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Hp! Sick 4 week old chick

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Yesterday when I sent down in the basement to feed, water and clean the crate of my 11 four week old chicks, one of them was just laying on the bottom of the crate with everyone else walking all over her.  I removed her from the crate and brought her upstairs and placed her in a box with a heat lamp.  Yesterday I fed her every two hours, first it was just water with electrolytes and probiotics, then started with wet cat food mixed with the medicated water.  Today she is eating the food from a lid, however, she still is not standing - AT ALL.  I hold her to eat and as soon as she is done, I place her the box and she just falls over.  I've been scouring the internet to find any possible solutions to making her better and now I am worried about Maerk's.  She did get a vaccine before I got her for the disease. I don't want her to suffer and I don't want the rest of the flock to get sick.  Does anyone have ANY suggestions on what possibly may be the problem or solution??

post #2 of 9
Dehydration or coccidiosis can cause weakness and sometimes lameness. Is she having runny stools with mucus or blood, hunched, acting sleepy or lethargic, or not eating much? At her age, she could have coccidiosis, which is best treated Corid (amprollium) in the water. Dosage is 1 1/2 tsp of Corid powder to a gallon of water for 5 days. If she is perking up with electrolyte water, then it may be just dehydration. An injury or a vitamin deficiency could also be a possibility. Are her toes curled under, or does she sit on her hocks (elbows?) Mareks does not often strike at 4 weeks, but usually later. It could be possible, but I would continue vitamins and electrolytes.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

It seems like she's had a stroke (if she were a human).  She has no strength in her legs at all.  She can't stand, her right wing droops.  If I hold her up, she eats good. But as soon as I let her go, she just collapses.  Her toes are curled up unless I place them on the ground (in an attempt to get her bear some weight). :(

post #4 of 9

Make sure that your chick vitamins contain riboflavin (vitamin B2) and keep trying to get her to drink. Her symptoms still can be from vitamin deficiency and dehydration. Is she drinking or having runny poop with mucus or blood? You can put some paper towels down to better see what her droppings are like. If you think it is coccidiosis, then the sooner she starts on Corid the better her chances of survival. It still could be Mareks, but since she was vaccinated, I would try her with vitamins or Corid. Riboflavin (B2) deficiency causes curled toe paralysis. Occasionally some chick vitamins don't contain B2 riboflavin, so read your label. Poultry Nutri-drench does not contain B2.

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

The electrolytes I'm using does have B2 in it - I checked.  Started the Corid.  She is definitely eating much better.  Seems to have no interest in the water.  Still have to force that in a syringe.  I am mixing the food with the medicated water.  Besides the water that is in her food, is 2cc of medicated water every 2 hours enough to be giving her?  Should I be forcing more?  Her droppings are pretty formed today, compared to yesterday when they were just really runny.  There doesn't seem to be any blood or mucus in it today.  (see picture below).  Still not able to stand but she seems to want to, now moving her legs, just can't seem to bear any weight on them, can't seem to control the movements. 

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 

Today she really is no better.  Still eating good, however, she is not standing at all, just laying on her side.  Now she seems to have "tremors" when she's laying down.  Have increased the water to 5cc every two hours (with 5 cc mixed into her food) but she still has no interest in drinking - just eating.  So I have to use a syringe to get the extra medicated water into her.  Not so sure she's going to survive - I just don't want her to suffer. :(

post #7 of 9
I am sorry that she is getting a bit worse. There is a disease called avian encephalomyelitis (AE) or epidemic tremors. It usually apears in the first or second week of life, and includes lying on the side, lameness, and tremors. I would doubt that a chick from a hatchery would have that, but I don't know that much about it.
Hopefully, she will start to improve with the Corid. As long as she is getting plenty of water in her feed, she should get enough.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

Update on my sick now 5 week old chick - she did survive.  The Corid did seem to help a lot.  She is eating great and her droppings seem normal.  HOWEVER, she is still unable to stand - at all.  Her toes are still curled.  She sometimes get turned over on her back and can't even right herself.  She will sometimes flail her legs around to right herself but normally she just beeps (loudly) for someone to help her.  I am at loss!  She is still living in a box in the house and is being fed by hand throughout the day.  Obviously, I can't keep this up but if there is any hope that this condition can be corrected then I will continue but if there is no hope for improvement then a tough decision must be made.  Any thoughts??

post #9 of 9
Sorry that she has not been able to walk. Have you been using the electrolytes with vitamins (and riboflavin?) If she has no improvement with vitamins after another week to 10 days, I would consider culling her. That is always a difficult thing to do. It might be wise to get a necropsy by the state vet to find out what she has wrong. Let us know how she gets along.
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