Are they sick?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Alethea, Jul 6, 2011.

  1. Alethea

    Alethea Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2011
    We are new to the chicken world and our three 11-week-old barred rock chicks have been the picture of health since we got them at 2 1/2 weeks. They are on starter feed, get a snack (I'm pretty conservative about what they get) at 4 p.m. and some scratch when they go to bed.

    Today when I gave them their snack I noticed two things. The first is that two of them ( I think; it could have been the same one pooping twice) pooped in front of me, producing watery poops. The second is that two of them ( I don't know whether they were the same ones) have a prominence sticking out in front. I poked at them through the fence and they felt like bone.
    They are also shedding feathers and I hope it is a normal warm-weather moult. They act perfectly normal.

    Could they be sick? Do they change shape at this age and have a bony protruberence for a while? The person who puts them to bed picks them up and checks them out each night. I've asked him to assess whether they feel like they've lost weight. I know birds will hide their illnesses as long as they can and I want to be on top of it. We'd be sad if our little girls suddenly died because we didn't notice early signs.

    Any help is appreciated.
     
  2. mljohnson05

    mljohnson05 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 16, 2011
    Missouri
  3. spiritdance

    spiritdance Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are you sure the "boney protuberance" isn't their crop?
     
  4. Alethea

    Alethea Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2011
    Thank you. No, I'm not sure it's not their crop. I should look at an anatomy book. It could be the water causing the poops. They are drinking a lot. The person who put them to bed said they are heavy and don't feel like they've lost weight.

    I'll so some homework and go with the fact that they are fine.

    Thank you both very much.
     
  5. spiritdance

    spiritdance Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Their crop is like a "pre-stomach" where the grit they eat helps grind their food. After the chicks eat it will feel kind of like a golf ball sticking out in front of their chests. If you GENTLY mash it, you can feel the grain texture of the food just under the skin. Unless you leave food in the coop at night, you can check them again in the morning and the crop should be empty.
     
  6. BrattishTaz

    BrattishTaz Roo Magnet

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    Quote:x2

    Check them in the morning before they eat and see if the lump is gone. I think all new chicken keepers have a good panic (I thought mine had cancer) over a full crop the first time we notice it. [​IMG] The runny poop could just be from drinking a lot of water. I wouldn't worry unless you notice other symptoms or it becomes a chronic issue. I am also betting the feather loss is just part of the awkward teenage stage that birds go through.

    Keep an eye on them but from your description, they sound like they are fine. Make sure you are giving them grit so their crops don't get impacted by the extra treats you are feeding. [​IMG]
     
  7. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

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    I'm guessing they're fine... all chicks go through a period of time where it seems like they're molting... little feathers everywhere. If they start losing weight, or look pale and listless, then I'd worry. [​IMG]
     
  8. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    They could be preening their feathers. External parasites can cause feather loss, check them thoroughly for lice/mites. I recommend you stop feeding them treats and scratch and just feed them the starter feed til they are 18-20 weeks old.
     
  9. Alethea

    Alethea Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2011
    Thank you, everyone. The chicks are fine. Now I know what a full crop looks like.
     

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