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Shaking Chick - Page 2

post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 

I ended up not taking the chick out of the broader. She's a very nervous chick and I felt like separating her would be too stressful, she clearly finds comfort in a couple of the other's chick's presence. I moved the light down a bit and have been checking everyone to make sure they're not too warm. I live in San Diego, so our weather is very mild anyways, I don't think a chill is her issue. I changed the water in the broader yesterday from Corid to electrolytes. The sick chick refuses to take any fluids from a dropper, but I have seen her drink the electrolytes. She's still eating. I have not been able to get any concentrated Corid into her (is it safe to force their beak open to drop fluids down their throat?) I just find this whole situation a bit baffling- I know most of the time when chicks get sick, they die very quickly. This chick has been displaying symptoms for at least 4 or 5 days now, without improving or going downhill. All the droppings in the broader look very healthy at this point, I feel like we've moved passed coccidiosis and am dealing with something different now. Any other tips would be greatly appreciated! Thanks again for everyone's help! 

post #12 of 16

There is a disease that affects younger chicks up to a month old called avian encephalomyelitis (AE or epidemic tremors) which causes lameness and shaking. I didn't suggest it earlier because of her age. Here is some info about it:


Since you are only needing to get a drop or two into her mouth at a time, you can pry the beak open with thumb and forefinger, and just squirt in a drop, then release and let her swallow. Another way in older chickens is to hold down the wattles while giving a drop at a time.

I hope you start to see some improvement, but may have something wrong internally that she can't overcome.

post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks! So she's still sick. All other chicks seem fine. She eats and drinks and although she has difficulty walking, she moves about the broader fairly well. I would say she's neither improved nor gotten worse. I separated her and the other hen today into their own box (the other three chicks are roosters and are getting quite rowdy.)
If it was AE, which is viral, wouldn't at least a few other chicks be exhibiting symptoms as well? I'm just so stumped at this point. I'm thinking even if she does live, she's going to be "special," unable to climb the ladder to the roost and require special accomidations and care for the rest of her life. I also want to get a couple more pullets since I have mostly roosters, but I don't want to bring any healthy chicks into the mix until I can figure out what's up here...
Thanks again for the help! Any other ideas would be awesome!
post #14 of 16
It sounds cruel, but you could sacrifice the chick, and send her refrigerated body to the state vet or nearest poultry lab for AE testing. That said, she may just have some sort of neurological problem which is not contagious. If you got her from a hatchery or feed store, I doubt that she has AE.
post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
I didn't get her from a hatchery, I have some neighbors with a ton of birds (boarderline hoarder situation.) One of their hens got out with a broad of chicks and all but a couple chicks were eaten by a coyote. The neighbors didn't care to collect the chicks, so I took them in or else they would have died. I doubt it's AE too, something neurological makes sense. I'm probably going to kill her if she doesn't improve soon, she's just not capable of being a happy thriving chicken in this state. Thank you so much for all your input!
post #16 of 16

You're welcome, and sound like you can handle this situation. Sorry about the chick.

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