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Help 4 week old chick wont walk :(

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hi Everyone


I just got a 4 week old chocolate ameraucana. I got her 2 days ago, and she was running jumping doing normal chick activities. This is the first time I have ever had a 4 week old hen I usually get them 10 weeks or older. So i didnt think to use a heat lamp since shes been inside, and it's pretty warm in California. This morning I pulled her out of her small cat kennel to put her in her day time enclosure, and she was sitting on her bottom, which was odd. I picked her up and stood her on the ground she immediately started flapping and  fell over. She is  somehow unable to walk! She's alert, chirping away, eating, and drinking on her own as long as her bowls is in reach. Her stole is a little loose but nothing I would think was abnormal. She had 2 bowel movements. After pulling her out my husband suggested taking her outside to warm her up. I took her out, and husband purchased a heater. We have had her under the heater for 8 hours now, and still no luck. I read on other forums maybe its cause by B2 deficiency. We just supplement her with B2 about an hour ago. Any other thoughts of what this could be? She's so alert, which is so odd minus her legs not working! Please let me know what you think it might be, or what causing this! I really hope she bounces back, because i would hate to have to put her down :(

post #2 of 12
Yes my guess is a riboflavin thinking (you might Google to check this) but isn't riboflavin B1? I'm thinking a defiency of riboflavin. You can get some very good poultry vitamins online at First State Vet. Where ever you get the vitamins make certain it has riboflavin in them. Hope this helps. Best of luck
post #3 of 12

Can you post of photo of her - how she is laying down?

Riboflavin is  Vitamin B2.

If you have a local feed store look for a poultry vitamin that has b vitamins. Durvet or Sav-a-chick have riboflavin (B2) in them. If you don't have a feed store you can use B-Complex vitamin from the drug store (no iron).


Here's what possible Vitamin B2 deficiency looks like - although other illnesses/diseases can look like this too, hopefully she will respond to the vitamins.


Here's a photo of what the poultry vitamins look like:



Vitamin Information:

post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the response! I have been supplementing her pure B2. This morning she's still unable to walk. I unfortunately think it might be botulism sad.png she has all the sign and symptoms. I especially think this because I just bought new chick food specifically for her, and I'm now thinking maybe it was a bad batch of food.sad.png what I've read is if she didn't have too much of the toxins in her system and lives for more than 48 hours theirs a good chance she'll survive and be able to walk once the toxin leave her system. I've been giving her plenty of water(obviously not too much) to help her system flush whatever it is out. Im giving her at least 5 days to improve. If no improvement I'll have to put her down the most humane way sad.png.
post #5 of 12

If you truly feel it is Botulism you may want to look at the link below. It does have a section for "laxative solutions" to supposedly help flush toxins. I have not used any of these personally, but it the solutions use common ingredients such as molasses, epsom salts or castor oil. If she is failing and very sick it may be worth a try.

post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks I'll have a look! I don't think she ingested much because she is normal other than she hasn't been able to walk on the past 24 hours. She eats and drinks as long as she can reach it. I'm hoping it will spntanelously get better. Many articles I've read says if the she survives longer than 48 hour symptoms should begin to reverse! Fingers crossed! I'll update if anything changes or she starts to walk again. I feel like it's a waiting game at this point.
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Update: She is still normal eating, drinking, and pooping on her own. Still very alert. She's able to balance better and sit like a proper chick, but still unable to walk. We're at the 48 hour mark of when this started. I'm going to give her a few more days to show improvements. If she improves a little each day I'll give her more time. I hope like the article said that she'll improve after 48 hour and go back to normal!
post #8 of 12

Hopefully you will start to see some improvement.


Was she vaccinated for Marek's?

post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
I'm really not sure about the Mareks since I didn't hatch her myself. I asked the breeder and she said none of her birds have ever had it. I also read in article that she too young for mareks, but it could be wrong. She definitely seems like she's improving and scooting around the enclosure instead of sit in one spot all day. Hope she keeps on improving!
Edited by Christineschick - 4/17/16 at 2:00pm
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Update: I'm so excited to say she started walking this evening! The botulism articles were correct that she started recovering after 48 hours. She a bit wobbly but she's getting around!

For anyone who stumbles on this post this is what I did:
I replaced all food with new bought food.
Mixed tsp of pedialyte with her water. Baby vitamins to the water.
Every few hours I would bring the water dish close enough for her to drink. Flushing out the system was key for us.
She ate normal chick mash as along as the bowl was in access.

If your chick makes it past 48hours she should recover and regain the ability to walk!

Thanks everyone for you're help!
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