1 week old chicks with dry looking tummy after going thirsty...

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by SallyB, May 13, 2009.

  1. SallyB

    SallyB New Egg

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    May 12, 2009
    I am the proud new chicken mama to 6 pullets: 3 Barred Rocks and 3 Americauanas. We brought them home on May 1, 2009, at one day old. When they were one week old, the figured out how to empty the water, still not sure how. Placing it on bricks has helped; they can neither tip it over, or easily fill it up with bedding and poop. But, on their 7th day, the first day they managed to empty the water, they went without water for several hours before we noticed, and they all developed dry-looking tummies.

    It was as if they were so dehydrated that their feathers dried up. I am assuming that the dry tummy is associated with going thirsty, because it happened at the same time.

    The Barred Rocks, for the most part, have totally recovered, but the Americauanas still have dry looking tummies, and 2 of them even look worse. Otherwise, they seem healthy and happy (not that I'm a chick expert![​IMG])

    Is this just from having gone without water, and will their new feather growth be OK? Or did that experience make them susceptible to a more serious condition?

    I can post a picture if someone will forgive my newbie ignorance, and guide me to image uploading directions. Thanks, Sally
     
  2. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi Sally- it would be helpful indeed if you posted pics. Are the pullets drinking normally now? Do you think electrolytes in the water might help? It certainly wouldn't hurt to offer vitamins- even baby vitamins (no added iron) would be beneficial as they grow new feathers. I'm wondering if what you are seeing is one of the four molts that pullets experience, so if you can gently look under the dry feathers to see if there is new growth it may reassure you. BTW, new feather growth can make the skin tender, so nice and easy with the girls...[​IMG]

    The fact that one breed looks fine and the other is not yet improved suggests a molt, too.

    I load my pics from a file at Photobucket.com, but I think if you go to the forum section at the top of the index you'll see instructions for the various ways to upload.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2009
  3. clhbubba

    clhbubba Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 9, 2008
    Central Oklahoma
    I was late for work one morning and completely forgot to put the waterer back with my chicks. I didn't remember until around 7pm that night. Called my husband and he immediately put the waterer back in. They had gone about 12 hours without water. They were very thirsty but were otherwise fine. I honestly thought I had killed them but obviously they're tuff little buggers!! If yours went without water for a couple of hours, I do not think it would have an adverse affect on them. Good luck.
     
  4. SallyB

    SallyB New Egg

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    May 12, 2009
    Do you mean that 1 week old chicks molt? I guess I need a "how to raise chicks" book. That pasty bum caught me totally unawares, but we got through. [​IMG]

    Here is the chick with the barest tummy. It's been just the tummies for several days, since the water incident. Do they only molt on their tummies, or does it take a while to progress?

    Thanks so much for caring about my littles!
    Sally
    [​IMG]
     
  5. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    You know, they look plucked. Any sign of pecking/pulling among these chicks? Birds will sometimes self-pluck, wondering if it was a nervous reaction to the situation or if they fell asleep under the lamp whilst soaking up heat and got too hot...if they are otherwise active, I'd simply watch and wait. Molting would show as feather loss on chest and back first and yours would have been the loss of down.

    I should also ask what you're using for bedding- cedar can be very irritating to chicks- both feathering and lungs...
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2009
  6. SallyB

    SallyB New Egg

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    May 12, 2009
    LynneP, I so appreciate your input. So, it's not a molt...

    They are drinking and eating normally. The bedding we have in there is pine shavings, from a bale we bought at the country store with the chicks. They are calm and nice to each other, but I will spend more time with them the next few days. Ironically, it the biggest chicks with the most feathers missing. The down at the edges of the bald patch look almost withered, or oily.

    We do have the water on brick, and it it rough, but that is only about 1/8 of the bottom of the tub they're in.

    Just a few questions to clarify:

    When do chicks typically molt?
    Is there any illness or deficiency that looks like this?
    Would other chicks actually peck other's tummies or are backs a more common pecking location?

    Thanks again!

    sally
     
  7. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    All chicks have a strip of featherless skin on the keel, some breeds more so than others. You may be looking at normal chicks, that got wet, and the surrounding down is dried flat, or got sticky and pulled out. Not totally, sure but they may not have any problem. If down loss continues, then there may be a problem. But if you pick up any chick, and part the down over the keel- there will be a featherless/down less strip there.
     
  8. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have to admit I didn't know chicks can have a featherless keel. That and getting wet or oily makes the most sense. Since they are otherwise perky, I have to defer on this! [​IMG]
     
  9. SallyB

    SallyB New Egg

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    May 12, 2009
    hmmm [​IMG]

    I googled "featherless" chicken keel and found the Cornell Atlas of Avian Diseases.

    If you click on "View All Disease Names," then "Normal Reference," then on the very right select "feathers," you'll see a photo captioned with this:

    "Feathers are normally distributed along tracks on the body, known as pterylae, seen here. These tracks are interspersed with featherless areas called apteria. Patches of feather loss may be due to normal physiologic processes, such as seasonal molting. Pathologic feather loss can result from trauma and infection and is associated with skin lesions."

    Not totally sure that's what I have, but I'll just spend more time with them, like I said before, and keep you posted. Thanks so much!
    Sally
     

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