Jun 7, 2020
We recently got a few Ameraucana chicks (currently around 4 days old.) We noticed how of these chicks was reluctant to move and stood away from the group. We brought her inside and discovered she had spraddle leg! When we were trying to put the hobbles on her legs I noticed how she had a bloated belly. I was worried it was water belly or Mareks disease, but she had no bumps under her wings or grey around her irises.

She seemed like she had yellow diarrhea, and it was all over her belly. We tried to clean it off and discovered that it wasn’t diarrhea but from a hole in her stomach! I tried to look it up and it says it might have been the umbilical cord or something to do with egg yolk absorbing, but I’m worried that she might die from this.

We’ve been giving her sugar water and watching after her closely and she seems to be doing a lot better. She’s eating and moving around a lot more. She’s drinking water from her bowl instead of us having to spoon feed her it.

She shakes a lot, but that could be because it’s cold in our house. We gave her a heat lamp and she likes to get right under it.

Anyone here might know what’s going on with her? What else can I do to help her survive? How would I clean the hole to prevent infection? Is their some stuff I can give her to help? (Like foods, things I can mix in her water to give her nutrients and good stuff, things I might be able to pick up from tractor supply or walmart, etc.)

Please, if anyone knows or has an idea, please let me know! I’ll do anything I can to save my chicks. Thank you so much for reading.


Crossing the Road
6 Years
Apr 9, 2016
California's Redwood Coast
I was worried it was water belly or Mareks disease,
It's too early for those to show up. What you're dealing with is called mushy chick syndrome. I would offer Poultry Nutri Drench in the water to support the immune system for 1 week.. along with a high quality... 20%+ protein chick starter or flock raiser feed. A little boiled smashed egg be offered as a SHORT term pick me up. NO supplement should be given more than 10 days in a row. Dab a little iodine (once only to clean as it can cause tissue damage if used long term) or triple antibiotic ointment on the wound.

If poultry nutri drench is not available I would go with Rooster Booster (brand) Poultry Cell (product) and add to a bite of food as it doesn't mix well with water. Both product are the best supplement you can have on hand (for poultry) and far superior to any of the packet mixes for chicks.


Although prognosis is allegedly poor.. I have seen chicks pull through ALL kinds of stuff! So hang in there.

If chick is having a hard time connecting with or swallowing feed... wet it a little into a mash or crush it extra into almost a powder... crushing extra has had huge impact on my survival rate.

Your Ameraucana chicks are probably Easter Eggers.. just for informational purposes, they are still fine birds.

It might be a little late already to be able to help splayed legs.. but offer all the support you can.. to strengthen the muscle that holds it in place. Get her back with your other babes as soon as she is improving or keep her close to them to help combat loneliness or failure to thrive. Being around the other chicks encourages thriving..once her belly is feeling better!

Hope she recovers quickly and your little flock thrives for a long time to come! :fl

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