Baby Chick constantly laying over on it's side. Should I cull or separate from the rest?

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House of chic

In the Brooder
Jan 24, 2015
I have a 5 week old polish chick that lays on her side most of the time. She will eat and drink but she usually takes a few steps then lays over on her side. She does this even when I take them out in the field and let them run around. The others peck and scratch and she lays down. I had a young chick earlier that exhibited these symptoms at around 2 weeks of age or so. She never got over it and I had to put her down. That was several weeks ago. What could this be? Could it be Mareks? I know they were all vaccinated for it.
Hi! I had a chick that did the same thing, but as with yours, around 2 weeks. Mine was having seizure type things or so it seemed. They gradually got worse and he was spending all of his time lying on the ground. It almost seemed neurological? I eventually had to euthanize.
All the rest of mine are still ok. How is yours by now?
Avian encephalomyelitis is another disease that can affect very young chicks, and can have similar symptoms. It can be passed through the egg, and also spread by chickens who don't show symptoms, but are carriers. If the chick dies, I would suggest getting a necropsy done by your state vet to find the cause of death.
After some further research I came to the conclusion that she had a vitamin D3 deficiency. I added drench vitamins to their water and started taking them outside to spend time in the sun for a little bit the last couple days. She is doing so much better already, spending most of the time on her feet pecking and scratching and acting like a normal chicken. Her size and feather growth were stunted so it will be interesting to see if she takes off now.
That is good to hear that she is doing better. Vitamin deficiencies are common in chickens, especially vitamin E, B1,and B2. What brand of chick starter are you feeding? It might be a good idea to add a poultry vitamin to your flock, or change the brand of feed. Older bags of feed can have a loss of vitamins, so check your bag for freshness dates.
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