Anxious new chicken mom

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Sara H., May 25, 2017.

  1. Sara H.

    Sara H. Just Hatched

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    We purchased our first six little chicks in April! We had 3 Barred Rock and 3 Rhode Island Reds. Ended up taking one of the Rocks back that evening, as it seemed she was having some vent issues (couldn't poop, no feathers around vent). RKO was nice enough to give us a replacement. Just lost one of our Reds last week. No idea what it was, other than a very strange case of wry neck, maybe? I noticed that she wasn't getting up to eat and drink with the others, and she didn't move when I reached into the coop to do anything - the others were scattering. I also noticed that her head was not up, in the normal way... it's difficult to explain. Brought her in, put her in her own little "hospital". She seemed anxious to eat and drink, so I felt a bit better. But the next day, her neck would pull her head down, almost underneath her. She wouldn't eat and drink as much, even when I would put her beak right in the bowl. We started treating all of the chicks for coccidia at this point, but I still had no idea what was going on. Looked up wry neck online, began doing what I could for that. But by the next day, she wouldn't eat or drink even if I put her beak right in it. Her head was going so far underneath her that she would flip over. We ended up taking her to a vet to have her euthanized. I just had no idea what to do for her, and I felt so bad.
    Now I'm paranoid! I'm watching all my other chickens very closely, checking on them several times a day. I had no idea that raising chickens would be so stressful!
    They are about 6-8 weeks old. I think they were all varying ages when we got them. The Reds are the oldest, and they look so pretty already. They've been in their new coop outside for about a week and a half. They LOVE to get out into the run and play and scratch and peck! And they will NOT go back upstairs into the coop at night! I've tried everything - bribing with treats, leaving them outside until it's absolutely dark, turning on the light inside, leaving the light off inside - EVERYTHING! And I still have to go out and physically put them inside every night! I know for certain that two of them know how to go back up the ramp - I guess they just don't know that they are supposed to go inside the coop to sleep at night! :-/
    Any help or advice for a new chicken owner would be appreciated. I really have gotten some useful information from this site. Thanks!!
     
    chickadoodles likes this.
  2. Christina Callahan

    Christina Callahan Just Hatched

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  3. Christina Callahan

    Christina Callahan Just Hatched

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    May 25, 2017
    Central PA
    It sounds like you are doing a pretty good job. They will learn to go in. It took mine almost 2 weeks. I had to put them in every night also.
     
  4. chickadoodles

    chickadoodles Overrun With Chickens

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    Most people I know treat the chicks with poly visol baby vitamins with out iron. Just a drop in their beak a few times over a few days will usually take care of the problem.
    You just never know what their parents were fed and their diet may have been lacking something.
    I hope your chicks grow into a wonderful flock.
    Many of us give our chickens a variety of treats that also help supplement their diets.
    Black oil sunflower seeds, meal worms and veggie scraps from the garden are wonderful for them. Just take care not to over do it. And enjoy them. :wee
     
  5. Sara H.

    Sara H. Just Hatched

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    I found a wonderful organic starter food for them from Scratch and Peck Feeds. I was feeding organic before, but when this food arrived on our doorstep, you could immediately tell the difference! It took them a bit to get used to it, as it is whole grains ground down to an appropriate size. They were used to the crumbles, but now they prefer the "real food"! I add an herb mixture from the same company and put apple cider vinegar in their water a couple times a week. I have read a lot about the Poly-Vi-Sol, but I have not been able to find it anywhere. What is it, exactly? Should my chicks need it, if they are getting a high quality food and free ranging?
    Today I kept them inside all day, because of the weather (the youngest of them doesn't have all her feathers quite yet), so I gave them a treat of some food mixed in a small amount of yogurt. They gobbled it up in no time!
    I'm already enthralled just watching them. They are so funny! And yet there is something so peaceful about just watching them walk around and forage... Does that make me weird? LOL!
     
  6. chickadoodles

    chickadoodles Overrun With Chickens

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    Feb 28, 2013
    South West Alabama
    No we all enjoy our birds. The phone vision are human baby liquid vitamin's. If they are all doing fine now then don't worry about the vitamins. But poor diet can cause wry neck.
     
  7. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Polyvisol (NO IRON) pediatric vitamin drops are available at pharmacies, Walmart incl. or on the shelf in the baby areas.

    Wry neck can also be caused by peck or blow to the head, in this case possible brain injury. Years ago on BYC it was happening often enough with silkies (vaulted skulls) that some called it "silkie syndrome." It can happen in any breed.

    But breeds where the skull may not have entirely closed over, are at higher risk.
    When it is caused by diet deficiencies the Polyvisol usually helps.
     
  8. Krissyclarkmckee

    Krissyclarkmckee Out Of The Brooder

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    I am a new chicken owner, too. Mine are almost 7 weeks old. I agree that raising them can be stressful, mainly because I am a worrier. Thankfully no serious problems here so far except for some mild pasty butt when they were younger. Reading the forums here really helped me to identify what was going on and how to treat it. Then there was the time I thought they had diarrhea before I learned what a cecal (sp?) poop was.
     

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