Chick holds beak to chest, shakes head violently while chirping loudly, walking backward...

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Madamegato, Aug 26, 2013.

  1. Madamegato

    Madamegato Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 30, 2011
    ABQ, NM
    Hello all,

    I have a 12 day old chick (speckled sussex) who very suddenly today developed some odd symptoms:

    + She holds her beak to her chest (eyes closed) and stands up really tall, then suddenly dips into a squat.
    + She violently shakes her head and chirps VERY loudly, as if something is wrong.
    + She then stumbles, droops one or both wings, and finally lays down, beak in bedding, and sleeps.
    +Rinse, repeat.

    I have two other chicks that are the same age that are absolutely thriving and show no illness.

    Of note also - she has no tail feathers. The other two are feathering out as normal, but this particular one is not growing as big or as fast as the other two.

    I've given her sugared water with multidopholus powder (probiotics), as well as made a mash of her food with the probiotics in it. I also gave her a little egg yolk earlier in the night.

    She is not eating or drinking on her own, I am having to force feed. Even dipping her beak (tried that before forcing) wouldn't do it.

    At this point, even though she's laying there "sleeping" she is still "talking" to the other chicks (who are frightened by her sudden onslaught of baby bird tourettes) using peeps and trills.

    I have looked up page upon page of posts, links, sites about diseases and such, and can't find anything that explains why this came on so suddenly or what it could possibly be.

    As far as I can tell she hasn't pooped, either, but checking her vent, there's no protrusion/swelling/redness or movement of the vent suggesting constipation. I'm at a loss. Can anyone make a suggestion as to what this might be and how (or if) there is something for her?
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2013
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Flock Master Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    This sounds neurological almost like wry neck, and it could be a vitamin deficiency from birth. Get some chick vitamins or PolyVisol baby vitamins right away--the drops should be 1-2 drops a day. Extra Vitamin E with selenium is needed, but don't give too much selenium--it is best if the vitamin E comes with the selenium in it. Here is a link for you:

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