Mortality of four captive-born crested screamer chicks (Chauna torquata).

Mortality of four captive-born crested screamer chicks (Chauna torquata).

Open Vet J. 2019 Jul;9(2):120-125

Authors: Fox L, Moreno A, Bradley G

Abstract
Crested screamers, a unique, mainly terrestrial avian species native to South America, are known to have a markedly high chick mortality rate in captivity, ranging from 61% to 94%; however, there is very limited information on this species' natural history within the literature, and even less about common diseases that affect them. Four captive-born crested screamer chicks (Chauna torquata) at a U.S. zoological institution died acutely from different causes over the course of 2.5 months. Although a hands-off approach was initially taken, each chick became acutely weak on exhibit and medical intervention was deemed necessary, but proved unsuccessful in all cases. Necropsy results of the chicks revealed various causes of death, including acute Escherichia coli colitis, aspiration pneumonia complicated by concurrent gastrointestinal Candidiasis, severe dehydration and emaciation, and acute amoebic gastroenteritis. No direct associations were found between these deaths and diet or husbandry; however, the limited literature on this topic suspects inadequate husbandry and immunosuppression to be the greatest cause of chick mortality in this species. The cases presented here are consistent with this hypothesis, but further exemplify the limited knowledge of this species and the need to optimize their survivability and proliferation in captivity.

PMID: 31360650 [PubMed]