New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Unthrifty chick

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I have a month old salmon favorolles pullet chick. She was growing and thriving quite well until two days ago. She is now lethargic, off her feed and water, has one eye closed and her beak does not close normally. When she does try to eat she goes through the motion but does not really ingest much food. Her beak is strange. The bottom is shaped differently than the other chick of same age and breed. It has a slight convex shape in the middle instead of concave. This makes it appear like she can't fully close her beak. One eye is fully open, bright, clean and normal. The other is just closed. It did have a bit of sleep type discharge, a very very small amount. I cleaned that up but the eye does not want to be open and remains mostly closed so I cannot really evaluate the eye itself. When she does show interest in eating it is pretty unenthusiastic. Her feathers are slower in coming in than her flock mates and she is smaller. They do not pick on her or isolate her. Does anyone have any ideas what is afflicting her and what I should do? They are all still in brooders in my house. I keep everything very clean and fresh food and water available at all times. I stopped providing electrolytes a couple days before this problem appeared. None of the other 19 chicks are showing any symptoms. Thank you.
post #2 of 11

Can you post some photos of her and the beak?


It sounds like she may have cross beak. This can make it hard to eat. She may need a deeper dish so she can scoop her food.

You may have to try to clean the eye again, flush it with saline and if it looks irritated, put some vetericyn eye gel or terramycin ointment in it.



post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thank you. I hope the pics are attached. If not I will try again from a different device. I suspected cross beak but wasn't sure because it doesn't cross over, more like it is too long on the bottom to close. It looks normal from the front. I tried to gently close her beak with my fingers but it does not close so I know she is not just holding it open. Her eye is better today, not completely well but better. I put the electrolytes back in the water.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 





Pictures of my little chick that is just not doing well. She does drink and go to the food but is not very successful. I think she is giving up trying.

post #5 of 11

I'm sorry, she doesn't look like she feels well at all.

Could be having a hard time eating. In the past did she seem like she was able to eat/swallow her food  and water ok, or has she always had a bit of trouble.

Most of the electrolytes for chicks have vitamins as well, if yours doesn't try adding vitamins as well. You may also want to see if she will eat watered down chick starter, most chicks like it.

post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
She was happy active and eating fine until about three days ago. She did seem to hang under the brooder lamp and sleep more than the others but that isn't necessarily abnormal by itself. My electrolytes do have the vitamins as well. She is way behind feathering out and the size difference is getting greater everyday. I will try some mash for her and see if that perks her up at all. If I separate her will she be alright by herself or should i move a sibling too?
post #7 of 11

You could try separating her. If she doesn't seem too stressed by it. I know you are doing your best. If she is way behind, she could be a developmental (genetic) "defect" that just may unfortunately overtake her.

It's possible it could be coccidiosis. Is your chick starter medicated or not? You may want to treat her for cocci, that way you can rule it out as a possible cause of her decline.

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thank you. I really appreciate your advice. She is improved today. More active, chirping quietly, eyes brighter, and a full crop. She is not completely well but is better. The electrolytes and vitamins seem to have given her a little boost. I have watched her eat and drink. She is changing the way she does that and it is getting easier for her. My food is non medicated and she has spent her entire life so far indoors so I doubt cocci is the culprit but if she declines again I will try treating her for that. From what I read, if I put her on medicated food she would need to be exposed to the ground to be effective. Or am I misunderstanding the article?
post #9 of 11

If she is responding with vitamins/electrolytes, it's most likely not cocci. So I'm thinking vitamin/mineral deficiency. She may not be processing the nutrients like the others are. If she continues to improve, then you are hopefully on the road to recovery. I have provided a couple of links about vitamins. The one by Tillysnest also lists what foods have certain vitamins as well.


Cocci can be found in the soil and/or feces. Most medicated chick starters have a small amount of  amprolium which is a Thiamine blocker. If she has not been outside, she may not have come into contact with cocci yet, though some chicks can still get it while still in the brooder. Once you let them outside, if any symptoms of cocci present itself it can be treated (most of the time quickly and easily) with Corid which you can get at the local feed store - just dose the whole flock - it's mixed into their water.

post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
She is still continuing on an upward path. I am watching her close. If she needs more growing time inside before going out with the rest I have no problem giving that to her. She is quite personable and likes the attention she is getting. I assume I will not want to hatch eggs from her since this is a genetic disorder. That is fine. I have another Favorolle that is sound. Does anyone know how common cross beak is and is it breed specific? Is it a recessive or dominant trait or is it more complicated than one set of chromosomes? Can it be successfully bred out of a flock? If there is a chicken genetics book out there that would shed light on these questions, i would be very interested in acquiring it. How old does she need to be before I start trimming her beak to improve her quality of life and health? Thank you very much for your advice.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home