Baby is Lethargic and Refuses to Eat or Drink. Please HELP!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Ornamental, Apr 2, 2016.

  1. Ornamental

    Ornamental Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 29, 2016
    Rock Spring, GA.
    I have a chick that is lethargic and will not eat or drink. She is a Buff Brahma that is approximately 3 days old. She was fine earlier and then the light in the brooder went out without my knowledge while I was tending the older birds in my flock. This has been going on about three hours. I am out of my depth here. I have brought her into the house and placed her under a heat lamp and I have a heating pad on low because she is very cold. I don't know what else I can do to help her. I would really appreciate any help you could give me!
     
  2. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    If she is warm and physically fine, there is little that can be done for her. Electrolytes can be offered in the water, which can potentially help to perk up a chick experiencing stress. However, some loss (1-2%) should always be expected when raising chicks. A singlular droopy chick cannot really be treated; it will either recover or it will not.
     
  3. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    Even when a droopy chick recovers that doesn't mean that all is fine. Many chicken ailments are in essence un-treatable and a chick or hen who seemingly recovers in reality becomes a Typhoid Mary bird who may infect your entire flock for the natural life of that supposed recovered chicken. These birds belongs to you so do with them as you see best, but trying to fix the unfixable is the wrong path. Here's wishing you the best of luck.
     
  4. Ornamental

    Ornamental Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 29, 2016
    Rock Spring, GA.
    Thank you both. I am afraid that the chick did not make it. Even though it managed to get warm, I guess something was wrong with it that I couldn't fix. It is just really upsetting.
     
  5. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop


    Your point regarding hens and other mature or juvenile fowl rings true (lord does it ring true...), but such issues are near unheard of in chicks. A young chick has little likelihood of exposure to such infectious diseases, and even if it had, most diseases will take weeks or months to incubate and cause symptoms, and beyond that most diseases won't cause any symptoms in such a young fowl; most strike at a juvenile age, 6-24 weeks.


    So sorry for your loss.
     
  6. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    If you say so then it must be so. However in my experience many of the really destructive poultry diseases are spread either through the rooster's semen fluid, harbored by the hen, or contracted at hatching from infected equipment, or premises. You know there must be a reason that fertile eggs are used as a medium in which to culture viruses and bacteria. But As I always say, those birds belong to you. Do what you think is best for the greatest number of chickens.

    Started in the 1930s, the control of the spread of communicable diseases is the whole point of the National Poultry Improvement Program. In fact the NPIP for years and years was only concerned with the control and spread of Pullorum Disease, historically the most destructive chicken ailment on Planet Earth. Pullorum also goes by the common name Pasty Butt or the old scientific name of Bacillus White Diarrhea. Most losses occur before 3 weeks of age, often the losses are a failure to hatch or thrive but loses in chicks can go as high as 100%. Coccidiosis and Mareks Disease are two other serious chicken diseases that mostly infect chicks or the young bird. In carrier hens her ovaries are the only part of the body involved.

    thepoultrysite.com/diseaseinfo/131/salmonella-pullorum-pullorum-disease-bacillary-white-diarrhoea

    http://ww.cfsph.iastate.edu/Factsheets/pdfs/fowl_typhoid.pdf

    Read up on the clinical signs
     
  7. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop


    I agree that the "truly destructive" diseases, as you call them, have the potential to be harbored by chicks. You make a good point regarding Pullorum disease - it is generally seen in chicks. Except these diseases you speak of, while destructive, are also incredibly rare in backyard flocks in this day and age (Thanks, in a large part, to NPIP). In all my time as a poultry keeper, I have never once laid my eyes upon a bird infected with such a severe disease as Pullorum or AI. The most common diseases I've seen are Marek's and Mycoplasma G. and S. - all strains of Marek' cannot be transmitted vertically, and though possible, vertical transmission rates for Myco are considered low (4% in recovered birds, 12% in newly infected or actively symptomatic birds). Even if a bird was infected either prior to hatch or at hatch, it wouldn't show symptoms until, at the very very youngest possible, 3 weeks, but cases at that age are very rare and 6-8 is the expected age.

    Pasty butt may be a symptom of Pullorum, but it certainly is not exclusively caused by it! I can attest to that personally. I spent about an hour yesterday cleaning the pasted butts of a couple hundred three-day olds, all from Pullorum-clean hatcheries. Pasty butt almost always occurs in conjunction with shipping stress. And Coccidiosis, while mainly seen in chicks and indeed a rather hassle of a disease, can be cured and does not produce carriers. (Though the point still stands that known infected birds should be quarantined).

    Perhaps there is some miscommunication occurring here - I do agree that sickness starting at the age of 6-8 though 18 weeks (approximately) is cause for concern and looking into whether or not the ailment of the bird could be something which can produce an asymptomatic carrier is important. But I would not call an 8 week old a chick - I think by that age they have become a juvenile cockerel or pullet. Disease in juveniles seems quite common - they are the age group I've seen most commonly affected by the most frequent of infectious diseases. My point is that such issues in chicks have become quite rare - I'm no scientist or vet but I'm inclined to think it would have to do with the spread of the disease. A disease that spreads among chicks is bound to be confined to a smaller area (since naturally chicks would stay with their mothers and roam only the area near the coop) which could suggest that it's adapted to usually affect juveniles instead - juveniles will become more bold and range a much larger area than a chick will, while still being at a vulnerable age for infection or symptoms to begin occurring.

    (If there's any misspellings or poor writing in here you'll have to ignore it, I'm afraid I just woke up and I'm blind as a bat this time of morning).
     
  8. ctrway

    ctrway New Egg

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    Hi I've been reading your thread and I have a chick that is hanging it's head and walking backwards so what is that? What is the treatment? I bought it with seven other chicks last week
     
  9. ctrway

    ctrway New Egg

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    I have also had chickens in my large coop that have yellow stuff crusted on their tail feathers and vent and they are swollen and sometimes not they all have died. I guess they are egg bound or the egg has broken inside and there is infection.
     
  10. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    I think that you and I will both agree that any animal as fragile as a baby chick (which can swiftly die via Pneumonia after only once going skinny dipping in the chicks' drinking fountain) is an animal with some serious issues regarding their immune system, or maybe the lack of a robust immune system is a better phrase.

    To help your readers and mine better understand the danger Pullorum Disease poses to backyard flocks; Typhoid Pullorum is considered eradicated in commercial flocks but it still surfaces from time to time in backyard settings and sometimes jumps to commercial flocks. The cure is total and complete de-population coupled with a lot of time and the serious use of a strong disinfectant. There is hardly a wild bird out there that doesn't pose a threat as a living reservoir of the Typhoid (fowl variety) Pullorum Disease bacteria. The danger that Pullorum poses is so great that for longer than most of us have been alive it has been against Federal law to even think about working on a vaccine against it because vaccination against Typhoid-Pullorum Disease renders the antigen test used to identify carrier birds meaningless because then the test at best only yields a false positive reaction in every vaccinated chicken.

    I use to ship and later helped ship live poultry via international commerce and even third world countries where Pullorum Disease is rife, will not allow live incoming chickens to cross their borders unless the birds are accompanied by a health certificate issued by a third party stating that the incoming birds are Typhoid-Pullorum free.
     

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