Baby chick lying on its side


Aug 13, 2019
Hi I'm new here and just looking for some help/advice.

One of my newly hatched cuckoo Marans will start lying on its side, legs poking out, looking dead. If he wants to get up his legs start flailing around like crazy. He must be able to get up because I've seen him walking around.

For reference he hatched on Sunday morning and did the same in the incubator for over 24 hours. Lying on his side, legs poking out, panting like crazy. I thought we would lose him in the incubator as every time I tried to set him on his legs he cheeped so hard and fell over again. I went out on Monday to get him some vitamins in a bid to help him and when I returned he was standing and walking in the incubator.

He is now in the brooder and seems to be doing mostly fine, eating and drinking, walking around normally and sleeping face down normally. But then occasionally I find him on his side.

I guess I'm asking has anyone else had this issue? Should I help him to get back up or leave him to strengthen on his own?
Do you have photos or a video of him? (upload video to youtube, provide a link)

If you have poultry vitamins, I would go ahead and give those for a few days to see if they help.


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You need to give that chick Save-A-Chick or vitamins right away if you want to save it. You can feed it to her directly using an eye dropper. Looks to me like Encephalomalacia (Crazy Chick disease). Also, get medicated feed. If you don't correct this in a day or two she won't pull through.
Do you really think so? Even though he is mostly fine the rest of the time?
Can you get a video of him moving around?
upload to youtube and provide a link.

I would give him poultry vitamins that has vitamin E, B1 (Thiamine) and B2 (Riboflavin).

Most medicated chick feeds in the US and probably the UK too, contain Amprolium which is a coccidiostat used to treat Coccidia which is a protozoa, the medication has no antibiotic properties - it acts as a Thiamine blocker to help starve out Coccidia to reduce the numbers so chicks can build resistance.
While it won't hurt the chicks to eat it, it will not cure any type of condition like Encephalomalacia which is neurological condition from vitamin E deficiency. I would not use medicated feed if I wanted to offer vitamin therapy.

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