2 month old chick will not eat or drink

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by jduwe1, Apr 28, 2017.

  1. jduwe1

    jduwe1 Chirping

    Jan 14, 2013

    9 week Speckled Sussex chick is not doing well. 2 weeks ago I put
    her and her sisters out in the coop (with heat when needed). She
    developed a cold. She was lethargic, felt feverish and was sneezing.
    Vet felt she needed antibiotics. Sneezing and fever cured, but now
    she will not eat! She sleeps 24/7, has no appetite, and has her neck
    pulled in with ruffled feathers. I have crop fed her probiotics, sav-a-chick,
    and pedialyte to keep her hydrated. The only time she will eat is after
    I have given her water via her crop and I entice her to eat watered crumbles
    mixed with applesauce. She then will eat a couple of teaspoons and then
    go back to sleeping. Her poops are totally normal and her crop empties
    over night. But she has no interest in feeding/drinking during the day.
    I have to work, so she is on her own, in a comfy cage, with a heat lamp.
    Last night, I crop fed her water with corid. She seemed to be more
    relaxed last night and ate easily from my hand. This morning she is
    no better, eyes closed, no interest in eating or drinking. The vet said
    I should deworm her. What should I use? Should I continue on with
    the corid? How long can she go on without eating or drinking? I am
    probably not giving her enough. How much water/food do
    2 month old chicks require? I could crop feed her. I will have more time
    on the weekend, but I am at a loss as to what I should do besides
    supportive care with feed and water. Am I only prolonging it? How
    long should I give her? She has been refusing food for 4 days!
    So sad, she was normal in every way before she started sneezing.
    I do not understand what is wrong with her! Any help will be
    greatly appreciated! I need some hope and direction!
  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Free Ranging

    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Hi [​IMG] Welcome To BYC

    How is your chick doing?
    Can you take her back to the vet, or have them test a fresh poop sample for Cocci and worms?

    Symptoms of Coccidiosis include lethargy, huddling/puffed up appearance, going off feed, diarrhea with mucous or blood and loss of balance. Corid dosage is 1 1/2 teaspoons Corid powder per gallon or 2 teaspoons of 9.6% Corid liquid per gallon,
    Give for 5-7 days - make sure this is the ONLY water available during that time period. Mix a fresh batch at least once a day.

    Do your best to keep her hydrated. Offer wet chick starter with some egg or tuna mixed in to see if she will eat.
  3. jduwe1

    jduwe1 Chirping

    Jan 14, 2013
    My chick is not doing very good, in fact she is worse. I tried to get her to a vet on Sat,
    but 2 vets could not see her and I was unwilling
    To go to the Emergency vet. she was on Corid Thurs, Fri, Sat but today I took her off because there was no
    Improvement. Yesterday and today I have been crop feeding baby bird hand
    Feeding formula mixed with electrolytes, every time her crop empties which is
    Every 2-3 hours. She is also pooping every 2-3 hours as well. Her poops have
    Changed to mush but that is because she is not eating her crumbles on her
    Own. The only food/water she has gotten in the past 2 days is what I crop
    Feed her. It's been averaging 10 to 20 ml every 2-3 hours. She is so unsteady
    And weak that when she tries to stand she somersaults either backwards or
    Forwards. I have rescued her a few times from some pretty awkward
    Positions inside her cage. last night I put her back on antibiotics because
    She felt feverish. she is alert, wakes up at noises. Loves to lay on my
    Chest and can hold up her head, she just can't stand without toppling
    Over. I feel it has much to do with weakness rather than balance. she is
    Now 1/2 the size of her sisters and is not improving. I am going to try
    To get her to a vet Monday morning to be looked at. I will at that time
    Either go forward with her care or have her euthanized. I then want to
    Have a necropsy done. she is with me now laying on my chest as I type
    This. I am at my wits end. I have tried everything, I just don't understand
    How she got so sick. It all started with some sneezing!
  4. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Free Ranging

    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    I'm sorry to hear she is not improving. Do the best you can to keep her hydrated. Add some poultry vitamins that contain B2 and E. Hopefully the vet can see her an give you some answers.

    Thanks for the updated, please keep us posted.
  5. jduwe1

    jduwe1 Chirping

    Jan 14, 2013

    I have mixed up some poultry vitamins and electrolytes in water and I am crop feeding it to her every 3 hours.
    Everything points to something viral. I hope to God it is not Marek's! The feed mill told me they were vaccinated,
    but that is no guarantee. Fingers crossed I can see a vet tomorrow. I will post an update afterwards.
  6. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Free Ranging

    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Poor little thing. I hope you are able to see the vet.

    Keep us posted.
  7. jduwe1

    jduwe1 Chirping

    Jan 14, 2013
    This morning, I took little Delta Dawn to an avian vet Sad to say I had to let her go. The vet started the exam by talking about the obvious, Delta could not
    stand or walk. I told her at first I thought it was weakness, but now I think it is paralysis. She did a thorough exam and agreed, it looks like neurological
    damage. Delta was free of any mites, lice or parasites. Her fecal showed NO coccidia or parasites. She also did a gram stain for bacteria and everything
    was normal bacteria. Ruling out all the obvious reasons for paralysis, she said it was probably something more sinister and the prognosis was poor.
    She said I could ramp up the supportive care at home with sub Q fluids or Delta could be left at the hospital, either way she had a huge struggle ahead of
    her and probably would end up dying. Not wanting to put her through anymore, I was present when the vet euthanized her. Delta will be sent to the state lab
    for a necropsy They will do all the testing to find out if she had Merek's or something else that caused her illness.
    I am numb. I had hope until this past weekend. Good Bye Delta Dawn, you were my little sweetheart.
    When I get the necropsy results I will post again.
  8. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Free Ranging

    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    I'm so sorry for your loss[​IMG]

    Please do let us know what they find out.
  9. jduwe1

    jduwe1 Chirping

    Jan 14, 2013
    I have gotten the necropsy report back from my 10 week old chick I had to
    euthanize. she was positive for Marek's. That means ALL my birds have
    been exposed!! It seems there is nothing to do but wait and
    see if anyone else gets sick and dies. Anyone have any experience with
    Marek's in their flock? Please share! Below is an email exchange I had
    with a poulty export in my state:

    i Julie,

    I did see the necropsy report. Thanks for sending that. I don't think you have
    to worry a great deal, and you certainly can get chicks again. Generally,
    Marek's disease causes problems with chickens from about 6 weeks to about 6
    months old. I think your older chickens are probably okay. The two other
    13-week old chicks are still at some risk. Often, only a few chickens from a
    group will suffer from Marek's disease, though they all have been exposed. This
    can vary by breed, so it's hard to know for sure with your specific chickens.

    The virus that causes this multiplies in the feather follicles, so it spreads
    through the dander of the feathers, so it's in the dust around the chicken coop.
    As you likely know, the dust from chickens gets everywhere! We generally assume
    that most chickens are exposed to it.

    I don't think there's much you can do for these chickens, other than to keep
    them as healthy as possible - good feed and water, etc. Hopefully, the others
    won't be affected.

    I think it's possible that the chicken didn't get vaccinated. It could be that
    one got missed, or it could be that the person selling them was mistaken. From
    most hatcheries, you have to pay a little extra to get the Marek's vaccine, and
    you won't get it if you don't specifically ask for it. So, the person ordering
    the chicks may or may not have requested it. Alternatively, it may have been
    vaccinated, and it just wasn't effective, for some reason. It's difficult to
    know what might have happened.

    In the future, I would definitely suggest getting chicks vaccinated. Of course,
    they said these were, so I don't know what else you could have done.

    A question I've had from others is whether to try and vaccinate these chickens
    again now. The vaccine is meant to be given in 1-day old chicks, and I don't
    think anyone knows whether it is helpful later or not. It's assumed that
    they've already been exposed to the Marek's virus, so I think it's probably too
    late to help with a vaccine now. At any rate, it is quite expensive, since it
    comes in 1000-dose bottles. I think the cost is somewhere around $75, so that
    would be a high cost for 2 chickens.

    So, I guess my overall suggestion is to wait and see with these chickens. I
    think it's somewhat likely that they'll be okay.

    Sorry I don't have a more proactive approach!

    My avian vet Dr. Bloss asked me to reach out to you regarding my backyard flock.
    I had to euthanize a 10 week old speckled sussex chick. I had a necropsy done
    and she came back positive for Marek's disease.
    I bought her from a local feed mill who had told me she was immunized at
    The rest of my flock consists of a 6 year old, 2 three year olds, one one year
    old and 2 more 13 week old chicks. They have all been exposed to the chick who
    Does this mean the rest of my flock will die from this disease as well?
    Any information or course of action would be greatly appreciated. Do I just
    keep on and deal with the disease when it happens? Anything I can do to prolong
    good health or prevent death? Do I never get chicks again?
    Do you know of better avenues to take when purchasing chicks? I never knew this
    could happen with chicks from a hatchery.
    Best regards

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