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Chick scratched itself with back feet after hatch, now cries a lot and has trouble holding head up

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Raiz, Jul 4, 2015.

  1. Raiz

    Raiz Out Of The Brooder

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    This baby chick pipped, zipped, but then seemed to give up. I checked on him a day after zipping, and he hadn't made any progress. The membrane had become hard and the shell was drying, stuck to the chick. I was able to get it out of the shell, but it seemed to not realize that it was hatched. It kept scratching its legs against its neck until its neck was bleeding pretty badly.

    I washed it with warm water after hatching it to remove the dried membrane and shell fragments. Somehow, it managed to survive through the day. I put it into the brooder with the chicks that hatched around the same time, but they all went immediately to it and started violently pecking it.

    The chick has trouble standing for very long. It has pooped a couple times, but isn't eating or drinking anything. It seems to almost fall asleep, and then wake itself up and cry for help, repeating that process over and over. I needed it out of the incubator because I have some more chicks hatching in a couple days, so I put it in isolation inside the brooder, a piece of cardboard between it and the other chicks so they can't get to it.

    I wonder if there is anything I can do to get this little guy to perk up and stop crying. He's definitely not making happy peeps like the other chicks. He can hear them, but I have to keep him isolated or the others will probably peck him to death. He lost a lot of blood due to scratching himself.

    I was thinking I could replace the cardboard with some chicken wire so he doesn't feel so isolated. I also put a mirror in there but he seems to ignore it. Ideas? Please help!
     
  2. GitaBooks

    GitaBooks Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    I'm sorry to hear about the chick. [​IMG]

    It could be genetically weak, inbred, or suffer neurological problems. It could just be weak from the effort it took to hatch.
    My chick with a neurological problem cried and acted oddly, and we eventually had to euthanize him. However, chicks may also cry if kept at the wrong temperatures or if raised alone, without siblings or a mother to "talk" to them. I would try putting a wire barrier between him and his siblings, so he can see them and keep warm but not be pecked until he can stand up for himself.
    Chicks don't have to feed the first few days, because of the yolk, however, he may be dehydrated due to blood loss. I would try offering some lukewarm (not hot) with electrolytes and vitamins in it.


    I hope he gets better soon!
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2015
  3. Raiz

    Raiz Out Of The Brooder

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    I do have some food and water in there. He just isn't going for it. I've dipped his beak in a few times to make sure he knows it's there. I'll give the electrolytes and vitamins a try!
     
  4. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Poor baby, could you get him some Polyviso(NO Iron) infant drops(at Walmart or other pharmacies) try getting a drop or 2 into him 3 times a day. Maybe you could try putting a drop just inside his beak so he could push it out if he doesn't want to swallow it. You could give him a small stuffed toy to cuddle with,. As long as he is breathing there is hope. Maybe he would take in a bit of sugar water off the top of an eye dropper. Sometimes the sweetness encourages them.
     
  5. Raiz

    Raiz Out Of The Brooder

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    I replaced the cardboard with chicken wire so he could see all his friends running around. It doesn't seem to help. He won't go for the water or food. I also put a mirror for him to look at himself, and he sat beside it for a while. He just looked exhausted. He spends most of his time with his head down, half asleep. Then he wakes up for a minute or two, does the "help me" chirp, and then repeats the whole process. I just wish he would start eating and drinking!

    Anyone ever give their chicks and IV? [​IMG]
     
  6. GitaBooks

    GitaBooks Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    I could be wrong, I hope I'm wrong, but I'm sorry to say, it sounds like your chick isn't going to make it.
    However, you can try a few things to help it out. You can use an eye dropper to get electrolytes, vitamins, and liquid into him. You could try tube feeding (a delicate procedure, so get as much information on this as possible). You could try force feeding some bread soaked in water or tiny pieces of cooled scrambled eggs by prying open the beak and placing a piece on the back of the tongue.

    I do hope it gets better soon.
     
  7. Raiz

    Raiz Out Of The Brooder

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    Well, I came home from work today and he's still alive. When I originally put him with the other chicks, they went straight for his neck. However he constantly cries for help when he isn't able to run around with them, so I removed the barrier today. They only picked at him a little bit, and he pecked back, so I think that helped a lot. They have at least doubled in size, while he still looks like a newborn.

    However, putting him with the others, he started to copy their actions. He ate from the feeder and drank from the waterer a couple times today after watching them. He had pasty butt, so I cleaned that off. Eating and drinking is progress though.... even if it's very little.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2015
  8. GitaBooks

    GitaBooks Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    I'm glad he's doing better!
     
  9. Allears

    Allears Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] So hoping to hear more good news about this little chick...
     
  10. Raiz

    Raiz Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]

    Hard to believe they were all born on the same day. This was a picture from yesterday morning. The difference in size between the healthy chicks and the runt is even larger now.
     

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