Sudden Death Syndrome
The "Poultry Plague"...
What is SDS?
AKA the "Flip Over" Disease... SDS is a fatal condition in which the metabolic rate of the average broiler chicken spikes. The cardiovascular stress that the spike causes arryhythmias, (irregular heart beat/ unusual or unsteady cardiovascular muscle contractions). These can occur up to three days before the broiler's body loses control of itself and ultimately, fails.
What causes SDS?
There are two suspicions concerning the cause of SDS... The first of these is serving high-density feed. The demand for Broiler Chicken's is very high, so they need to be produced and raised in a timely manner. In order to keep up with the demand, ranchers try to "Speed up the process" by serving the stock high-density feed so that they will "Grow and mature faster." But that isn't the result if they develop the disease. It is known that a metabolic spike causes the heart to "work overtime" and causes the chicken to die. The theory in question is "what causes the metabolic spike". The second suspicion is that this disease is genetic, but there is no direct evidence that explains why this abrupt condition would happen so spontaneously, or why it is untraceable.
How can you prevent SDS?
Since it's cause has only been hypothesized, there is no guarantee for success of any precautionary measures. But, it can't hurt to look into the family history of your stock or to be patient in your animals growth and choose a low-density feed.
Is SDS contagious?
There is no research backing SDS to be contagious. So long as we know, the disease in a single chicken will not affect the rest of the stock.
Are there any warning symptoms of SDS?
There are generally no premonitory signs of SDS. Any indication of SDS is usually microscopic (Literally) and can not be noticed by the bare eye.