3.5 week old chicks having a difficult time walking

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by RichtmanRanch, Mar 23, 2015.

  1. RichtmanRanch

    RichtmanRanch Chirping

    Dec 23, 2013
    I am raising 10 chicks with some students at school. I noticed last week that it seemed that two of the chicks were not as active as the other chicks. They had electrolyte water for the first week. And all the chicks seemed healthy and walking just fine, up until last week when I noticed these two. They are both laying breeds. It seems as though their legs are having a hard time supporting their own body weight. They dont to a lot of standing, the are now starting to sleep with their legs stretched out to the side. They still eat and drink. But they dont have as much energy as the other chicks, they rest and sleep a lot more, they dont like to scratch around and investigate things.

    When they do walk they take a few steps then will plop down suddenly and the steps are very wobbly. One of the chicks also have a wing the is a bit droopy. But it could just also be the way her feathers are growing in. Thoughts?

    What changed? They were fine for the first 2.5 weeks, not sign of problems. I have separated the two with food and water. added electrolytes to their water as well. I also am just realizing I did not get chick feed with medications to help prevent chick illnesses.

    Thanks everyone!
  2. SunkenRoadFarms

    SunkenRoadFarms Chirping

    Sep 11, 2014
    Are you sure they aren't meaties? It sounds like rapid growth problems that happen with Cornish crosses. If they aren't you can try leg braces, you can find instructions in here by searching "splayed legs." Also keep electrolytes in the water in case it is a vitamin deficiency. And don't worry, medicated feed is used to prevent coccidiosis, not leg issues.
  3. havery

    havery Chirping

    Feb 27, 2015
    East Texas
    I'm not an expert by any means, but my first thought when I hear weakness in the legs or difficulty walking is to separate them from the others. Marek's seems to be making a comeback. Were these chicks vaccinated or did your class hatch them out?

    If they haven't been in contact with any other birds, it could be a deficiency of some sort. I believe vitamin B deficiencies present similarly. In which case, I would separate the chicks and put a nutrient additive in their water (I got some from Tractor Supply that had vitamin B in it while trying to nurse a chick last week) in addition to the electrolytes. I would also reexamine the type of food they are being given and make sure it is fulfilling all their needs, and that these two chicks are not being pushed out at feeding time due to size or whatever other factor.

    I hope someone else with more experience can help!

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