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Chicken acting "dizzy" and not growing. HELP!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mamamoonglow, Oct 24, 2010.

  1. mamamoonglow

    mamamoonglow Hatching

    Oct 24, 2010
    We are newbies to chickens and got our silkie babies 5 weeks ago. One of our babies is on the small side (she is now about half the size of the other 4). Recently we noticed that she has a weird sort of head wobble/tremor, almost like she is dizzy. She is unable to peck accurately as well. She seems to be ok when pecking out of the food dish, but if you give her a mealworm or something like that she cannot seem to peck in the proper spot. Other than being small and the head wobble she seems totally fine. She behaves normally in every other way. She is able to "fly" (as well as the others do, which isn't very well, lol). Her feathers seem healthy, she can walk around normally, she is occasionally perching (only 2 of the girls are perching without ambivalence). I have not noticed any issues with her poop. It is occasionally runny, but not alarmingly so, in my opinion. It's hard for me to monitor that when there are 5 chickens together in one space.

    The chicks are currently housed in our kitchen in a large dog crate. We were using paper bedding but it was very dusty so we've switched to a pine shaving bedding with a small amount of paper mixed into it for absorbency. It comes this way commercially from the pet store. None of the other chickens are acting strangely or sick at all. We didn't really notice that Kip was acting unusually until she was so obviously smaller than the others. There was some sneezing going on but I think we've remedied that with the bedding change. The chicks go outside for about an hour/day at least 4 days a week, as often as we can. We were getting ready to move them out permanently but I'm not sure what to do now that Kip is not doing well.

    I am wondering if it is a neurological problem. I was considering isolating Kip from the others and providing her with special care. I am willing to syringe feed her or hand feed her if that turns out to be a good idea. I'm not sure what/how to do that so guidance on this would be greatly appreciated. Also, I'm afraid to isolate her because she and the other chicks freak out when I do, lol. She is obviously unhappy to be away from them, and the other chickens are not any happier. They do not seem to be isolating her from the group and I don't want to give them a reason to do so if I can help it. I'm not sure how to isolate her without causing them all stress, but I also want her to get the extra care she needs. I'm afraid to isolate her inside and move the other chickens out to the coop, but I also can't keep them inside indefinitely, lol. They are getting big and needing more space. Any suggestions about that?

    I know this is a lot of information but we are very worried about her and want to do the right thing for her. We love them all and while I know there is a chance that she won't survive, I'd still like to try. I've talked to a local vet who thought that there was not likely much he could do for her. He's willing to take a look but I don't see any mites or worms and none of the others are showing signs of illness so he was under the impression that it was a defect or problem that he would be unable to treat and I tend to agree with him. I'm willing to take her in if there seems a good chance that they can help, so throw out your ideas and we'll go from there.

    Thanks in advance everyone. I look forward to learning from your experiences.

    Gwen, mama to 4 kids and 5 feathery babies.

  2. RedRoosterFarm

    RedRoosterFarm **LOVE MY SERAMAS**

    Mar 25, 2010
    Eatonville, Washington
    Vitamin deficiency maybe? Sometimes they act drunk when they are lacking vitamins. I believe you need B or E. Good luck and hope thats what it.
  3. mamamoonglow

    mamamoonglow Hatching

    Oct 24, 2010
    Quote:They are being fed a medicated stater/grow feed. Is there a good supplement to add to it? They get mealworms daily but Kip doesn't often get one because she can't seem to get ahold of it and one of the others always swipes it. I had her isolated from the others with a mealworm for over an hour the other day and she couldn't get it into her beak to eat it. It's very strange.
  4. spikennipper

    spikennipper Songster

    Jul 25, 2009
    Kent, UK.
    This may be the start of newcastle disease, the symptoms are the same as what your bird is suffering from, it is contagious so you should isolate the bird, treatment is antibiotics that you will need to get from the vet ( oxytet if I remember rightly ) if no treatment is given they very rarely recover plus constantly shed it so it may just be best to cull [​IMG] as even birds that do recover will continue to shed.
  5. MissJenny

    MissJenny Songster

    May 11, 2009
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    First try children's liquid Poly-vi-sol vitamins WITHOUT iron two to three times a day for two to three days to see if there is any improvement. If so then you have a simple vitamin deficiency. Often times this will clear up the problem easily, quickly, cheaply and with no drama. How nice. Let us know.


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