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Brooder overheated! Chicks died. How to help the survivors.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by AnimalQuackers, Mar 25, 2016.

  1. AnimalQuackers

    AnimalQuackers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello,

    We hatched out several chicks this week. All went from the incubator to a "Little Giant" set at 92 degrees F as their first 24 hour brooder. I went out for 3 hours, and when I returned, the heater had malfunctioned and 6 of the 9 chicks were dead. One more died within an hour. Two have survived - one, with hardly any noticable issues, but the second is a mess.

    We are syringe feeding her baby bird handfeeding formula, and she does take it. She's pooping OK. She sleeps all the time, and seems to have a neurological issue. At first, it looked like wry neck to me, with the typical "star-gazing" posture. Now, it is more like twitching, or head rolling. Almost more Parkinson's Disease-like movement. I have been giving her an entire vitamin E capsule morning and night, and at first, I thought it might be helping, but she is looking worse today. Will head out later and grab some selenium, but would appreciate other thoughts/ideas as to anything I can do to help this little lady.

    I realize that this is pretty dire, and I will cull her if that is the kindest thing to do. That said, I would like to do everything I can to give her a fighting chance, if there is any chance. She is three days old today.

    Thanks for any advice or suggestions you can offer - much appreciated!

    Michelle in Massachusetts
     
  2. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am so sorry to hear of your troubles... How utterly devastating.

    I'm not really sure there's anything to do, except keep her comfortable and hydrated as best you can. I'd throw in a little B12 with the E to help with any neck/leg weakness.

    Is there any way to contact the company and let them know what happened?

    PS - By the way, upon further reading, it looks like your chick may have suffered from heat stroke and possible brain damage. I am so sorry. :(

    MrsB
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2016
  3. AnimalQuackers

    AnimalQuackers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you so much for the kind reply, MrsB. I agree with your assessment - that she probably has some brain damage as s result of being so hot for so long. Was just hoping perhaps someone had a similar experience and was able to help their little one in some way. I will definitely grab some B12. Do you have a suggestion on the dosage for her? Do you think I should continue with the E, or start the selenium?

    Thank you so much again!

    Michelle in Massachusetts
     
  4. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have no idea what that dosage would be... maybe @Eggcessive could help you with that.

    I hope she is able to grow out of it!

    Sometimes, all you can do is your best. <3

    MrsB
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. AnimalQuackers

    AnimalQuackers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our little Betty is much improved! Almost all of her neurological symptoms have vanished. She still keeps her head turned a little to her left, but no more shaking or "fits."

    We have had her in her own brooder, to protect her from the others who are running around like little nuts. The problem now is she is not eating well. She will not eat anything solid, and will only reluctantly eat liquid foods from an eye dropper. I have watered down hard boiled egg yolk, ground oatmeal, ground chick starter, and Kaytee Exact baby bird handfeeding formula. Again, she will take it, but certainly not enthusiastically, and she is starting to get weak, and is much smaller than her siblings. It doesn't make a difference if I offer the liquid at room temperature or warmed up. I put a sibling in with her in hopes that he would show her how to eat - even gave them a couple LIVE mealworms. She just watches.

    ANY suggestions on what I can do for her next would be so appreciated! We got her through the neurological issues, I would hate to let her down now.

    Thank you,

    Michelle
     
  6. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Chillin' With My Peeps

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    All you can do is keep her hydrated... THAT is the most important.

    Maybe try piping her a little sugar water and offering raw yolk to her?

    MrsB
     
  7. AnimalQuackers

    AnimalQuackers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you, MrsB. She will eat she ground, wet chick starter, but doesn't do so with gusto. I suppose I am comparing her to parakeet chicks, who almost eat your hand off trying to get all the formula in the syringe when hand feeding. She is eating, and has gained a little weight, although she is still much smaller than her siblings. We put a bantam cochin chick in with her - they are about the same size, and the bantam is calmer that the other chicks, and they seem to like each other's company. I do appreciate your suggestions, and your taking the time to reply, MrsB.

    Any other thoughts on food I can offer her that is high-energy and high in calories and nutrition to help her grow and get strong, I would sincerely appreciate.

    Happy Easter to all who celebrate,

    Michelle in Massachusetts
     
  8. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    I'm so sorry this happened to you and your little ones. If you have some Nutri-Drench on hand, or can get some, that would be another thing to try. It seems that if they can't eat for a time, then pretty soon when they are recovering it's harder to GET them back to eating. Nutri-Drench bypasses the digestive system completely and goes right into the blood stream, giving them an essential boost at a critical time. Might be worth a shot....
     
  9. casportpony

    casportpony Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    Lots of fluids! Remember, fluids first, then food.

    -Kathy
     
  10. AnimalQuackers

    AnimalQuackers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you, Blooie and Kathy (HI Kathy!). I actually don't have nutri-drench - I can't believe I don't! I couldn't get any yesterday because of the holiday (don't things always happen on holidays?), but am going to get some today. I've been feeding her between 2-3ml of "formula" (watered down chick starter) every 3 hours during the day. She is maintaining her weight, but not gaining much. She will eat, although she never acts hungry, and is walking better. ALL neurological symptoms are gone. She sleeps a lot, still. It's like she just has NO appetite. :(

    Thank you again, and if you think of anything else I can try, I am all ears!

    Michelle in Massachusetts
     

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