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Could someone give me some advice about our 3 week old chick? Soon!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by juliemom25, Apr 15, 2009.

  1. juliemom25

    juliemom25 Songster

    Apr 4, 2009
    Hey there,

    We are new to chickens and we have approx. 30 3 week old hens (we also have 20 Cornish X). Our hens are in 2 separate brooding boxes. About a week ago (when we had all the hens together) we noticed that two of our chicks were getting pecked. One of our Rhode Island Reds had it's tail feathers completely plucked out and they (I am not really sure who "they" are) had started plucking the tail feathers of one of our Australorps. I took those two and secluded them and a few days later we expanded our brooder boxes and I put our 6 RIR's and our 6 Australorps in a box together. Everyone has been doing great. I just went out to our garage to make sure all the chicks had plenty of water for the night and one of our Australorps is acting funny (it happens to be the one that was getting pecked). She is tucking her head between her chest and almost digging her head into the shavings. She really won't lift her head all the way up right now. She is walking backwards some. Can someone please help and tell me what might possibly be going on? The other 11 chicks look normal. There's no bloody stool anywhere. We had the chicks vaccinated for Mereks at the hatchery and I started them on the medicated chick starter about 6 days ago. Could the medicated feed have done something to her? Do you think she will die? Should I separate her form the rest??

    Please help!

    Thanks! Julie

  2. Jolyn

    Jolyn Songster

    Apr 5, 2008
    Northern California
    I'm no expert but she could have some sort of defect and that's why the others were pecking at her before. I doubt it's something that would be contagious. I would probably separate her in her own box just for her own comfort.
    Do you have a white light in the brooder or a red light? I've heard the red light keeps the chicks from pecking so much.

    That's all i know....[​IMG]
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2009
  3. juliemom25

    juliemom25 Songster

    Apr 4, 2009
    Thanks for your reply!

    I did separate her to a box within her brooder box. She really doesn't look good, any other advice or opinions?

  4. danielnv

    danielnv Songster

    Jan 19, 2009
    Mountains of Virginia
    Maybe you could post some pictures for all to see and better advise?
  5. Hens_And_Chicks

    Hens_And_Chicks Songster

    Feb 23, 2009
    I don't know what is wrong with your pullet that is walking backward but I had a cornish cross that started doing that at about 3 weeks and I culled it. Hard to do but nature has a way of weeding out the weak and defective. Somehow, the other animals know!

    If you don't have some already, invest in a bottle of Blue Kote - it's a purple antibiotic oil you can dab on the pecked/bloody areas to minimize the red blood color and it must taste terrible because my chicks got one taste of it and STOPPED the pecking immediately - they were flicking their heads side to side and wiping their beaks on the shavings.
  6. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

    Jul 8, 2007
    Woodville, MS
    It sounds like wry neck/twisted neck. There are lots of threads on it. Chick will have a curved neck, usually tucks between it's legs and runs backwards - may start to do rolls. Caused by a vitamin deficiency. If this chick was getting pecked and bullied it was probably not getting enough food and water.

    I've "cured" several cases of wry neck, also called limp neck, also called twisted neck. Give the chick two drops of Poly-Vi-Sol (liquid baby vitamin/supplements made by Enfamil) in its beak twice a day. Also cut the top off a vitamin E gel cap and squeeze out the contents for it to eat. Do this for a week and you should see improvement.

    Some chicks just have malabsorption issues that others don't have so the extra vitamins help. You can also feed it scrambled egg for extra nutrition.
  7. juliemom25

    juliemom25 Songster

    Apr 4, 2009
    Thanks again for the replies. I went out first things this morning to check on her (thinking she might be gone) and she looked about the same as last night. Although it appeared that she had been eating and drinking. So, I just went back out to check on her about an hour ago and I was pleased to see she seems to be doing a little better. Her neck was upright. She certainly did not seem frisky or anything, but she was eating and drinking and not doing the weird neck tuck thing.

    Could she really have a vitamin deficiency when I have her on the recommended chick starter? I'd be happy to give her supplements if she needs it, but how could she need supplements if the rest of the chicks seem to be doing fine? Maybe she is genetically weak?

    Thanks again!


  8. chilling in muscadine

    chilling in muscadine { I love being disfunctual }

    Jun 8, 2008
    muscadine, al.
    Correct me if I am wrong guys but if you have a chick vacinated you are not supposed to feed the medicated feed. If this info is correct I do not know if this is what is wrong with your chick. Check it out just in case.
  9. aidenbaby

    aidenbaby Songster

    Apr 10, 2009
    I have a chick that I've been nursing that is acting the same way. I've been giving her water with electrolytes and vitamins in it. She is actually starting to show some improvement even thought I've only had her for 1 1/2 days.
  10. juliemom25

    juliemom25 Songster

    Apr 4, 2009
    We had the chicks vaccinated for Merek's at the Hatchery. The medicated chick feed is for cocci. Right?

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