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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 29026
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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I have 6 chickens that are 8 months old now which I had

Customer Question

Hi. I have 6 chickens that are 8 months old now which I had ordered back in May from an online hatchery. About a week and a half ago one of them died. Out of nowhere the chicken had started being lethargic not eating or drinking and had a yellow green diahhrea. When I picked her up to bring her inside away from the other chickens I noticed a very pronounced breastbone and how thin she was. She died on the third day after the symptoms were noticeable in her. The other chickens seemed ok but I've noticed their breast bones a little pronounced and some have white streaks like they are having diahhrea but not as bad as the one that has died yet. The vet opened the diseases bird and noticed an extremely enlarged liver but we have not sent it off yet for testing bc she wanted to see how the other birds do first. Should I send the bird off to be checked out? Or is there anything I should do? Also I just read on chlamydiosos, would that be a potential disease I should check for or be concerned about with the symtpoms?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

To answer you directly, yes, a full necropsy is very important particularly because you have 5 other chickens who might be treated once you find out what killed this one. Hepatomegaly (enlarged liver) can arise secondary to both bacterial and viral infections, parasitism, and cancers (lymphoid leukosis, Marek's disease). Fatty liver is possible but rarely seen except in caged layers eating overly rich diets. Chlamydiosis is just one of many infections that can affect the liver and when clinically apparent usually causes respiratory symptoms.

You'll know best how to proceed once the necropsy report returns. Remember to refrigerate - not freeze - a newly dead bird or a bird sacrificed by you. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.