Web edition: September 25, 2009
Print edition: October 10, 2009; Vol.176 #8 (p. 4)
Reserpine Tranquilizes Chickens and Turkeys Calmer birds in the hen house are predicted with the development of a tranquilizer for chickens. A new product containing reserpine, a drug used to control high blood pressure and other human ills, has been developed.... Added to the chickens’ feed in very low concentrations it is said to help the chicken withstand stress. Treated chickens had a higher survival rate and produced more and higher quality eggs than did hens on a standard diet. They also are not bothered as much by crowding, social maladjustment, temperature extremes and disease. CIBA researchers claim the product is also economic because feed waste is reduced. The sedate treated chickens scratch less food out of the feeder and onto the ground. Turkeys were included in the study. The drug is said to help control ruptured aorta, a deadly affliction of turkeys.