6-week chicks not walking properly

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by srslychickning, May 29, 2012.

  1. srslychickning

    srslychickning Songster

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    Dec 5, 2011
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    All, I'm hoping you can help. I have two blrw chicks about 6 weeks old (maybe a bit younger) and they were walking just fine when I got them. Then they seemed to just lose muscle mass or something, and now can barely move around their pen. They seem otherwise healthy, but they just aren't walking properly anymore. They were living in a dark room with a light, but when it got hotter, I just turned off the light. Vitamin D deficiency? I had it happen to one other chick in my last batch, but the other 9 showed no signs. I have since moved the chicks outside where they can get more light, but I am wondering why both are affected. They are very chubby little chicks, but their legs look like they could support them. They can take a few steps over to water and food, and they are eating and drinking, just not walking properly.

    Any advice, experience, recommendations? All are appreciated.

    Thanks!
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité

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    This is a new one for me. It may be some deficiency. What are you feeding them? Any supplements? Have you dewormed them yet?
     
  3. srslychickning

    srslychickning Songster

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    Thanks for the reply. They are eating start/grow medicated, no additional supplements. I've never used anything but start/grow and some ACV in the waterer on all my other chicks, but these just aren't thriving. I bought 4 of them, 2 died within a week but these two were doing great until about 2 weeks ago, one started to falter a bit, and now both are. But I have another chick in with them (from a completely different place) and it's doing just fine. Not sure what to make of it. Never dewormed my chickens before with anything except ACV, but I've been calling around trying to find valbazen since it's a more broad-spectrum (not just rounds). Anyway, if you (or any other readers) have any "ah-ha" moments, please share!
     
  4. sumi

    sumi Égalité

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    Is there a vet in your area that will have a look at them?
     
  5. srslychickning

    srslychickning Songster

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    I am sure there is, I actually work for a small-animal clinic, I just need to identify one and was trying to exhaust home options first.

    So I just went out and checked over one of them again to see if I could see anything new. I couldn't, but I started playing with his/her feet and noticed they are like jelly. I can feel the normal bone structure down tot he ankle, but it's completely bendable below that. It makes me think there was some sort of deficiency in the first few weeks, but I can't figure out what it could be. Anyway, maybe it's time to identify the vet and see what they say.
     
  6. srslychickning

    srslychickning Songster

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    So, here is the "nearly a month later" update. I just stuck the chicks outside in a cage I leave open during the day with another very healthy chick. It took a good 7-10 days, but they got up and started moving around. Now, they are running all over the place. They are still wobbly and their feet don't look 100% sturdy, but they get food and water and can scratch around in the dirt without any trouble, so I call that a success. The only thing that changed was exposure to natural light. They were getting very little as tiny chicks, but now are able to get all they want. I have no idea if that's the case, but it's the only thing that's really changed about their surroundings - food and H2O intake are the same, no new or removed vitamins, etc. I'm just glad they are doing better! Although with all this healing and growing, it's become evident that one of them is a rooster, dang it. All that and he's gotta go. At least his sister is doing better too.
     
  7. Simmonsfunnyfrm

    Simmonsfunnyfrm Songster

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    That's good that you got them back on track at least! My experience is that a chicken that can't walk is a dead chicken. I just saw this thread and was fascinated because their symptoms sounded much like those my 8-10 week old RIR cockerel was going through. It's weird though because he had lived outside his whole life, and he started out strong, but gradually got weaker until he just couldn't walk at all. I actually had to put him down just this morning.
     
  8. srslychickning

    srslychickning Songster

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    Garner, NC
    Oh, nuts, sorry to hear that. I have had to do the same thing to other chicks. Never easy (says the guy who has only had to do it a handful of times - it probably isn't so bad on your thousandth time). If I ever learn more about it (others said they had the same problem) I will post again.
     
  9. Simmonsfunnyfrm

    Simmonsfunnyfrm Songster

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    Yeah. I would have been more troubled had it been a pullet. But I'm sure he's at peace now. I would be interested in learning more, if you find anything out. This was something I had never come across til now.
     

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