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2 week old chick with balance issues

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by deirdra, Jun 8, 2010.

  1. deirdra

    deirdra Hatching

    Jun 6, 2010
    I have checked through the forum and tried every conceivable word to describe the behavior and a lot of people have had this happen, yet there seems to be no known cause - therefore no direct application of treatment.

    Chicks came from a feed store,fed medicated Purina starter. They are all Barred Rocks. Some are larger than others, though feed store states they are all the same age. They are 2 weeks old today.

    First day home they were in a cardboard box with a white light and I gave them Nutrena starter without medication. Next day I moved them into a 30 gallon feed tub, replaced newspaper with pine shavings and got them an infrared heat light and went back to the Purina medicated feed. I have them in a guest bathroom, inside a shower stall and can adjust the heat as needed based on their behavior. I turn the room light on for white light and keep it on during the day. The room is staying around 90 degrees.

    I read on My Pet Chicken that a roost would be good - so I took two sticks that I disinfected with Shaklee's Basic G and stuck them into to an egg carton top I had cut in half on the 4th day home. They loved it and used the egg carton to roost, the sticks they would sit in between them. On the 5th day, one of the chicks was not moving so well and getting stepped on. She is one of the smaller ones. I took out the make shift roost and observed her for a while, she is pooping normally, she is preening, she is chirping softly, she will eat and drink water. When she tries to move about however she is listing to the right and slightly forward, and will use her wing for balance, though she is not very proficient at it and can tip over. She seemed weak, probably because she could not get food or water so I moved her to her own box and then I moved another chick who also is a bit imbalanced, though not nearly as bad, with her because she got so upset at being alone. She sleeps a lot and now, Tuesday - she is a little better - I added a feed store vitamin and electrolyte to her water source - she still is off balance. Today she is chirping a lot - not loudly, she can waddle to the food and water and then back again to the heat source, the other chick will come over to her and lay next to her and then it will move away and come back.

    I gave her honey yesterday and today I will continue my quest for PolyViSol without Iron and maybe Hypericum .

    She seems fine except for that - so I don't think its viral or bacterial - but birds are notoriously fragile and this is my first time having them ever.

    Any other advice anyone can think of ? I must have spent 3 hours last night and this morning reading every post pertaining to balance issues. The consensus seems to be vitamin and probiotic related. I am wondering if these two chicks got hurt on the makeshift roost - after reading the first 60 days on this site - I saw that the roost was premature for their age.

    Deirdra and the Lucky 7

  2. paisleyann

    paisleyann Hatching

    Jun 8, 2010
    Hey Deidra,

    Disclaimer: This is my first time raising baby chicks and mine are only 2 weeks older than yours. I only know what I have read on this website and others like it. I have four Amueracanas.

    Our smallest, we just thought was a runt. She didn't move around as quickly as the others, slept a lot more than the others, and always had poo stuck to her bum feathers. When she would jump off our hands from 4 inches above the ground she would stumble when she landed. The others seemed like olympic gymnists compared to her. She would every once in a while just stare at the grey wall of the container they are in. We were a bit worried about her, but saw that she was eating and pooing and running around with the others, just not growing as fast. Every once in a while she just seemed slower, cognitively.
    Sure enough, two days ago we woke up to her toes being curled under which was forcing her to walk on her halks. It is a B2 deficiency apparently, so last night we took her out and started feeding her shredded cheese and spinach to supplement. This morning one of her feet has already straightened out. We are hoping she will get back to normal soon with the supplemental diet. All that is to say that don't ignore your gut, if she is starting to exhibit signs of being "different" I think you are wise to supplement with vitamins before it manifests itself even more dramatically like in little Charlie's case, with is curled toe paralysis. It is very common.

    Just a thought.
    Paisley Ann
  3. deirdra

    deirdra Hatching

    Jun 6, 2010
    Thank you for the info:)

    I gave her Polyvisol and we will see how it goes. The feed store lady thought it might be a calcium issue. Would that mean yogurt? She - the chick- is sick to death of me picking her up and messing with her at this point - she's getting pretty verbal about it - but yet no change in her walking.
  4. Dingleberry

    Dingleberry Songster

    Apr 22, 2010
    if she needs calcium then yes on plain yogurt mix in some of their food if they don't like it.

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