Baby chick looks like it's choking?!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by MandyH, Oct 7, 2007.

  1. MandyH

    MandyH You'll shoot your eye out!

    I am a veteran at things going wrong with our birds, but I have a 10 day old chick that looks like it is gasping for breath. Even when she is asleep her mouth just keeps opening and opening as if she is choking, coughing or gasping. I have felt all over her and don't feel anything in her crop or anywhere. I also have opened her beak and cannot see anything. Any ideas? This is a first time thing for me.
  2. Chatychick

    Chatychick Songster

    Jul 9, 2007
    Blue Mound, Kansas
    I dont know what it is but have had 1 do that too and she did it all night long they cant breathe with their mouths shut..Right? that is what mine was doing...I couoldnt figure it out either as she did everything else ...drank, ate and all then she started looking like she was just so tired and then found her gone a few days later after I put her in a cage to keep a better eye on her...I guess she just gave up...hope yours makes it...mine was 6 mths old.
  3. barg

    barg Songster

    Apr 27, 2007
    Could be asperated.
    Gape worm maybe.( no experience with it myself)
    Could be an infection.

    Iv'e never seen a chicke recover from being asperated*, don't know much about gape worm but have read many confusing posts on it.
    If it's and infection, I guess antibiotics would be recomended.

    Then again, it could be a feather stuck in it's ear, as was suggested by others in the past about similar problems.

    *Added: Iv'e never seen an asperated chicken chick, just parrot species.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2007
  4. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    Jan 11, 2007
    my advice at this point would be to give POLYVISOL (childrens A-B-D liquid vitamins) three drops in beak once a day to deal with any possible deficiencies (associated with this age>vit A deficiency causes respiratory symptoms). If symptoms get worse with no improvement then it would seem to be a respiratory condition...It might be what is commonly referred to as "brooder pnuemonia" but there are many possible things which might have led to the problems your chick is having including temperature in the brooder etc.... here are some of the bacterial problems commonly seen in young chicks:
    "...Many infections transmitted from parents vertically and some of them could be hatchery-borne, e.g. Salmonella, Mycoplasma, Adenoviral infections. Even eggs contaminated with microorganisms play a significant role in poultry production pathology - E. coli, Pseudomonas and Staphylococcus. Microorganisms cause increased mortality of embryos, lower hatchability and increased early chick mortality.

    30-35% of chick mortality is due to enterobacterial organisms. Salmonella alone is considered as a frequent cause next to Colibacillosis and outbreaks occur during the first 3-4 days of a chick's life
    E.Coli with other organisms contribute to yolk-sac infections and account for 5-6% of chick mortality
    Other less common organisms responsible for ECM are Pseudomonas (6-8%), Klebsiella (3-4%) and Bacillus sp. (1-2%).
    Mycoplasma and CRD cause respiratory diseases in the first 3-4 days resulting in huge mortality
    In multi-age group farms where IB vaccination is practiced, IB causes respiratory problems as well as infectious gout
    IBD cause mortality during the first 3-4 weeks.
    Omphalitis: This bacerial disease affects chicks during and after hatching, navel infection characterized by inflammed skin in the navel area, soft, flabby and distended abdomen, vent pasting and foul smell on carcass opening, due to unabsorbed yolk.

    Pullorum: An acute infectious and fatal bacterial disease in chicks characterized by ruffled feather, white diarrhoea, labored breathing, chiping and death.

    Salmonella: A group of acute rapidly-spreading diseases affecting all ages and characterized by rise in body temperature, septicemia, omphalitis, hepatitis, enlargement of spleen, arthritis and death.

    Colibacillosis: An acute septicemia disease caused by E.Coli affecting all ages and characterized by involvement of all systems, poor feed conversion and death."

    Iv'e never seen a chicke recover from being asperated*, don't know much about gape worm but have read many confusing posts on it.
    If it's and infection, I guess antibiotics would be recomended.

    Gapeworm at this age is not a candidate really I would think...(it is not an infection that is treated with is a worm that lives in the esophagus and causes symptoms that are often confused with respiratory conditions and needs to be treated with a wormer)​
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2007
  5. MandyH

    MandyH You'll shoot your eye out!

    Thanks guys.
  6. hinkjc

    hinkjc Crowing

    Jan 11, 2007
    Kristen - is the baby eating, pooping, etc? While it could be one of any diseases, the most common cause of chick mortality is environmental management. Is the brooder very dusty? Some chicks don't tolerate dust well. I agree, aspiration could have occured as well. Could it be too hot? Is there any smell in the brooder (brooder pneumonia is common if bedding is heavily soiled or wet)? My point is that I would assess the brooder conditions and make sure something there is not causing the problem.

    I also agree a good first step would be to add vitamins - just in case..and they surely can't hurt. And unless your chicks are on soil, they are not candidates for gapeworm. Altho, it is good to rule everything out.

  7. MandyH

    MandyH You'll shoot your eye out!

    Brooder is fine.
  8. k625

    k625 Songster

    Aug 14, 2007
    My chicks used to do that too. It looks like they are kind of gaging. I was told maybe something was just stuck in the mouth/throat, they did it off and on, but never had any other problems with it. I dont see them do it now and they are 8 weeks old. Only one of the silkies "pants" outside alot, but they are all fine. Eat, drink, poop, eat, drink,
  9. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    Jan 11, 2007
    do you have on papertowels? I keep mine on paper towels the first few weeks as otherwise they will eat the shavings...
  10. MandyH

    MandyH You'll shoot your eye out!

    Yes, I have pine shavings with paper towels on top. It is easier to clean everyday like that too. Just roll all the poo and stuff up and chunk it. It is not gasping anymore this evening, just walking around like it didn't scare the crap out of me.

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