Chick's Head Funk

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by RedDrgn, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

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    May 11, 2011
    West Virginia
    My Coop
    1 out of 5 of our 3 week old chicks has a personal body odor issue. [​IMG] More precisely, her head has a strange funk to it...yes, we sniffed each chick all over ([​IMG]) and it's only on her head/neck. None of the others exude anything like it. I first noticed it about a week ago, and it really hasn't changed (gotten better/worse, altered otherwise) since. The odor itself is a little hard to describe...somewhat reminiscent of cecal poop, but not nearly as as potent or gag-inducing.

    She's mostly fluff on her neck and head, though does have visible pin feathers working their way in. There's no evidence of feather fouling of any kind, no infection, parasites, injury, disease, etc. She's eating/drinking well and behaving and pooping normally. Her crop seems normal, not bloated or hard. She also appears to be the emerging lord of the flock (everyone else comes at her beck and call and generally follows her around).

    Any ideas on what this could be and/or how to remedy it? Thanks! [​IMG]
     
  2. LizD360

    LizD360 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 15, 2010
    Sanford, FL
    You didn't say what type of chick it was.

    Our first batch of chicks (2 bantams and 2 BA) never smelled, but then later we got 4 RIR's and they definitely had a funky smell! It didn't matter how often I cleaned the brooder there was always that smell.

    They finally outgrew it and don't seem to smell any more than the other girls. Hopefully your little one does the same. [​IMG]
     
  3. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

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    Quote:Whoops! Sorry. She's a Welsummer.

    Maybe it's something that she'll grow out of, then. That'd be nice, anyway! I had wondered if it was the pinfeathers, but I don't see any reason the new feathers would smell like that since they generally just have a "dustiness" to them that all birds tend to have. Hmm...
     
  4. Hot2Pot

    Hot2Pot Fox Hollow Rabbitry

    Feb 1, 2010
    West TN
    Watch her carefully . Any sneezing or nasal discharge? Smellyness of the head is a symptom of coryza.You may want to isolate her just in case, it IS contagious, if she has it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2011
  5. Buugette

    Buugette [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG]Cra

    May 26, 2009
    Bucks County, PA
    Perhaps she has egg yuck on her head from hatching. I had a chick that came out all sticky and icky with a piece of shell stuck to her head. I bathed her baby shampoo and warm water as soon I realized that she was not drying, but just getting stiff and pointy. What I didn't wash was her head, just kinda wiped it off a little. She smelled and I ended up bathing her again at a couple weeks old.

    D
     
  6. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

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    Quote:We've been keeping an eye on her, and all signs point to normal. The only time she'll sneeze is right after she gets done taking a dust bath. No eye or nasal discharge. I will go see what this coryza is, because that sounds pretty bad!

    Quote:There doesn't seem to be anything on her and she didn't smell at all during the first two weeks. I don't think it'd hurt to give her head a wash, regardless, though.
     
  7. Pele

    Pele Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Boise
    I had this problem with my third batch of babies this year. Only two barred cochin chicks had it out of a batch of 6. After doing frantic research, I determined that they had sour crop. Our smelled like spoiled milk, and could be smelled at like 5 feet, it was aweful. We ended up buying an intubation tube for teeeeny tiny critters from our vet, and flushed them with some water (very very carefully). They were instantly much much less smelly, but we kept having to do it over a week to cure them.

    It didn't seem to affect their health really, but we didn't want to take any chances. Sour crop is when their crops get a yeast or bacterial build-up, which makes their breathe smell just aweful. Thats why only their heads smell.

    Hope that helps!
     
  8. Buugette

    Buugette [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG]Cra

    May 26, 2009
    Bucks County, PA
    This info was in another thread regarding sour crop:

    Use ACV 1-2 Tablespoons to a gallon. I do no food for 24 hours, then bread with oil, plain yogurt which has less sugar, and scrambled or boiled eggs. Don’t feed her grains or layer feed for two or three days, then start out by wetting it for her. Sometimes a non-emptying crop turns out to be caused by a yeast infection that affects the upper GI tract, rather similar to what toddlers can get. Emptied crop, fed soft foods and used a 10-day treatment with Nystatin liquid (again, the same antifungal used for toddlers). I am very fortunate to have a good Avian vet nearby!

    Hope it helps.
     
  9. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

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    Quote:Quote:Yes, thank you everyone! I will take another look at her tonight and see about actually smelling her breath/face area rather than the back of her head. It's not terribly pungent at this point, but I don't want it to be either. Hopefully we can clear this up if that's the issue!
     
  10. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

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    May 11, 2011
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    So I checked Persephone out very thoroughly last night. She was still behaving entirely normal (eating, drinking, pooping, and running around like a maniac with the others). No evidence of respiratory illness of any kind, nor eye problems. Her crop was full, but not crazy-full - it wasn't hard or particularly squishy, either. The odor that started this thread was still present, but noticeably diminished compared to the last few days. We added ACV to the water...don't really want to go anything further than that since all other behavior and appearance is 100% and we don't want to cause undo stress, etc. Will continue to monitor closely.
     

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