3 week olds dropping like flies

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by NewChickieMommy, Jun 2, 2008.

  1. NewChickieMommy

    NewChickieMommy In the Brooder

    Jun 2, 2008
    1) What type of bird , age and weight.

    The birds that seem ill are barred rocks and one cuckoo maran

    2) What is the behavior, exactly.

    Seemed scrawnier than the others, have now lost use of legs, have curled toes...it's several of them while the others seem fine

    3) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma.

    No swelling, no bruising, but can't walk and lay to one side. If they can walk then they hobble.

    4) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation.

    I have NO clue

    5) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all.

    a mash of flax, split peas, rye, sesame seeds, oats, millet, pumpkin seeds, fresh apples, raspberries, lettuce, kelp. The one that is really bad will drink if I give her water in a dropper but no interest in food. We lost one last night.

    6) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.

    7) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?

    hand feeding/water. About to admin vitamins. Have done the recommended taping of legs and feet for support with no change in condition.

    8 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird till you can get to a vet?

    I can't take them to a vet so I will have to do this myself

    9) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.

    I will take some and post them

    10) Describe the housing/bedding in use

    large cage with straw and papertowels
  2. morelcabin

    morelcabin Songster

    Feb 8, 2007
    Ontario Canada
    Merks Manual says:

    Riboflavin deficiency in chickens (curled toe paralysis, Riboflavin Deficiency) can develop if feed is not formulated properly. Affected chicks show poor growth, diarrhea, and weakness. There is inability to extend the hocks and progressive inward curling of the toes so that chicks rest and walk on their hocks. Mortality is high by the third week. At necropsy the peripheral nerves, especially the sciatic nerves, are swollen. Histopathologically, there is hypertrophy of Schwann cells, demyelination, and minimal axonal degeneration. Chickens often recover with riboflavin supplementation unless the curled-toe deformity is longstanding.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2008

    Nervous conditions
    in poultry


    Nervous signs occur when the brain, spinal cord or specific nerves are affected. Different organisms or poor feed can cause nervous signs in chickens. The most frequent nervous signs seen, are:

    Chickens lying down because they are unable to stand.
    Walking with difficulty as if in pain.
    Necks twisted or turned to the side.
    Staring into the air and not knowing where they are.


    The following diseases cause nervous conditions in poultry. They are listed in order of how frequently they occur.

    Newcastle disease
    Epidemic tremor
    Marek's disease (range paralysis)
    Poor feed can also cause nervous signs. Usually this is because of a lack of vitamin B2 or vitamin E. Poison can also cause nervous signs. There are many pesticides that should not be used on or near poultry.

    I looked up this information from this website...hope it helps.

  4. NewChickieMommy

    NewChickieMommy In the Brooder

    Jun 2, 2008
    The crazy thing is that most of them seem fine. They are feathering beautifully with tail feathers sprouting and everything. But the Barred Rocks seem the sickest. The Americaunas and the Buffs are doing fabulous! They are eating the same things so I don't guess I understand.

    I have added vitamins to their water and used a dropper to give the sick ones that can't stand some vitamin water.

    I have to get this figured out fairly quickly because I have Brahmas coming from Ideal on Thursday.
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Have you considered switching to a commmercial chick starter. There may be aspects of it that you are not keen on *but* at least you know that it is pretty totally nutritionally complete, whereas a home-mix, who knows. I am *not* criticizing at all, just suggesting something worthwhile to try, given that you're having problems.

    Good luck,

  6. NewChickieMommy

    NewChickieMommy In the Brooder

    Jun 2, 2008
    I was trying to be totally organic. Organic feed is not available in my area and shipping is cost prohibitive. My son is also allergic to wheat so we were attempting to be wheat free in their feed. All commercial feeds have wheat in them. I may try giving them some raw milk or yogurt that has high amounts of riboflavin as everything I have looked at so far says that is the cause for curly toe paralysis.
  7. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    Jan 11, 2007
    would the wheat allergy extend through the diet of the chickens to the eggs?
    I would suggest if you choose to remain on this ration that you add a regular supplement to their diet such as aviacharge 2000 (one of the few complete supplements I know of) > look and see if the vitamins you are giving are in fact electrolytes/vitamins (a common brand is DURVET) > if so this should be used except only in cases of extreme heat/dehydration or shock ,,,it is not a general vitamin supplement.
  8. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    Knowing that they're 3 weeks, that's right about the time coccidiossis will strike for the first time in a flock.
  9. NewChickieMommy

    NewChickieMommy In the Brooder

    Jun 2, 2008
    I have not seen any blood in the droppings but I know that there isn't always evidence of blood. I put in vitamins in their water yesterday and gave them raw milk. I have had two more die and from 29 I am down to 21 and counting. They seem much more active since I put the vitamins in their water and I am noticing that there are seemingly less curled toes this morning but I fully expect to lose 3 or 4 more. I just hope that the riboflavin or vitamin deficiency is all that is wrong with them.
  10. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    Jan 11, 2007
    Quote:I agree... have the med on hand because this can decimate your flock.

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