Chick breathing hard

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by menageriemom, Jan 26, 2008.

  1. menageriemom

    menageriemom Hatching

    Jan 26, 2008

    I just signed up for this group at the suggestion of a fellow chicken lover. She thought there might be someone who could help me. I need some suggestions for a Serama chick that I hatched out several weeks ago. She was the last chick to hatch and had trouble getting out of the shell, so we had to help her a little. Though she was smaller than the others, she was active and eating and drinking. When she was about 2 weeks old she started having great difficulty breathing and would sit by herself under the heat lamp, throw her head back and open her beak with each breath.

    At the suggestion of the lady I got the eggs from, I mixed fish oil, yogurt, electrolyte/vit powder and antibiotic powder with some chick starter and gave that to her (and all the chicks since they had been exposed). I also fogged her three times a day with Oxine solution that has had good affect on fowl with upper respiratory problems. By day three, she looked cured, but by day five she was having some trouble again (not as severe).

    At this point, I also noticed that she had flaky skin. Another older chick was shaking her head a lot, and even though I saw no other signs of mites, I completely washed down the cage with bleach solution and oxine solution and dusted all the chicks for mites. The older chick is still shaking her head, so I don't know what that is about.

    Than another friend suggested that I try benedryl to help with the breathing and that baking soda helps chicks that have a hard time hatching. So for three days I gave them several drops of children's benedryl and a sprinkle of baking soda mixed with chick starter and yogurt.

    Her flaky skin is mostly gone but the labored breathing is still there. It is not as bad as it was initially, and seems to have plateaued. I think I can occasionally hear a little clicking when she breaths. She is about 4 weeks old now. She is growing but is not as feathered out as the other chicks.

    In all this dosing, I was totally guessing on amounts. Maybe I need to start over with bigger doses. I welcome any suggestions!


  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    I would venture to guess that because they are so young and you hatched them out, that that last chick may have a genetic defect or disorder causing these problems because it couldn't make it on it's own. By dosing them with meds and supplements like you have, is probably making it worse. Especially with the anitbiotics. Antibiotics when used in cases that do not involve bacterial infections... is one of the reasons we have bugs we cannot defeat and are resistant to our efforts to kill them. You kill all the weak natural bacteria they need, and so the few survivors come back stronger and resistant to treatment.

    If it had been a bacterial infection, not giving enough antibiotics on round one, probably has now made the survivors resistant to the antiboitic you gave, so if you gave a lethal dose to your bird, the bacteria may very well be unharmed and live on as long as the chick is alive.

    Go ahead and keep up on vitamins and electroites, but stop giving antibiotics and other poisons to kill things like mites and lice. I doubt they have these bugs if they have not been out exposed to adults.

    Head shaking is often a neurological disorder and i remember hearing about supplements with lots of vit b to help the problem.

    What feed are they getting? Sometimes head shakes and neurological problems can be brought about by mold too.

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