier conclusions regarding the lack of sensitivity of a single H/L ratio, without a TWBC, or consideration of atypia to estimate welfare. Furthermore, hemograms of SPF chickens reared in isolation may be complex. © Asian Network for Scientific Information, 2016.