Botulism...please read!


11 Years
Apr 2, 2008
Southern California
I have a sick chicky. She is 6 weeks old today and I have no real idea how she has contracted botulism. Its so sad. I have seperated her from the other 10 chicks I have. I have already been in contact with someone here on the message boards and they have been great in helping me diagnosis my chicky as well as medicating. But Im just looking for any ideas from anyone who has gone through this and hopefully their chicky survived. The more I become educated the better off my little "moonlight" will be. Please inform me as to what I am to expect to see her experience. So far she has developed only the "hooked" neck making it hard for her to stand. Though she has improved since I stated Polyvisol drops in her water.Please if you have been through this leave me a message. Help educate me. Does anyone have any idea how she could have caught this? My chicks are only 6 weeks old and we just moved them into the garage from the house a few days ago. They have been confinded to there box. I keep it as clean as I can. The only other change is we have eliminalted the pine shavings and have now added straw. Please help
You have diagnosed this as being Botulism, are U sure? Ok, I would call your state vet lab and send this chick to them. Botulism is usually food borne, but there are 3 types. The others are wound and very young animals intestine. Food borne being the most common I would say it was contracted through Feed. Have you ever fed any old home canned food, just asking because if it was old, this can occur from throwing out old home canned veggies. Ok if not! Then most likely 99% of the time it had came from the Feed, stop feeding it ASAP. Have U had the feed contained so nothing could get in it? If U have, then contact the feed store, what is the brand? or do U mix your own, Rats & Mice are the major carriers and their droppings spread it everywhere at your place, in the feeders , the feed store, and or at the feed manufacture. Dairy farms have had this problem where feed is stored in large bunks outside, instead of sealed bins. PS STOP feeding this feed!!!
You may have a serious problem on your hands.
Botulism is the result after a chick eats decaying vegetation or something rotten or contaminated. I would investigate feed source and scrub the entire brooder down completely. Allow it time to air dry in the sun before adding fresh litter and chicks again. I believe a molasses flush is typical to force the toxin out of the body. However, once paralysis sets in, results are typically not good and death is quick because they have difficulty breathing and suffer heart failure. I am sorry your chick is going through this.,chicken

I found this a while back. Although as hinkjc said, it maybe to late for it.
Molasses Flush for chicken that has been poisened.-From Miss Prissy

Molasses flush is 1 pint molasses per 5 gallons water given over a period of 8 hours withhold all other food or water.
The break down is -
(1 PINT = 2 CUPS)
2 cups to 5 gallons water
1 cup to 2.5 gallons of water
1/2 cup to 1.25 gallons of water
1/4 cup to 2 quarts water
4 tablespoons to 1 quart water
The molasses acts as a laxative by pulling water into the intestines and flushing it out.
I would mix it by the quart.
Im thinking she got this from the straw I put in a few days back. Starw can carry bacteria and maybe she nibbled on some of it. I have since then fully cleaned there box and added pine shavings again. Other than that I can only think maybe it was from them pooping in their drinking water. I change it a few times a day...i have no ohter idea how this could have happened.
Im thinking she got this from the staw? Do you think its possible? I have done some resaerch and it does look like botulism. The way she hangs her neck "limberneck". The feed hasnt been exposed to any rodents here at my house. It is stored safely. Wouldnt the other girls come down with by now if the feed was the source of the problem? Thanks for your advice everything helps!
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Hi californiachick... Yes it can come from straw especially oat straw. Going to tell an old tail here! My uncle has over 50 American Saddlebred horses. Years ago we bailed some of the best oats for hay that he ever had, they were over 1,500 bailes. He fed them over a course of 2-3 years. He started having different problems over this 3-4 year time frame, one major problem was horses going blind. Specialist and vets came from UT and UK with little results. Then after some time they came up with Botulism and discovered that the rats had been living and eating in this oat hay in the loft of the barn, They were eating the grain oats in the bales and spreading their droppings.
Hi everyone....I have figured out that my moonlight does not have botulism! This is a praise in some degree...please read below as I have to thank dhlunicorn for her knowledge in this matter!

dlhunicorn I want to thank you! You have been so supportive and helpful the last few days. Me and my little moonlight thank you! I took some extra time this morning and clicked on your link..Dragonflies and Dandelions...Wow! If only I had taken the time sooner to check out your site. Better late than never. Im 100% postive that my chicky is injured with Crookneck and does not have botulism. This is a relief to some degree! I read all the symptoms and this is it. Every single symptom she has!

1. Tucking the head between legs (yes)
2. Tucking the head between legs and backing up (yes)
3. Tucking the head between legs and tumbling over (yes)
4. Walking in circles (yes)
5. Holding the head to one side (yes)
6. Loss of balance (and YES)

So because of your site and the info posted I can now rest at ease with my other chicks. I was really worried about an outbreak of botulism and losing all my girls and my roo.

I happened to have some predisone on hand. My girls are asthmatics. I tried calling a few vets to get it prescribed in the exact dosage needed but the only way they will prescribe it is if I bring her in. Not sure if this is a California thing or strict regulations. So I am taking charge and guess working here a bit. Though I am being real careful not to overdose her with the steriod. I did purchase the baby parrot food and she will be getting this in a bit as well as some bird electrolytes. Doing everything your site says to the T! I hope to see an improvement in her the next few days...She is still with us so I guess IM doing something right! Thank you!

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