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Aspirating Chick: Advice please!

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Over the weekend, I had a very problematic hatch.  One of the chicks was having an especially difficult time getting out, so I helped the little gal.  I thought at the time she was just straining her neck in an attempt to wriggle free of the shell (she had positioned poorly and was having trouble getting her legs and bottom free).  However, now that she's been out for awhile along with the rest of the chicks, she's still constantly holding her head up and keeps flipping onto her back.  From what I've read, this sounds like wry neck.  So I got some chick vitamins, electrolytes, vitamin A, selenium, etc. and am beginning treatment.

 

I guess my question is whether this is wry neck or an injury she sustained during hatching?  Will the vitamins help the poor thing? 

 

I have her in the brooder so she can see the other chicks, but with some wire separating her so no one hurts her.  I'm using an eye dropper to get her food/water, but she's not taking much in.  She is very loud to let me know when she feels distressed (is stuck on her back again) and very strong and energetic so far (wriggling and kicking like crazy), so at least she has her strength.  Is there anything else I can/should do?  She just hatched yesterday (albeit about 1-2 days late).

Eggs Loaded in the incubator... chicks expected 4/15!   
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Eggs Loaded in the incubator... chicks expected 4/15!   
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post #2 of 4
Hi there!

I had a turkey poult do that. She would flop her head back and fall onto her back. She couldn't walk at all and if I held her up to help her get her legs she would try to throw her head back and flop onto her back. I had our 4-H poultry project leader look at her and he said she would most likely die overnight.

She didn't though! If I held her up she would eat and drink but as soon as I let go of her she would do that head throw, flop thing. So I just braced my hand around her and lightly held her while she shuffled her feet around. We did this off and on for a few days and by about the 4th day she was walking all by herself and wasn't flopping on her back anymore.

She's now a 3 month old bourbon red turkey hen and I'm happy I didn't cull her! But I had time to sit there by the brooder and hold her up until she learned to stop throwing her head back and use her legs. if I hadn't she probably would have died from dehydration or her brother would have pecked her to death. I had to keep him away from her. I hope that helps!

Good luck with your chick!
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

Update: It does appear the chick has wry neck, as it is now more down and under her most of the time.  I've been giving her food, water (with vitamins/electrolytes), and vitamins (E and Polyvisol) as much as possible, although almost exclusively by eye dropper until today.  Today I was able to help her drink water on her own from a high edge bowl by holding her standing and bracing her back/bottom with my hand next to it.  I have also found that egg yolk is one of the few things she will eat on her own, and was able to get her to eat a few mouthfuls out of a bowl I held up to her at the same height as the water.  Her front is sadly a bit covered in yolk and hard, but I try to soften it with water  I've tried the chick starter both dry and with water added so it's more of a mash, but she just doesn't eat it well.  She's still not able to really control her neck so I keep her in the brooder with everyone else, but in a separate section using some hardware cloth so she can be near the chicks but not in danger of being hurt by them.

My new concern is what I hope is her crop, although its only to one side of her little neck.  It looks very swollen, almost like a small balloon.  I don't think she's been eating or drinking enough to cause this since it's been all by hand, but this has me worried.  Is her crop impacted?  Is this something else?  Or is this somewhat normal to see with chicks that have wry neck?

Eggs Loaded in the incubator... chicks expected 4/15!   
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Eggs Loaded in the incubator... chicks expected 4/15!   
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post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

I believe the chick got fluid in her lung.  she was gasping for air yesterday and is VERY weak this morning.  Is there anything that can save her?

Eggs Loaded in the incubator... chicks expected 4/15!   
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Eggs Loaded in the incubator... chicks expected 4/15!   
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