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?! Sudden Death Syndrome in red ranger or something different??

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by MellisaF, Nov 9, 2013.

  1. MellisaF

    MellisaF New Egg

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    Nov 9, 2013
    I went out to my coop this morning to give the chickens feed and water. I first opened the coop run door to let the chickens out. When I went to go into my coop, two chickens were sitting in the corner and I noticed that one of them looked sickly. Very lethargic and eyes closed. I brought him inside, wrapped him in a towel, and warmed him up as he seemed to be shivering. He seemed to be breathing hard as well, but no audible wheezing. Tried to get him to drink water, but he would not drink. I would say in a matter of 10-15 minutes, he started having a few jerky movements that would make him open his eyes and almost stand up. I placed him down in the bathroom and the jerky movements became more frequent. This movements would cause his legs to extend out, neck stretch, and make him flip over onto his back. Suddenly, I knew it would be the end as his body fully extended, jerking, wings flapping, and then flipping over onto back.

    I am thinking sudden death syndrome, but articles I see written on SDS say it is more sudden than what I experienced. All of the meat chickens have seemed otherwise healthy before this happened. I am watching the other chickens to make sure it does not happen in them as well. According to the articles, I am doing this that would increase the risk of SDS in broilers: 1) they are all males, 2) they are provided high-protein pellets, 3) they are allowed free-choice feed. We raised a batch of 20 back in May-July and had no such problems. These chickens are almost 7 weeks old.

    Does anyone else have experience with sudden death syndrome? Did you notice sickly birds within 1/2 hour before death? Or could something else may have lead to this bird's unfortunate demise?
     
  2. Elke Beck

    Elke Beck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This sounds more like poisoning to me. Convulsions that increase in severity until they result in death are common with certain types of toxins. Could someone have poisoned mice around you, and then the bird ate a mouse? Or are there any sources of poison around you?

    I would check with your agriculture extension office to see if they will so a necropsy to find out how your bird died. Here in California they will do it free, and even pay the postage to ship the body. And they give you a full report.
     
  3. MellisaF

    MellisaF New Egg

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    I do not believe it would be poison. We have not set any poison up for pests and we do not have any close neighbors that could be responsible. The thing is, it was acting very lethargic, eyes closed, head down when I saw it in the coop. I brought it inside and it acted the same way for the first 10 minutes or so. I thought the first time it convulsed (which was really just one "jerk" that made it stand up and open its eyes) was just because my dog was checking him out. It went right back to laying down, eyes closed, allowing its head to hang if I would not move it. It would be about 2 minutes after then inbetween these short convulsions. After I took him into the bathroom, the short convulsions were no more than 30 seconds apart until what really looked like he stroked out, whole body seizing up and wings flapping uncontrollably. It also threw up after this and was dead.

    I am just hoping there is not something that can cause my other birds to die. I have had him tied up in a bag outside and it has been cold here, so I am wondering if I can still bring him into the university to do a necropsy on him and see if there is something I need to be worried about for my other birds. The only problem is tomorrow is a holiday, so I don't know if they will be in and if I have allowed his body to set for too long.
     
  4. Elke Beck

    Elke Beck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They recommend putting the body in the freezer if there is a delay. I would go for it, just so you know.
     
  5. annageckos

    annageckos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've always heard it's best not to freeze if you are going to have a necropsy done. I have no experience with meat birds but could it have been a heart attack or something similar?
     

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