5 week old chick, won't open eyes, head turned to left, lethargic,


11 Years
Jun 19, 2008
St. Isidore
We hatched this chick from our own eggs under our broody hen. It was fine yesterday morning and then yesterday afternoon when we went to let them out it was sitting alone in the nest with it's eyes closed. It peeps really loud at times, will drink if you can show it the water but still doesn't open it's eyes except for a second the odd time. They are on medicated feed and as of last night all others were healthy and full of spunk. I am wondering if this one got injured and maybe has brain damage? Pooping fine but now seems to want to back up until it touches something. Can stand just fine. Not sure what to do.
sometimes chicks under a broody in a nest will "miss out" on getting sufficient water... I suggest you separate it (brooder set up with particular concern for avoiding temp swings ) and ensure it gets sufficient water > put electroytes int he water (diluted pedialyte will do in a pinch) and offer it some free choice live culture yogurt > make sure its feed is moistened also (this all to combat dehydration which I suspect is the culprit here) > if it is something else then having it separated will give you the opportunity to observe any further symptoms.
Thank you. We seperated it right away and have it under a heat lamp. I have been giving it water and made a mush of it's starter feed with 2% milk. I am heading out to the store now and was going to pick up some electrolytes and some of that liquid children's vitamins. Forget the name just now and some yogurt as well. It seems to be better and is opening it's eyes now and standing more upright at times but wants to go backwards. When it is sleeping it's head is constantly moving and bobbing. I thought that maybe it was dehydration but the head movement worried me but the symptoms didn't fit with anything I could find. Thanks for the help and I will update again later.
Do not give milk... yogurt is ok (live cultured non-flavored is good but not milk) ... you can add some cooked oatmeal (JUST enough to make the feed clump together) ... yes I agree with your concern on the head movement... if the head is bobbing it is neurological whereas if it is circling that often indicates an inner ear problem/inection or such (often brought on my earmites)...
give the polyvisol and aviaCharge 2000 if you have it (a great general supplement) > additional vit E or wheatgermoil would also be helpful (cant hurt might make all the difference)
I think our little chick is dying. She seemed to be doing really well at 5am. No more weird head movements and seemed alert and bright. I helped her have her electrolytes and yogurt and polyvisol but when I went and got her at 8am she was non-responsive and is now hunched up and breathing but that is about it. When I try to give her anything it just falls out the opposite side of her mouth. I got rid of the milk but read somewhere earlier to soften their food with milk so that is what I did. Anyways, I don't think she will be around much longer. Thank you for your help.
yes keeping the feed moistened (especially if you suspect dehydration ) is very important however someitmes you just have one that "fails to thrive"> often this is due to them become hypothermic for too long a period (chicks are unable to regulate their body temperature) and once the organs start shutting down there is little you can do.
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