chick can't balance?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Manyfur, Dec 19, 2011.

  1. Manyfur

    Manyfur In the Brooder

    Dec 30, 2010
    one of my chicks (named Creeper) has a leg problem. He's 6 weeks old now, and it's only been happening for 1 week. I've read online and in the forums here—it's not spraddle-leg, his toes seem to be fine, the legs aren't broken, and he doesn't seem paralyzed, so I don't think it's Mareks (I don't know how he'd catch it anyway, since he was hatched by my hens the old fashioned way and hasn't had any exposure). He just can't seem to balance on his feet. Either he has to lean way back, or more often, far forward—his breast is practically touching the ground. This is only when he stands still. He walks normally, but avoids moving as much as the other two (they're sharing a large dog kennel). When he's standing, I can see his feet trembling and he rocks back and forth until he finds a good position to stay upright. He was using a roost normally in the last (smaller) enclosure—I only just made a new roost for the big cage, and so far I've only seen one out of the three using it.
    The only other time I've seen him do this was when he was a day old—the brooder light had burned out, and he and his brother spent all day shivering in the corner and not eating or drinking. When I got home he wouldn't stand upright, he couldn't peep (I could tell he was trying when I put my ear up close), and his eyes stayed closed as long as I was holding him, but I mashed up some chick crumbles in water and fed it to him with a medicine syringe and he was fine under a new heat lamp in an hour or so. Now, he seems fine otherwise—his eyes are clear, he doesn't sleep more than the others (though again, he doesn't like to move around as much). His poop is normal.
    I don't know if there's anything physical I can do to brace him or help him balance. I started putting PolyVisol in their water 3 days ago since I couldn't make him drink it directly, and there's no effect so far—I've also heard putting nutritional yeast in the chick crumbles can help with leg issues.
    If anyone else has dealt with this or has some advice or links to share, I'd really appreciate it.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2011

  2. Ksane

    Ksane Crowing

    Jun 21, 2011
    He sounds weak. My 1st thought is always coccidia when they act weak like that. And given the fact his mom hatched him he's certainly been exposed by being outside with her. Get some Sulmet and dose their water with it.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2011

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