1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    Not a member yet? join BYC here & then introduce yourself in our community forum here.

3 day old gasping for air

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by AccidentalFarm, Jun 16, 2007.

  1. AccidentalFarm

    AccidentalFarm Songster

    Mar 29, 2007
    I have a 3 day old Speckled Sussex chick that looks like it is gasping for air. It moves its head up in a jerky type motion and opens its beak for each breath. It is standing with its eyes closed. This started yesterday, mid-day and is still the same.
    She has had a Mareks Vaccine, is on Purina Start and Grow (med), plain water, brooder temps are fine, brooder lined with paper towels. When she opens her eyes, they are clear with no cloudiness or crusty's. She has not had treats but could have gotten one (moths are attracted to the brooder light). There is also nothing oozing from her nose or lodged in her throat. There is a little pasty poo around the vent, but no blockage- she has poo'd 2-3 times since being separated at 4:30 this a.m. She chirps, but not super loud or excessively. I have seen her drink once since being separated and have not seen her eat. I have not given any of the chicks any type of vitamins/electrolytes, yogurt, ACV, etc. yet.

    I am stumped. All the rest (34 chicks) are fine. Can anyone help? The feed store closes in 30 mins- so I have to hurry if I need to go pick up any meds.
  2. karri25

    karri25 Songster

    Feb 5, 2007
    My baby chicks got bocelism (sp) and they acted like that! It got so bad that they would even shake their heads in a convulsive type way:-( I got Terramyacin and it stopped. I lost two before I got the meds and none after. I would ask the people at the feed store but it sound svery similar!
    Good luck!
  3. AccidentalFarm

    AccidentalFarm Songster

    Mar 29, 2007
    Thanks, Kerri

    Will the Terramyacin have dosing instructions for 3 day olds?
  4. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    Jan 11, 2007
    gosh...it sounds as though your chick might have got something (somehow) stuck in its throat since there is no other signs of respiratory distress... perhaps a bit of bread soaked in olive oil would help?
  5. AccidentalFarm

    AccidentalFarm Songster

    Mar 29, 2007
    Well, luckily I was able to find a feed store open and I now have Terramycin, Sulmet, and Vit/Elec's.

    I don't know how she could have gotten anything stuck in her throat, but I will try the bread/olive oil first before medicating.

    Thanks for the tip.

    Incidentally, if I do have to administer the Terramycin, and the chick shows improvement, will I need to also medicate the rest of the chicks as a precaution?
  6. AccidentalFarm

    AccidentalFarm Songster

    Mar 29, 2007
    Ok, so the chick would not accept bread soaked in olive oil, or anything else to eat for that matter. I added the terramycin to its water and the chick will not drink. I put a little of the water mix in a dropper and managed to get a few drops in her mouth but that's it.
    Her bum is a little pasty still, but again, not blocked. I cleaned it anyway and applied oil to help keep things from sticking.

    Her crop feels empty, though she seems to have energy. I fear this will go downhill fast if she does not start eating. Any suggestions for a 'liquid' diet that I could get into her with a dropper? How about V&E?
  7. AccidentalFarm

    AccidentalFarm Songster

    Mar 29, 2007
    Ok, the chick has accepted small amounts of water (w/terramycin) from a dropper.

    I think that she cannot eat or drink on her own due to the constant head-jerk action that's going on. She's been doing this constantly since yesterday afternoon with no let-up. I've tried to get food into her mouth, but it's terribly difficult to say the least.

    What in the world could be causing this? She really seems to have no control what-so-ever over this constant movement.
  8. Slim

    Slim In the Brooder

    Jun 16, 2007
    Portage Michigan
    If the bird's bum is pasty, than it seems to be getting nurishment (or at least a bit, as food is going thru). Karri25's guess is as good as anythinng I can think of.I know that Botulism in humans causes muscle disorders.

    But the medication cures many diseases, and would be the "go-to" medication for just about any mysterious life threatening ailment my chicks my contract.

    Sounds like your doing all that could be done, short of going to a vet, and I don't think he/she would do anything other that what your doing now.

    Good luck, I'm interested in how things go for you and it.

    EDIT: Botulism link

    Last edited: Jun 16, 2007
  9. AccidentalFarm

    AccidentalFarm Songster

    Mar 29, 2007
    Thanks for the link. So far in my research, Aspergillosis is the only thing that lists neurological disorders as a symptom. However, it also says that it is not transmittable from chick to chick and sadly, another chick has started this head-jerk movement (on a much lesser scale), and also is sneezing. The first chick is not sneezing, nor has any other symptoms of anything. I do hope Aspergillosis is NOT the culprit, as it has no cure.

    Botulism does not seem to fit. The chicks show no signs whatsoever of paralysis or listless/sleepiness. They both seem to still be strong as ever and clear eyed, no runny noses- even though I still have not seen the first chick eat anything all day.


    On edit: I'm going to retract my thoughts that another chick was showing symptoms. Upon further observation, the 2nd chick seems fine and has been returned to the brooder. It did sneeze and seem to jerk it's head back, but I have not seen either happen in the last 20-30 mins.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2007
  10. bayouchica

    bayouchica Songster

    Jan 23, 2007
    N.E. Louisiana
    Hi AF,
    I've never had a chic with those problems before, but in the past when I mix terrimycin I believe it was 1 tsp to a gallon. Never have given it to one so young.
    Maybe try to give the chic some yoguart,since the antibotic will mess with gut flora.I don't know what else to tell ya, hope the chic gets better soon. [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: