2 week old lethargic chick, can't stand

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by thenalbachs, Aug 26, 2016.

  1. thenalbachs

    thenalbachs Just Hatched

    7
    1
    19
    Jun 7, 2016
    Ashland City, TN
    We have 19 Speckled Sussex chicks that are 2 weeks old. They hatched and were shipped on a Wednesday and arrived on a Friday. They were alert and healthy on arrival, and everything has gone really well so far.

    This morning my wife found one of the chicks laying on her back. The chick seemed unable to stand up. Monitoring further showed that every time she tries to stand she falls over and rolls on to her side or back, then chirps loudly as if crying for help.

    We suspect splay leg, but aren't sure. The chick seemed very weak, and only grew weaker through the day. She was not able to reach food or water, so my wife and kids held her and provided food and water throughout the day. During the day there were no poops from the chick, which I took as a really bad sign.

    I bought an extra brooder light on the way home from work and we got a storage tote converted into a separate little brooder box for her. After propping the chick up on her belly, we put food in front of her on the bedding (paper towels) and water in a lid next to her.

    She began eating and drinking, so we boiled an egg for her and crumbled up the yoke. She ate the crumbled yoke pretty well. She has pooped twice now and is more alert. However, she can not seem to stay awake for very long and dozes off to sleep repeatedly. At intervals she wakes up and feeds.

    Every once in a while she tries to move and quickly ends up on her back. It seems like she is willing to stand, but is unable to put any pressure on her legs. Right now we are concentrating on getting her rehydrated and fed, but I'm wondering if a chick who can't stand on her legs has a future.

    The chick will let me hold her upside down on her back and I carefully felt along the length of the metatarsus and tibia with light pressure in different directions. I am unable to detect any break or injury. The joint at the foot seems fine. The joint between the tibia and metatarsus seems fine on both legs. I did not get a chance to really evaluate the femur or fibula areas, but mild pressure on the foot upwards does not cause a reaction or distress. I am uncertain where the issue is and why her legs give out immediately and seemingly painfully.

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    Last edited: Aug 26, 2016
  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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  3. thenalbachs

    thenalbachs Just Hatched

    7
    1
    19
    Jun 7, 2016
    Ashland City, TN
    The chick got worse and was unable to do anything but lay on it's side. We euthanized it. Likely we came on the scene too late in this case.
     
  4. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Sorry for your loss.
     

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