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Sudden Death Syndrome
Flip-over Disease, Acute Heart Failure
Sudden death syndrome (SDS) is the name given for the unknown cause of chickens suddenly developing short, wing-beating convulsions that result in them 'flipping over' (hence why the condition was originally termed, 'flip-over disease'). SDS occurs in young, healthy, fast-growing, commercial broilers. Just prior to death, chickens will suddenly gasp, extend their necks, squawk, and/or flap their wings, causing them to flip over on their backs. The cause of SDS is thought to be linked to cardiac arrhythmias and/or possibly associated with a metabolic disease resulting from high levels of carbohydrate consumption.