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Dr. Bob
Dr. Bob, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 7940
Experience:  35 years in practice
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2 week old chicks, high mortality, crops seem full and have

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2 week old chicks, high mortality, crops seem full and have air in, ? cause
Hello, I'm Dr. Bob.
I'm sorry to read of your loss of chicks. Are these primarily cocks? Have you noticed them showing any other symptoms like extending of their necks, gasping or squawking, wing flapping, leg pumping, or flipping onto their backs before dying?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

They are mainly cocks, vast majority of birds seem well but small %age are not very active and crops are full - some feel full of solid food and other crops seem bloated and swollen

Okay, thank you, Katrina.
Although there are a few other conditions that may cause the symptoms you've described, by far the most likely is "sudden Death Syndrome" (SDS). If you would open one or more of the deceased chicks, you should find feed-filled crop stomach and intestines, bloating, bright red lungs, pools of fluid between ribs and lungs in the pleural cavity, an empty gall bladder and sometimes mottled looking liver, kidneys and muscles. The cause, unfortunately, is unknown, but high-carbohydrate feeds and rapid weight gain are suspected. The mortality rate is 100 percent in affected birds, and usually 5% or less, of the flock.
You may be able to cut back on losses by not feeding for rapid weight gain, using low-intensity lighting, and avoiding sudden noises and other disruptive stimuli. Another condition that shows the sudden deaths seen with SDS is "Round Hear Disease". You can read more detailed accounts of these conditions online by googling their names. If you should have further questions, I'll be glad to answer them for you.
Best regards,
Dr. Bob
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