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"What's wrong with my baby chick?" Symptoms and their association with nutritional deficiency

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Most baby chick issues are not your fault. Nutritional deficiencies in the breeding stock can cause all sorts of deformities in baby chicks. I just found this website and these deficiencies explain every chick problem I've ever had, which are mostly related to the B vitamins.

 

Vitamin/electrolyte supplementation in the drinking water may help most if not all of these conditions when caught in time. I will be using electrolytes for my very young chicks from now on, and this website to help me diagnose.

 

http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=2114&page=49

 

Example chart (this one goes on for several more pages):

 

TABLE 7-3 Nutrients Associated with Various Signs of Deficiency in Growing Birds

Deficiency Signs

Descriptions

Species

Associated Nutrients

Skin lesions

Crusting and scab formation around eyes and beak

Chick, poult,

Biotin, pantothenic acid

 

Bottoms of feet rough and calloused with hemorrhagic cracks

Chick, poult

Biotin, pantothenic acid

 

Scaliness on feet

Chick

Zinc, niacin

 

Lesions around eyes, eyelids stuck together

Chick, poult

Vitamin A

 

Mouth, inflammation of oral mucosa (chicken black tongue)

Poult, chick

Niacin

Feather abnormalities

Uneven feather growth, abnormally long primary feathers, feathers not lying smoothly

Chick, poult

Protein, amino acid imbalance

 

Frizzled and rough

Chick, poult

Zinc, niacin, pantothenic acid, folic acid, lysine

 

Black pigmentation in breeds with red and brown feathers

Chick

Vitamin D

 

Depigmentation

Chick, poult,

Copper, iron, folacin

Nervous disorders

Convulsions with head retraction

Chick, pigeon

Thiamin

 

Convulsions with hyperexcitability

Chick, poult, duckling

Pyridoxine

 

Hyperirritability

Chick, poult, duckling

Magnesium, sodium chloride

 

Characteristic fright reaction with tetanic spasms

Chick

Chloride

 

Spastic cervical paralysis, neck extended with birds appearing to look down

Poult

Folacin

 

Curled-toe paralysis, gross enlargement of sciatic and brachial nerves with myelin degeneration

Chick

Riboflavin

 

Encephalomalacia, tetanic spasms with head retraction, hemorrhagic lesions in cerebellum

Chick

Vitamin E

Blood and vascular system

Anemia

All poultry

 

 

Macrocytic

 

Vitamin B12

 

Macrocytic, hyperchromic

 

Folacin

 

Microcytic, hypochromic

 

Iron, copper

 

Microcytic

 

Pyridoxine

 

Hemorrhage, intramuscular, subcutaneous, internal from aortic rupture

Chick, poult

Vitamin K, copper

 

Exudative diathesis

Chick, poult

Selenium, vitamin E

 

Enlarged heart

Chick, poult

Copper

Muscle

Muscular dystrophy, white areas of degeneration in skeletal muscle

Chick, duck, poult

Vitamin E, selenium

 

Cardiac myopathy

Poult

Vitamin E, selenium

 

Gizzard myopathy

Poult

Vitamin E, selenium

Bone disorders

Soft, easily bent bones and beak (rickets)

All poultry

Vitamin D, calcium or phosphorus deficiency or imbalance

 

Hock enlargement

Poult, chick, gosling, duckling

Niacin, zinc

 

Perosis

Chick, poult

Biotin, choline, vitamin B12, manganese, zinc, folacin

 

Bowed legs

Duck

Niacin

 

Shortening and thickening of leg bones

Chick

zinc, manganese

 

Curled toes

Chick

Riboflavin

 

 

 

 

~Meg~
The remaining 6 of my original 7 barred rocks are 3yrs old and happily divided between a friend and my mom.
Laying: 2 Partridge Rocks, 1 Columbian Wyandotte and 2 Black Australorps. 14 weeks: 3 bantam Araucana.
Cowed to chicken math and sharing my bedroom with 8 BBS Ameraucana mixes.

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~Meg~
The remaining 6 of my original 7 barred rocks are 3yrs old and happily divided between a friend and my mom.
Laying: 2 Partridge Rocks, 1 Columbian Wyandotte and 2 Black Australorps. 14 weeks: 3 bantam Araucana.
Cowed to chicken math and sharing my bedroom with 8 BBS Ameraucana mixes.

Reply
post #2 of 6

Great page to have handy in the chicken favorites folder! Thanks for sharing that find!

Mommy to BR (Onyx), 2 Delaware (Pearl & Opal), BO (Ruby), Blue Silkie (Amber), Splash Silkie (Raine), 2 Golden Laced Orps (Goldie & Lacey), 2 EE (Bunny & Rabbit) & 2 Blk Javas (Crow & Butterfly)!

Also a Pit/Mastiff mix, an American Bulldog, 1 cat, a guinea pig, a bearded dragon, and a koi pond.

Oh.. can't forget my daughter, granddaughter, step-son, and wonderful husband!

 

 

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Mommy to BR (Onyx), 2 Delaware (Pearl & Opal), BO (Ruby), Blue Silkie (Amber), Splash Silkie (Raine), 2 Golden Laced Orps (Goldie & Lacey), 2 EE (Bunny & Rabbit) & 2 Blk Javas (Crow & Butterfly)!

Also a Pit/Mastiff mix, an American Bulldog, 1 cat, a guinea pig, a bearded dragon, and a koi pond.

Oh.. can't forget my daughter, granddaughter, step-son, and wonderful husband!

 

 

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post #3 of 6

what foods have all these vitamins?

mother of 2 jungle fowls 

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mother of 2 jungle fowls 

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post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

All major brand poultry feeds should have the correct balance of nutrients, as well as any electrolyte water mix-in for livestock or poultry (Sav-a-chik, PolyViSol, etc).

 

This is more a diagnostic resource for very young chicks, where contagious illness is not a probable cause. All of mine that have died have had neurological symptoms, and B vitamin deficiencies explain all of those deaths. This would mean that the parents did not have adequate thiamin and niacin in their diets. It may have been something I could correct with B complex supplement if caught in time, or it may be something that the chick will die from regardless, but at least now I know it was beyond my control and not due to negligence on my part.

 

It helps to have this list of alternative causes to what I only had resources to diagnose as Newcastle or Encephalomyelitis, neither of which made any sense in my situations. The fact that the birds were from breeder stock and therefore a less controlled feed source than hatchery makes more sense to me, though I did have one hatchery chick fall ill with symptoms classic to B vitamin deficiency and recover after a week of isolation with electrolyte water as the only treatment. 

~Meg~
The remaining 6 of my original 7 barred rocks are 3yrs old and happily divided between a friend and my mom.
Laying: 2 Partridge Rocks, 1 Columbian Wyandotte and 2 Black Australorps. 14 weeks: 3 bantam Araucana.
Cowed to chicken math and sharing my bedroom with 8 BBS Ameraucana mixes.

Reply

~Meg~
The remaining 6 of my original 7 barred rocks are 3yrs old and happily divided between a friend and my mom.
Laying: 2 Partridge Rocks, 1 Columbian Wyandotte and 2 Black Australorps. 14 weeks: 3 bantam Araucana.
Cowed to chicken math and sharing my bedroom with 8 BBS Ameraucana mixes.

Reply
post #5 of 6

Thank you for posting this.  If you don't mind my asking, how many chicks did you lose due to deficiency?  I'm losing chicks at an alarming rate, 4 in 5 days and it's not looking good for the last 2.      I was worried that it may be a disease or infection, but when I describe the symptoms, which are neurological, and developmental, people  tell me it sounds more like a deficiency.  I got an electrolyte and vitamin mix from the feed store today, but I'm afraid it may too little too late. hit.gif

 

I'm so glad to have this information now, so that I will be able to do better by our next batch of chicks.

Suburban homesteader and wife to 1 amazingly patient man, mom of 2 awesome eclectic homeschoolers, 2 spoiled jack russell chihuahuas, 2 fat russian blue mixes, 1 white ee, and 1 golden comet.

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Suburban homesteader and wife to 1 amazingly patient man, mom of 2 awesome eclectic homeschoolers, 2 spoiled jack russell chihuahuas, 2 fat russian blue mixes, 1 white ee, and 1 golden comet.

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post #6 of 6

Wow! Awesome! I am bookmarking this thread for distribution!!!!

Black Australorps, Easter Eggers, Buff Minorcas, and Nankins. 

“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.” - William Shakespeare
 

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Black Australorps, Easter Eggers, Buff Minorcas, and Nankins. 

“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.” - William Shakespeare
 

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