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1 week old silkie chick... passed out?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Maah, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. Maah

    Maah Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 15, 2012
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    Well, I was sitting here at my desk working and our 2 silkie chicks (1 week old) are here in my office in the brooder. The little chickies have been chirping lightly all morning. I looked over at them & they were both at the feeder eating, and I turned back to the computer. Not long after one of the chicks started screaming loudly, ran to the other end of the box, flopped down on her belly with her wings spread out to the sides & was flapping them on the floor. And then nothing. She just laid there like the dead with her wings spread out. I quick rushed over to her & picked her up. She barely moved, but flopped her head to the side. I opened her mouth (cuz she had just been eating a moment before, though I don't know if she was done since I've been distracted with work) and her tongue was stuck at the top of her mouth. I pried that off with my thumb nail & then noticed she was breathing. Her eyes were closed. I let her breathe for a little bit, and then blew lightly in her face (I don't know why, I just did to see if I could get some kind of response). After a bit, I tried to sit her up on her feet. Her eyes slowly opened and she very slowly started taking back control of her limp body. I held her for a bit more and rubbed her back. It all happened pretty fast.

    I have no idea what just happened! Can chicks have seizures? Was she choking? But if she was, I don’t think she would have been able to scream her head off before going out cold, would she?

    I think she’s mostly back to herself now. She’s standing in the brooder box, but she’s breathing kind of heavily, and her wings are hanging down a little bit. Not sure if she hurt her wings when she was beating them on the floor.

    She acts like she'd like take a nap now, but doesn't want to lay down. All she does is stand there breathing. Sometimes she'll hang her head down, but then pick it back up again. Once she actually did lay all the way down for a split second, then woke up, stood & chirped.

    Anybody have experience with this?


    (Brooder temp runs around 90-95. Medicated chick feed (that I ground in the blender), and water. Pine shavings on top of rubber kitchen shelf liner on the floor.)

    Thanks, Maah
     
  2. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Poor baby :( , that must've been so scary for you! I would try to keep the brooder temp as close to 90° as possible. A little less is even ok, chicks handle to cold much better than heat.
    That being said, is there anything in the brooder she could've bumped her head on (perch, sharp corners, ect)? Silkies have a soft spot where the crest grows, making them a little more fragile than other breeds. Maybe the other chick pecked her there or she bumped her head on something and knocked herself silly for a bit. Some vitamins probably would do some good, especially if she hit her head. Watch for head wobbles and other strange behaviors, as these can be signs or neurological problems. If she'd been spending alot of time in the heat, she may have suffered a mild case of heat stroke. Really all I can think of. Hope she's back to normal soon :fl Good luck!
    Nikki
     
  3. Maah

    Maah Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yup, it was scary... but more for the thought that these are my 12 year old daughter's chicks. She would be crushed, & I would be crushed in return having to tell her. We hatched out 4 last weekend and this was the 1 seemingly healthy chick. 2 needed to be culled for slipped tendons that we couldn't fix. 1 is a runt that we had to band for a splayed leg and put a boot on for a funky foot. He's doing much better. So I was more afraid of our only hatched healthy chick having an epic failure.

    I've checked over the box, and I don't see anything that she could have bumped her head on, unless it was the feeder itself (plastic mason jar style feeder). The runt does peck at her face a little bit too... ??

    She just did finally take a fairly long nap (for a chick). She's up now & is acting much more herself, drinking, & eating, and walking around. Though she was flicking her head around quite a bit while she was eating. I'll keep my eye on her.

    Thanks.
     
  4. suzeqf

    suzeqf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I haven't had it happen to a silkie but i lost my polish due to seizures she started having them when she was young at first she would just lower her wings and act like she was really hot and as she got older she would flop around violently(lets just say she was thrashing around like a chicken with it's head cut off)then she would lay with her wings spread out and rest for a while. I also keep my brooder temp a bit cooler i leave it around 90 for the first few days but then i back it down to around 85 all the chicks i've had seem to prefer the cooler temps
     
  5. Maah

    Maah Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, she had another "episode" later in the day. Sudden loud chirping, followed by passing out. She recovered again, for the most part... She stood in the brooder, she'd even eat & drink, but I could tell she just wasn't right and was still breating a little harder and didn't really want to lay down. She would also flick her head a bit. We almost though we heard sneezing. DH & I kind of had an "ah ha" moment, and think maybe there is something respiratory going on? This morning she was dead.

    Again, we have no clue why the litte seizure type episode. It doesn't make sense to us. But if she was sneezing, that tells me there's most likely something else going on. Our other chick, "Mini", the runt, is breathing heavy today, and I thought I saw the same type of head flick sneeze. It's so subtle though that I'm not sure exactly what I'm seeing.

    Anyways, I think little Mini will be gone soon too. The last of the 4 chicks.

    We had 4 out of 4 chicks hatched last weekend, and it's turned out to be all heartache. We have, now 6 (I think once has already quit - so 5), more eggs in the incubator. There are 12 days left on that batch & I'm just depressed and afraid to go through it all over again.
     
  6. happy-chicken

    happy-chicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Ohh hun I'm sure that was hard. Sounds like they were seizures and neurological disorder. I'm really sorry for your daughter xx
     
  7. happy-chicken

    happy-chicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Maybe try unmedicated chick crumb next time if you have any? Mine have all thrived better on just plain chick crumb in the brooder. If they're outside I leave them with medicated though :) x
     
  8. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    You know, this just gave me a thought. Amprollium, the ingredient in medicated feed that helps prevent cocci, works by blocking thiamine uptake (vitamin B1). The medicated starter could be responsible for this, I suppose. When chicks have vitamin deficiencies, they can develop all sorts of problems and some can manifest as neurological problems (or things like wry neck). With your next batch if chicks, try feeding turkey starter, its what all of my Silkies eat- chicks and adults. I bring a little (dry) dirt in from my run and allow them to build their own immunities. The same way a momma hen would, by scratching in the dirt. Taking the medicated out and giving Poly-vi-sol (without iron) or a vitamin supplement might save the remaining chick. If it does, then you'd know the feed was the issue. What I figure, is that since banties are smaller, they're ingesting a higher concentration of the amprollium than a standard sized chick. The head shaking could also be a symptom of a vitamin deficiency. Sorry you lost your chick. Good luck.
    Nikki
     
    2 people like this.
  9. Maah

    Maah Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have some B complex pills here, that are my own. Do you think I could shave a teeny amount of one of the pills and maybe put it in a dropper of water and give to him now? I'm pretty much chained here to my desk (work from home) for the next 6 hours. Would the medicated feed continue to block any kind of boost of B vitamin?
     
  10. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    I don't see why that wouldn't work, as long as its just a vitamin pill. Yes, if you're still offering the medicated feed it will continue to block vitamin uptake. If you don't have a different feed, give boiled or scrambled eggs (you could grind up some plain oatmeal and add greens as well, just offer grit) until you can get out to get something else. Alot of folks use the vitamin capsules (with the liquid inside), they just squeeze the liquid into their beaks. Hope it works :fl
    Nikki
     

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