2 week old chick with bald spots

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Smoda, Jan 2, 2016.

  1. Smoda

    Smoda Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 17, 2015
    Hi,

    I apologise if this is already on backyard chickens. I've only had My 3 week old Plymouth Rock Sizzle-Wizards for 2 days. (The reason why her feet still have mud on the toes - still soaking it off).

    My concern is Sizzle-Wizards' under belly looks pretty ragged. Hey wings also look under developed. I'm new to having chickens, but compared to the others I have, her wings look different.

    Is this normal? Should I leave her alone?

    Also on the ride home from picking Sizzle-Wizards up I noticed little mites on my arm. I am treating her for this with wood ash and changing bedding everyday.

    Any advice is much appreciated. I want her to be OK.

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  2. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    Looks perfectly normal to me.

    Mites on a bird that young is unusual. You'll want to apply natural products like wood ash and Poultry Protector right now, but once she reaches 6-8 weeks you should start applying permethrin dust.
     
  3. Smoda

    Smoda Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 17, 2015
    Thanks.

    What a relief! Thanks for the reply.

    She's currently separated from my other young chickens (4 wks). Seeing as she had mites, when would it be safe to introduce her to the rest of my chicks?

    I don't want to pass on anything to them.

    Thanks again!
     
  4. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    I wouldn't recommend it for several reasons. First, you would wait until the mites are completely gone. Natural methods like wood ash and such are typically not 100% effective treatments - I only recommended them as stand-ins until she is older and won't see adverse effects from appropriate chemical (permethrin) treatment.

    The second is that she is really just too young to introduce as a single bird into a group of 4 week olds - at any age introduction of a single chick into a group that much older isn't easy. Honestly, my recommendation would be to either purchase another chick the same age as her, and raise them together while treating both for mites until they are eradicated, or pick the smallest and docilest of your four week olds and do the same. A chicken does not do well raised alone but the fewer birds exposed to the mites the better. Because of the age difference you will want to wait until she is about 8 weeks and the older ones about 12 - she'll be picked on a bit but it'll be better since she'll have a buddy and those are the most compatible ages I can think of.
     
  5. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Overrun With Chickens

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    I agree overall and wing development is normal, as chicks from different breeds develop differently.

    And while chicks can down up differently, I would like to ask if the stomach is red at all. It looks a bit red in the photo, and what does the vent area look like? Most chicks do down up on the stomach by 2 weeks.

    With the straggling down on bare, possibly red, maybe a bit puffy stomach, it may be some lingering omphalitis...that is an internal infection from a naval that did not heal completely or quickly enough after hatch. Usually it is fatal at hatch, but if the naval was mostly closed, then healed, and the bacterial infection low grade, I've had them survive with puffy, red tummies.

    If the stomach does look red and a bit puffy, then a round of Sulmet sets it right almost always....and I also suspicion she has a lingering infection as having mites this early is very unusual, especially if she was the only one in the batch. Often it is babies that are not doing well that seem to get those kinds of secondary infestations.

    Sulmet is a strong sulphur antibiotic, so you would only want to treat it for a couple of days and reassess. You may wish to use half dose for the little chick (just halve the dosage on the bottle) although I've used it at full dosage per bottle instructions for several days with chicks that I know have a case of omphalitis. They clear up pretty quickly. If it is omphalitis, you have to get the infection under control or it will linger and further drag the chick down.

    If her tummy looks normal in person, and down globby because of being in mud or such, then treat her with natural wood ash dust if you prefer, although Poultry Dust is most effective and has a very low toxicity to birds. I couldn't find the age range recommended for Permethrin from the drug company (although it does not specifically indicate do not use in young chicks, often a sign it is okay)... I have used it several times with a brooding hen and her babies to stop an infestation on the hen (brooding hens can be mite magnets) transferring to the chicks. I've never had any problems with the babies. Mites can zap the energy and strength from a chick very quickly causing more health issues, typically succumbing to a secondary bacterial infection. I fear the mites more than any toxicity from the Permethrin dust.

    My thoughts
    LofMc
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2016
  6. Smoda

    Smoda Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 17, 2015
    Thanks for such great replies.

    I did buy 2 other birds at the same time/dealer (so Sizzle-Wizards is not alone). That in itself has caused some issues - the other 2 are a week or so younger and there has been some problems with this.

    I only saw mites on the first day. I have check each chick over thoroughly and haven't found any more mites.

    Sizzle-Wizards vent looks fine, not red at all. The skin doesn't look irritated in person, it seems to be a normal fleshy colour. Her down is quick stiff and matted (as you suggested).

    Her tummy is however quite puffy. What's the best way to find out if she has omphalitis. Is it a trip to a bird vet?
     
  7. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 19, 2011
    NW Oregon
    A puffy tummy is indication of omphalitis. Her tummy looks like a case of it to me.

    I suggest going to the feed store and purchasing some antibiotics as soon as possible. You can do so legally without a vet recommendation as chickens are considered livestock. Get the kind that is powdered form to dissolve in water. Follow strength recommendations on package adjusting down to quart or smaller. Place as her only water source for at least a week.

    Puffy tummy is not normal and is to my knowledge at this age and stage almost always sign of internal infection commonly called "Squishy Chick."

    It is the number one killer of newly hatched and young chicks.

    LofMc
     
  8. Smoda

    Smoda Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 17, 2015
    Thanks LofMc,

    Some great information you've written.

    On closer inspection and an online read of omphalitis, I think she is OK.

    Her tummy has now grown some fluffy down (I'm surprised how quickly it grew!) And her belly doesn't look as big now that it's not so naked.

    And I've check her belly all over, no red spots or irritation. And she's eating and drinking and gaining weight well.

    I'll continue to keep a close watch on her and if anything unusual pops up I'll go to the vet to get his thoughts.
    (I met a really nice bird vet here in Adelaide.)

    Thanks again for the help. Backyard chickens is such a great support!
     

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