ACUTE DEATH SYNDROME: Flip-over disease causes serious mortality in broiler chickens.

Flip-over disease usually affects the larger and rapidly growing broilers that are between 3

and 5 weeks old. The condition can also affect small farm flocks.


• Birds are often found dead on their backs, legs stretched out behind them, and

their necks extended forward. Occasionally, a dead bird is found on its stomach.

• There is rarely any sign of sickness prior to such deaths but some people have observed

a bird, which appeared to be perfectly normal, suddenly squawk, jump into the air, and

land on its back.


The cause of flip-over disease is still obscure. Heart attacks and enterotoxaemia have both

been suggested as causes, but neither theory has been substantiated


Decreasing the light intensity in broiler houses, thereby slowing down the birds’ activity

appears to reduce incidence of flip-over disease. Other than keeping the birds as calm as

possible, there is very little that can be done to prevent flip-over in broiler flcks.

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