NECROPSY: Sudden seizure-like death in bird, stood still and puffed up, found asleep in the coop (Warning, graphic!)

azygous

Crossing the Road
Dec 11, 2009
20,987
27,419
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Colorado Rockies
No. Starter feed does not cause liver damage over such a short, short term. Starter (chick) feed actually has lower percentage protein than an all flock or grower feed. I feed all flock to my new chicks, and have been for years, without any related health issues. Many people dispense with chick starter and feed all-flock feed to the entire flock all the time. The only feed with a marked difference in protein is layer but it's much too high in calcium for chicks. All the other feeds have only a one or two percent difference in protein between them.
 

Phantom_k9

Chirping
Oct 29, 2019
204
180
96
North Texas
My Coop
Ok, thats good to hear. I had a mini heart attack when I saw that.

I'm still going to move away from starter-grower feed into layer feed or all flock, but its good to know that the feed didn't get him
 

azygous

Crossing the Road
Dec 11, 2009
20,987
27,419
992
Colorado Rockies
Gout is rare, but when it occurs, it's often from feeding a diet too high in minerals in addition to high protein. That can happen when people put vitamins and electrolytes or copper sulfate in the water on a continual basis to deter crop yeast.

Sticking to a balanced commercial feed and dispensing with extra supplements is the best way to prevent these kinds of health problems.
 

Phantom_k9

Chirping
Oct 29, 2019
204
180
96
North Texas
My Coop
Just got off the phone with the vet at the lab. He gave me two (three technically) possible reasons why this bird passed (one of which could also be what the other rooster is dealing with).
1) Marek's disease: I'm hoping this isn't the case, because if so there isn't anything I can do.
2) Fatty liver / too much sugar (or as he called it, "energy"): Essentially going back to the feed problem, explaining the pale liver.
3) He could have some sorta infection, but as with option 1 I either need to do more digging (which I will) or I need to send in samples to either confirm or rule this out.

If it is idea #2, then that means that this guy had a fatty liver from the Layer feed, which caused his health to decline and ultimately flat line. Personally, I hope this is what happened. If so, then that is something I can handle by changing up the flocks feed. We are currently feeding them layer feed, with a bit of medicated start and grow. However, roos are not suppose to eat layer feed, as they do not need all the calcium and "energy". As a way to test this, we are going to have to keep our afflicted roo separated from the flock, and only allow him to eat "all flock" or any regular feed other than layer. If he improves, then we have our smoking gun. If not, then I'm stumped and will blame this on SDS (which is unlikely).

However, if he DOES improve, how do I go about changing the whole flocks diet? I thought about going for all flock feed, while giving the birds the option to eat egg / oyster shells, but would that work?

I am still debating on if I should send in samples, as I don't want to spend more money than I have to, especially if I am just going to get a confirmation that the food was at fault or that it IS Marek's. Like I said, I will do a bit more digging, and I will post more pictures here, along with any updates on the other roo, or anything I hear from the lab.

If I have seen anything in the process, it is that I am not the first to have such a mysterious death like this on my hands. I would hope that this process will yield some results that others can use to either understand what happened to their own bird, or to prevent it from happening in the first place. Thank you all so much for the tips and advice, and I will keep yall updated!

None of this explains the worm though...
 

azygous

Crossing the Road
Dec 11, 2009
20,987
27,419
992
Colorado Rockies
So many questions. Have you asked how much a simple DNA test on a tissue sample for the main avian viruses would cost? If it comes back positive or "likely", then you might assume dietary causes by default.

Edited:
My brain did it again. I meant if the test come back negative for avian viruses, then you might suspect dietary causes.
 
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Phantom_k9

Chirping
Oct 29, 2019
204
180
96
North Texas
My Coop
So many questions. Have you asked how much a simple DNA test on a tissue sample for the main avian viruses would cost? If it comes back positive or "likely", then you might assume dietary causes by default.
I did not, I am going to call them again so I will make sure to ask
 

Phantom_k9

Chirping
Oct 29, 2019
204
180
96
North Texas
My Coop
MORE NECROPSY PICTURES

I did end up cutting into the intestines, here are the pictures
IMG-2886.JPG
IMG-2888.JPG
IMG-2889.JPG
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IMG-2890.JPG



I also went ahead and cut into the liver and the heart, got a better view of the kidneys, and tried to get a view into the trachea...
IMG-2892.JPG
IMG-2894.JPG
IMG-2896.JPG
IMG-2898.JPG
IMG-2900.JPG



I didn't see anything here that would lead me to believe that he had an infection or worms, but I could be wrong...
 

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Chickenman MAN

Chirping
Oct 25, 2020
364
262
90
United Kingdom South Devon
Wh
MORE NECROPSY PICTURES

I did end up cutting into the intestines, here are the pictures
View attachment 2391985 View attachment 2391986 View attachment 2391988 View attachment 2391987 View attachment 2391989


I also went ahead and cut into the liver and the heart, got a better view of the kidneys, and tried to get a view into the trachea...
View attachment 2391990 View attachment 2391991 View attachment 2391993 View attachment 2391995


I didn't see anything here that would lead me to believe that he had an infection or worms, but I could be wrong...
Is that yellow gunk View attachment 2391994 anything to be concerned about?
 

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