Baby chick having trouble walking

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by toniandphil, Oct 6, 2013.

  1. toniandphil

    toniandphil New Egg

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    Sep 23, 2013
    We are first timers at this and are definitely learning as we go, so please bare with me! We just had our first chicks to hatch this weekend in our homemade incubator and got 5 babies. They are all doing fine except the very last one to hatch. It peeps and appears healthy, except it's head looks bigger than the other chicks, and it's feet look smaller. It's end toes are curved in, just a little bit, but definitely not anything like the pictures of curved toes/feet that I have seen. When it stands up or tries to walk, it seems like it is just too top-heavy for it's little feet to hold it up, so it just wobbles forward a little and lays back down. It can take tiny little wobbly steps to get to where it wants, but it definitely is having more trouble than all the others. Is this common at all or has anyone else experienced this kind of thing? I really hope it just grows out of it and is able to survive. This egg was from a hen of ours that we LOVED who was killed by a dog. We had already refrigerated the eggs, not planning to hatch any, but after a few of our chicks (and the only rooster) died, we figured we'd give it a shot with some refrigerated eggs to replace those that we lost. (Really, what did we have to lose by trying, right?) I honestly didn't think it would work, but 5 of the 8 "fridge eggs" we incubated hatched and all but this one looks perfectly fine and healthy!
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    I haven't had a chick like that, but i have had several who were late in hatching have problems that they did not survive. I think chicks who are struggling can always use vitamins and electrolytes in their water. They sell this powder packets at most farm stores to add in the water. You can also use PolyVisol (without iron) baby vitamins 1-2 drops daily, and mix homemade chick electrolytes as well. Here is a recipe for hommade lytes: http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/07/chicken-heat-stress-dehydration-and.html
     
  3. lmullins

    lmullins New Egg

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  4. lmullins

    lmullins New Egg

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    Like the other poster said, definitely try the vitamins. My baby could not walk at all for 3 weeks, she was literally paralysed until we gave her vitamins and electrolytes. Zoey, my chicken was lacking riboflavin and when treated she was walking within 24 hours. Good luck, I hope your baby pulls through!!
     
  5. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    I like to have a bottle of Poultry Nutri-Drench, among a few other things, on hand when expecting chicks. I have helped 2-3 day old weaker ones along very quickly by giving one drop orally. I use Avian Super Pack to supplement water. I think many people overlook the necessity of supplementation for breeding stock. Nearly all water soluble vitamins will affect hatchability. Deficiency in most any vitamin can cause eggs to not hatch , or chicks to die or develop poorly. Of course there are other factors which can also be the source of problems.
     
  6. ChicksandWeeds

    ChicksandWeeds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    no experience with a big head or what might be the issue there...

    but did have a chick in july with toe that was not spread out like it should have been and the chick was unable to walk, seemed a little weak and was not able to eat by itself and would fall over (but no big head)

    in short:
    electrolytes
    vitamin b
    shoe
    dropper feeding the water might be necessary

    after some research ...i did cut out a foot shape thin cardboard and placed the toes like they should been and used band-aid tape (we happened to have some not so sticky ones, because those little feet are quite thin and sensitive...) to keep the toes in place.i did that when there was no improvement after the first 48 hours...even though i tried to adjust the toe a few times...had to adjust the shoe once. the sooner you do it the better....so if there is something wrong with the toe position, the sooner you address it, the better it trains the chick's neurological system right. some say within 3 days gets best results. the reason he is wearing 2 is because it would step with the shoe on the other toes ...so this worked better...it only took a couple of days. he was the last hatch too.
    [​IMG]


    here is a pic of my amateur "shoe" but it worked.

    apparently vitamin b is crucial (and i can't remember now of b6 or b12, ...) - so i also gave vitamin b rich foods ...egg yolk, a little sardines, feta cheese - since that is what i had at home...plus crumble, which he did not eat till after 2 days ...i added chick electrolytes (sav-a-chick electrolyte) to the drinking water for everyone but dropper fed that chick several times a day. he was fine after 3 days, fine in that it ate and drank by itself, which it was not able to do at first and for 2 days. a friend of mine had vitamin b capsules which i opened and put a tiny tiny bit in a little water and fed that by dropper. ...that i only did once.
    i gave that vit d because i didn't have Poly-vi-sol infant drops (without iron) - which some folks use.
    when i fed the eggs (scrambled and hard boiled) they all ended up getting some...i made the chickchick sound and when it saw the mama and other chicks eating, it would take some too.

    in any case, he would probably have died ...and is fine now. it was a very very hot end of sitting, triple digit for almost a week and crowded situation.(i used way too many eggs)


    and here another pic (facebook) with a bit of the story. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?...623341.-2207520000.1381122577.&type=3&theater

    good luck ..and no, i did not separate the chick, even when he had that shoe on
     
  7. ChicksandWeeds

    ChicksandWeeds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    there is a typo ..i meant vit b (not d) - in that 1 sentence.
     
  8. toniandphil

    toniandphil New Egg

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    Thanks ya'll! I updated my profile pic with one of this baby. It's so sweet and I love it's coloring. We actually gave them all some of the "Save-a-Chick" yesterday. I'm not sure if this one has figured out how to drink from the waterer yet, but I've given it some with a dropper and a bottle cap. The oldest chick will be 3 days tonight, and the youngest (this one) will be 2 days. We gave them all some starter feed last night too, which they seem to be doing good with. When I went to check on them this morning (I hate that "please don't be dead, please don't be dead" feeling when you're walking over to the brooder!), the small chick was standing up in the group of the others close to the feeder! It seems strong and healthy, just still a little wobbly, It takes several steps, then lays back down, but still... looking better than yesterday. Hopefully we're getting out of the woods now. One of the bigger chicks seems to be acting as "body guard" and hovering over this one, because the others had been picking on it.

    And about the big head thing, it's not insanely big, just bigger than the others, especially in proportion with it's smaller body and feet. It's like it's just too top heavy for those little birdie feet to support, which don't seem that sturdy in the first place! I was just wondering though... this egg had pipped around the same time as the others, but took longer to hatch. It's shell and membrane seemed thicker and harder to get through (we had several different types of eggs incubating together... same rooster, different hens), so I wonder if all that extra effort it took made a difference and maybe it just needed longer to recover? You'd think if it was strong enough to get out of that tough shell, it's bound to be healthy. But that leads to a different question... The eggs that were hatching were from a brown leghorn rooster, but several different breeds of hens (this particular one was from a RIR hen, we believe), but would crossing different breeds make a "mixed breed" with negative traits or abnormalities? That might be a stupid question, but like I said, this is all new to us! We were surprised we had 5 out of 9 hatch since this was our first time. We weren't even exactly ready to incubate, but our only rooster and a couple hens had gotten killed and we just sort of scrambled around at the last minute to try and incubate some of the already fertilized eggs to try and recoup on that loss (and thought it would be something the kids would love to experience).

    Again, thank ya'll so much for responding and the advice. This is my first thread on here. I can't believe how much we have learned from this web-site, it has been a real blessing for people who don't exactly know what they are doing just yet! :)
     
  9. ChicksandWeeds

    ChicksandWeeds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    so glad it is doing better - i too was glad about all this info here - regarding the picking...sometimes some "entertainment" is good.) crowding and boredom in the coop/brooder is one of the worst things when it comes to pecking)...a forage dish - the planter base - for example, added some clum of dug up grass to it every day, or a branch or 2, a hiding corner ....stuff like that ...anything suitable other than each other :) - i think you might be on the right track ..it needed to rest still - one thing i noticed this summer with the hatches - hen hatched . some of the chicks i didn't even see for 24 hours...and then it took another day before they actually got about and started eating ...so only after 3 days did they all act more or less like those chicks that run around. they stay under the mama and sleep a lot ...another thing ...i always have more that 1 feeder station ...at over 30 chickens ...several in fact ...that has been a good thing. again, good luck, hope it continues to improve and get strong.- mixed breeds imo ...more genetic diversity = healthier ...though not necessarily more eggs and of course, - no purebreds ...hope you get a now little roo too - and a fence a dog can't get through...check out the various breeding methods...i think you have no worries there.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. toniandphil

    toniandphil New Egg

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    Sep 23, 2013
    Two of these should be pure brown leghorn, the others will be mixed with Golden Coment, RIR and Silver Laced Wyandotte. It would be nice if one of the Leghorns were a rooster, but we'll see! Looks like you have a nice setup! Those chicks are so cute! We only have one small "log cabin" type of coop with a small run that we built when we got our original 7 last spring. We're hoping to build a chicken tractor for these little guys to use in our garden. This will be our first winter with chickens, so I'm a little stressed about keeping everybody healthy and warm, and I hate that it will probably be pretty cold outside by the time these little guys are turned out. I'm especially gonna be attached to these since we hatched them ourselves!
     

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