3 week old chick having spastic jolts and "alarm" chirping

Florafawn

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 30, 2014
4
0
7
Portland, Ore.
We are brand new to chickens. This is our first go and it's been a bit rough. We lost one chick immediately. She was off and weak from the start. We lost another otherwise healthy looking chick seemingly out of nowhere. She was fine, then not able to chirp and breathing heavy and died quickly.

We switched to medicated feed from organic thinking that might be the problem. Everyone seemed great. Two days ago our sexlink who was one of the strongest started nonstop "alarm" chirping. Her eyes are closed when she's doing this. Then her chest lunges up and she does these spastic jolts. It looks like she's being electrocuted. I've read what I could and I'm completely stumped.

Background:
Came from feed store (with a good reputation)
Brooder with sand bedding
Correct temps with red lamps
Water (with probiotics and electrolytes added)
Now on medicated feed
Good ventilation
Kept very clean
No bloody droppings
6 chicks total
Everyone's vents clear

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!!!
 

BantamFan4Life

LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO.
Premium member
7 Years
Jun 15, 2012
84,500
4,227
646
Washington
The chicks dying randomly at an early age sounds like it could be Marek's Disease. However, the chick you are talking about sounds like it is affecting it's respiratory system. I think that your chicks could have Acute Aspergillosis, because all the symptoms seem the same. The closing eyes (probably because of sweeling) and the respiratory problems especially. I hope this helps and your chicks get healthy!
 
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Florafawn

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 30, 2014
4
0
7
Portland, Ore.
Thank you! It doesn't look like there is any treatment for either Mareks or the pneumonia? I read in another thread someone crushed garlic into the water with a chick showing similar signs and somehow that worked. I'll try anything at this point.

Should I change the bedding? The sand could easily be holding moisture in it. We live in Portland where it rains pretty constantly. The sandbags were stored outside but we dried it out as best we could tell. Could that be the cause?
 

BantamFan4Life

LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO.
Premium member
7 Years
Jun 15, 2012
84,500
4,227
646
Washington
Thank you! It doesn't look like there is any treatment for either Mareks or the pneumonia? I read in another thread someone crushed garlic into the water with a chick showing similar signs and somehow that worked. I'll try anything at this point.

Should I change the bedding? The sand could easily be holding moisture in it. We live in Portland where it rains pretty constantly. The sandbags were stored outside but we dried it out as best we could tell. Could that be the cause?
That might work. I know you can put a tiny bit of apple cider vinegar in the water and that can help prevent a further spread to other chicks. You can also give the sickly chicks honey water or electrolytes to increase their energy and help them recover. It would be recommended to change bedding so the viruses or bacteria in them will leave the place where the chicks are. Hmm...I don't think that could be the cause. What I think they might have is a virus which most likely could not be transported via bedding sitting out.
 

Florafawn

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 30, 2014
4
0
7
Portland, Ore.
Thank you for your advice! So far, so good on the others staying healthy. I'm going to give them the apple cider vinegar in their water. My fingers are crossed that this one makes it through too!
 
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