Baby chick in distress


8 Years
Mar 3, 2011
Any idea what would cause a 5 day old chick to scratch her head like crazy while crying in distress? My chick is doing it every evening at almost the same time, tonight it is particularly severe and we are afraid we will lose her as she scratches in panic and then rests with her eyes shut head between her legs and sometimes stays upside down.. e-mailed the hatchery and they said they never saw anything like this. it is not ear mites as all the other 15 chicks are perfectly fine.. here is a video of an episode, every episode lasts 10-15 minutes and then the chick acts normally the rest of the evening and day after... really the oddest thing I ever saw..
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Is she eating and drinking fine? Someone else posted something similar... I've heard of and seen some chicks that itch more than others as their down is falling out. Also, check the humidity in the room the chicks are in - and check her skin. I'd say if she's eating and drinking there's not much to worry about - obviously if she doesn't get better in a few days then be concerned, but sometimes animals just do funny things to give us panic attacks and keep us in line I think.
She did it almost all night and then fell asleep exhausted.. No, nobody is pecking on her.. I watch them almost all day... I am thinking it is an ear infection since she scratches her ears and does a lot of head shaking..She also does not seem to want to drink much, which makes me think that swallowing must be painful.. I bought some terramycin and am planning to add a 3/4 tsp to a quart of water and see how she does. She will stay quarantines during treatment with a stuffed animal I bought her.. will keep posted if any progress..
OMG! Another chick just started doing the exactly same thing as well! she started scratching both sides of her head and then made a yawn like...just like the other... Now I am really concerned.. I added her to the other in quarantine taking antibiotics... this is just really odd....
did you check for lice or mites? I heard that they can cause the head shaking and it would be at night if it were mites because they dont live on the bird? but come out of the cracks and crevices and feed on the birds???
i would say mites.....they are driving the chick crazy hence the scratching and crying...

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