Post-mortem assessment of poultry health requires both identification and classification of the severity and chronicity of lesions. Such assessments are essential for deciding the necessity for treatment or its withdrawal. Poultry meat inspection and routine necropsies are also complicated by subclinical as well as hidden inflammatory processes which result in decreased production. Measurement of changes in the plasma levels of hepatic acute phase proteins in mammalian species is known to give an indication of the stage and severity of inflammatory processes as well as identifying inaccessible lesions. For poultry, several papers have been published on the plasma changes of some acute phase proteins in association with some common poultry diseases and general inflammatory processes. Some have corresponded well with the severity and stages of lesions. It is suggested that measurement of such proteins could be used to complement routine necropsy findings. Understanding the chicken acute phase response, major acute phase proteins present, and their advantages and shortfalls as markers of inflammation, is paramount to the achievement of these goals.