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48 Hour Old Baby Chick - scratching head, falling over, high pitched screech

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by QuiltinChick, Mar 18, 2012.

  1. QuiltinChick

    QuiltinChick Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 26, 2012
    Iowa
    We just picked up our almost 60 chickens on Saturday morning from McMurray Hatchery. So they are about 48 hours old. They have all been so active and lively until mid morning today. Just one of the little Barred Rocks is not acting so well.

    When my husband checked them this morning everyone was fine. When we went in an hour or so later to check on them we noticed one little Barred Rock was screeching, scratching at its head, falling over and kind of twitching. It also doesn't want to open its eyes.

    We went in an hour or so later and everyone was just fine, so we thought we were just being overprotective. A couple of hours later we went in again and it was acting like it was earlier - falling over, laying on its back, screeching, kicking, not opening its eyes.

    I've tried searching the website, but couldn't find anything that I thought was relevant. Can anyone offer any suggestions? This is our first time having chickens. All the others are fine and very active. We are feeding them chick starter and have Quik Chick in their water. We also put a little sugar in their water. The bedding is the wood pellets.

    We have almost 60 chickens, so I am having a hard time telling them all apart. Is there some way I can safely mark this little one, yet keep it with its brood? Toe nail polish or something? I just don't want it to get overlooked.

    Please offer any suggestions. We have two young kids and don't want them to be disappointed with loosing one.

    THANKS!!!
     
  2. kristamarie

    kristamarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 5, 2011
    I dont have any good advice for you on why the little one is acting strange. hopefully someone else can help. sometimes the babies just aren't meant to survive unfortunately.
    as for marking the baby for identification I have heard of some people putting marker dots on the babies heads since they will loose all those chick feathers anyways. ive put nail polish on my girls as well.
    good luck!
     
  3. QuiltinChick

    QuiltinChick Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 26, 2012
    Iowa
    THANKS!!!

    These little chicks are black so coloring on their head or body will be difficult.

    The "rare exotic" chick that McMurray gave us for free is a yellow chick with a red mark on his head. I'm still trying to figure out why they would use red. Doesn't that attract the others to peck on him? So far nothing has happened to him, then again he/she is SO much bigger then the others.
     
  4. Phoenix2012

    Phoenix2012 New Egg

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    Feb 27, 2012
    Modesto, California
    Hi, when this happened to me it was mites! The mites were coming in from outside and into the cage where the chicks were. I had to fumigate their cage and my working area.

    Use your favorite mite spray or powder.

    Quick Fixes for Immediate Relief:
    1) Sprinkle Chicks and cage with Datamations Earth
    2) In a 16 oz spray bottle: 1/2 table spoon Borax (Mule Team) dissolve borax in 1 cup of very hot water and then add 1/8 teaspoon Hydrogen Peroxide. Mix thoroughly and spray the chicks and cage.

    Mites can be hiding in old wood, walls or dirt near the chicks.

    Good Luck

    Cyn
     
  5. Phoenix2012

    Phoenix2012 New Egg

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    Feb 27, 2012
    Modesto, California
    I forgot to say that when my chicks were attacked by the mites, not all had a problem, only some. The would peep loudly, fall over, peck and bite at their legs or wings. For some, the biting was much worse than for others and they would screech and fall over or flutter about the cage.

    As an example, I had gotten some pin shavings that felt a bit damp to the touch but being new to the business used it anyway only to find the next day that mites had infested the wood chips and the poor little chicks were just miserable!

    The biting hurts and the sucking of the blood can quickly disable and even kill an already weak chick.

    While this may or may not be your case, perhaps it will help someone else.

    As for the red dot, hatcheries have special markings (usually for sexing or typing the chick) to make it stand out for shipping. The red dot could have indicated sex or type of chicken being shipped (some chicks look alike at an early age and can be color coded to avoid shipping the wrong type).

    Good Luck,

    Cyn
     
  6. If you're concerned about the red dot, get a different color marker and mark over the red... like green or something.

    How big are the wood pellets and do they ever come apart? I'm thinking that perhaps it has gotten some super small pieces of the bedding in its eyes. We had a chick hatched by a little mama that my son said wouldn't open its eyes a couple years ago. I told him to let it be and it would be fine, it was probably just afraid. A couple days later he said it still had its eyes closed so he brought it to me and in looking at it, I saw that some very small pieces of shavings had gotten into both eyes and they were swollen and enflamed. Can you imagine, a bantam chick with stuff stuck in its eyes and you trying to get that stuff out without hurting it or damaging the eye? It was a test to be sure. Good thing my nails had some length on them at the time. Pinkie finger nail to the rescue. Very tender procedure but I got everything out and that baby was fine.

    Check its eyes. You might have to pull the lower lid down to see if anything is in there. Let us know.
     
  7. QuiltinChick

    QuiltinChick Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 26, 2012
    Iowa
    So far so good. Haven't seen any one acting weird for the last couple of days. I can't pick out which chick it was, but everyone seems to be fine. Strange.
     

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