Could I have hurt my chick while snuggling her?

Finnie

Crowing
6 Years
Oct 27, 2014
2,614
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Indianapolis
She is four days old, a Sicilian Buttercup.

I'm pretty sure she was standing and acting normal when I took her out of the brooder for some bonding time last night. I had her and another chick on my lap while I was watching TV, and at one point she kind of freaked out and started crying, but I can't pinpoint anything happening to her. It was at a sudden loud noise on the program, so I thought that had startled her and woke her up. She was not happy the rest of the time, and then when I went to put them back, instead of standing on my hand and then jumping back into the bedding, she just laid on my hand. When I put her down, she wouldn't move.

She can curl and uncurl her toes, but really, her whole back half seems to be limp. I've put some feed near her head, which I think she pecked at. Of course, the other chick and the turkey poult I have in there both came and ate the feed for her. I have fed her some water (with electrolytes and vitamins) by a dropper. But if she doesn't start to move, I don't know that I can keep up her strength that way. I had hoped she would perk up over night.

As far as I can recall, there was no type of crushing or smashing while the two of them were on my lap, although I did have my hand over them to hold them still and keep them warm. I really don't think anything injured her, unless she twisted something when she got startled. My second thought was that maybe by holding her still on my lap for so long, I had made her legs "fall asleep". But she is still that way this morning, so it has to be more than that.

I did some searching on here, and every thread to do with any kind of paralysis seems to indicate a disease. I guess I can't totally rule that out, since she could have just seemed fine before, and could have been coming down with something that just wasn't noticeable until I put her back. I also searched about smothering. Maybe I was holding her too snugly, or making her too hot? Could I have half-smothered her? I really don't think I smashed or broke anything on her.

Seems so weird to have a "chick snuggling accident". Has anybody ever had anything happen like this?

Thanks for any suggestions or input you could give.
 

chooks4life

Crowing
6 Years
Apr 8, 2013
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Australia
They can be easily hurt, unfortunately, but a lot of other things can go wrong too. Some are covered here:
Quote: Botulism can cause sudden paralysis, for one possibility. It doesn't really sound like an obvious smothering incident at all, highly unusual if so.

If it's a deficiency issue, the vitamins you're giving should help, especially if they have probiotics and minerals added as well.
Quote:
There's some further general info here:
http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/poultry.html

Sounds like you're doing about all you can. Sorry I can't help more.

Best wishes to you and the little chicks.
 

Finnie

Crowing
6 Years
Oct 27, 2014
2,614
2,924
366
Indianapolis
Thank you, Chooks. Just the fact that you don't think it sounds like a smothering incident helps a lot. I am telling myself that not every chick lives, and that maybe after having 21 chicks now, I am due to experience it.

Yes, my electrolyte solution is actually a probiotic that contains all the other goodies as well. But I don't think it will be a cure for vitamin deficiencies, because it's the only kind of water I've given them since the beginning. So either it isn't good enough, or else deficiencies isn't the problem. Sigh.

I don't think I will assume it's anything rare, but the common stuff could be possible. Since there are no other symptoms to go on, I guess I'll just have to wait and see if anything else develops. I hope she will be OK. I had just been sitting there telling my daughter how these two chicks were among my very top favorites. I hope it's not the breed, because if she doesn't make it, I would still like to have another Sicilian Buttercup.
 

chooks4life

Crowing
6 Years
Apr 8, 2013
4,902
678
296
Australia
Ah, it's often a favorite, isn't it. :(

Hope it turns out alright.

I know some people recommend using only electrolyte solutions but given that their premixed feeds are supposed to be 'complete' nutritionally (though they often aren't) it's a good idea to give them a choice of fresh, plain water as well. Over-nutrition is also malnutrition, overdose of some things depletes the body of other things and can cause deficiency diseases by that.

Still, it doesn't sound like any deficiency issue I've heard of before. All in all, it is a strange incident. I'd think if you'd done this while holding the chick you'd probably know for sure, it wouldn't be so vague.

Best wishes.
 

Finnie

Crowing
6 Years
Oct 27, 2014
2,614
2,924
366
Indianapolis
Well, darn. I ended up having to put her down. Even though I tried hand feeding her baby bird formula, I wasn't able to get enough in. She just went into a long, drawn out decline, and eventually it was too distressing to allow to continue.
 

chooks4life

Crowing
6 Years
Apr 8, 2013
4,902
678
296
Australia
Very sorry to hear that. At least you gave the chick support and TLC, and at the end when it was necessary, mercy.

Sounds like it might have been a congenital fault perhaps. The whole incident is strange, if it were a simple injury that didn't kill the chick outright, the majority survive and heal. Not decline and die.

Best wishes, and better luck in future to you and your chooks.
 
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