Crested Chicken Illness?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by bootsandbeaks, Mar 27, 2017.

  1. bootsandbeaks

    bootsandbeaks Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 27, 2017
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    A little background, I recieved an order of 26 crested chicks (mostly Polish). All the chicks looked great when they arrived. I lost one the next day, but attributed that to shipping stress. I opted to treat them all for coccidiosis (Corrid in water 10ml/gal for 5 days). I lost three more in the next five days, but then everyone else seemed fine. I thought I had solved the issue. At three weeks, I lost a couple more, and this trend has continued sporadically. I treated once more for coccidiosis, they remain on medicated chick starter and I keep vitamins and electrolytes in their water. Most pass without any symptoms. I contacted the hatchery who was not overly helpful. At the time, I actually caught one passing. In her last minutes, she was very weak, and star gazing. I sent the hatchery the video and they said, looks like a vitamin deficiency. I get that, but I don't know what is causing the deficiency.

    That was nearly three weeks ago. The remaining six chicks from the shipment have seemed fine since then, but just this morning, the largest and healthiest of the group is lethargic. She's hanging her head and is overall weak. I gave her additional vitamins, but it really doesn't look good.

    Whatever is happening seems to be isolated to the crested chicks. I have several other chicks that all seem to be just fine. The birds that it impacts do seem to go anemic almost overnight, they look a little off, and pass. I think the hatchery is correct in that it's a vitamin deficiency, but I can't seem to isolate the underlying cause of the deficiency. [​IMG] At this point, I am seriously considering culling the remaining birds out of fear that they may have something that can be passed on. I've contacted the vet about doing a necropsy on the bird who is currently sick, but I really would prefer that she doesn't end up in a condition that would lend itself to a necropsy. As non emotional as my text may seem, this group is one of my favorites. The sick one in particular is a character. The thought of culling them is a tough one, but I'm genuinely concerned that there may be something more going on with this group.
     
  2. bootsandbeaks

    bootsandbeaks Out Of The Brooder

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    Just an update. The weak chick is hanging in there, but showing signs of vitamin deficiency. She is just laying with her head twisted at an angle. I gave her more B vitamin and am hoping for the best.
     
  3. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Hi [​IMG]Welcome To BYC

    I'm sorry for your loss.

    Can you share the video with us?
    Is she able to eat/drink on her own?

    Wry Neck/Star Gazing can be a symptom of head injury/trauma, vitamin E/nutritional deficiency or diseases like Marek's, Avian Lymphoid Leukosis or Newcastles.

    Offer her some poultry vitamins that contain Vitamin E or give her 400IU of Vitamin E daily. Selenium is good to give along with Vitamin E so give her some chopped egg or tuna in addition to her normal feed.

    Wry neck can sometimes be hard to overcome, so hopefully with supportive care she will hang in there.

    Keep us posted.
     
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  4. bootsandbeaks

    bootsandbeaks Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]

    Thank you, it may sound crazy, but I really hate losing a single bird no matter how many I have. I cannot seem to upload the video, this is a picture of the last one I lost. It was taken just moments before she passed. The current one looks very similiar except she is still able to sit up. She is not currently eating, but she will drink. I've been giving her a poultry vitamin 1ml at a time, it does contain Vitamin E and Selenium. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be helping.

    You said something that caught my attention. Is it possible that one of the chicks in the brooder is causing this? I've never seen any sign of pecking, but I know that the crest sometimes makes in interesting target for pecking at. It seems very odd to me that only the crested birds seem to be impacted by this. This chick was absolutely fine last night. She was in one of two groups that were in separate, neighboring brooders. Both groups were the same size chicks, and several of them had been hoping back and forth between the two brooders. Since it was getting close to graduation to outside living quarters for both groups, I decided to take down the divider last night. Is it possible that she was pecked in the head hard enough to cause a brain injury?
     
  5. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    How many have you lost all together ?
    Were they all crested birds?

    I'm not an expert, but it's possible it could be injury from a peck to the head. Crested birds are more prone to head injury. What other breeds are they with?

    If you lose this one, you may want to have a necropsy performed just to see if you can get better information on what's going on.

    https://poultrykeeper.com/blog/diseases-common-to-polands/
     
  6. bootsandbeaks

    bootsandbeaks Out Of The Brooder

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    I've lost over half the group. I had that brooder on quarantine for five weeks, it had been two weeks since I lost the red one, and everyone seemed to be doing well. There is a Marans, Orpington, and Ayam Cemani chick in that brooder as well. They came from a different source, and have been unaffected. Whatever is going on seems to be limited to just the Polish. All of the Polish arrived together, so I don't know if it's isolated to that hatch and shipment or specific to Polish. With all of the unanswered questions, I think a necropsy will be a necessity if I lose this chick. She actually looked slightly better this morning. She got up, ate and drank on her own. She's still weak and hanging her head, but not at an angle like she was doing last night. Unfortunately, I believe she aspirated some of the vitamins from last night. That is entirely my fault, she was very weak and I should have anticipated that better. She has a slight wheeze this morning that I am concerned about. I really believe the wheeze is treatment related, not illness related but I am hesitant to give her more vitamins and risk further aspiration [​IMG]
     
  7. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    It's possible since it's limited to just the Polish group it could be genetic. I'm sorry to hear you lost so many, but it seems that you are doing everything you can.

    Hopefully she didn't aspirate too much liquid and will be able to combat anything that comes from that.

    Please keep us posted.
     
  8. bootsandbeaks

    bootsandbeaks Out Of The Brooder

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    Sometimes the simplist explanations.... This girl is holding her head up, walking around, eating and drinking tonight. Now that she's moving, I can see a small bald spot on the top of her head. It's no more than two or three feathers missing. I really think this was a head injury. Unfortunately, she is still struggling with the aspiration. [​IMG] I'll keep hoping for the best. Thank you for all the suggestions!!!! I was so focused on the other deaths that I missed what was right in front of me!
     
  9. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    [​IMG] I'm sorry to hear that she is struggling with the aspiration, but it's good to know that she is moving about able to drink and eat.

    You are welcome for the help, I hope she recovers soon.
     
  10. bootsandbeaks

    bootsandbeaks Out Of The Brooder

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    Nevada
    Thank you again!!!!! As of today, the Polish is doing a whole lot better! She's still not 100%, but she is balanced, and moving with her head up. She even perched tonight at bedtime! I have separated out the head picking suspect. After I became suspicious of head trauma, I took a much closer look at the other Polish and realized they all had a few peck wounds. I can't tell you what a relief it was to figure out the cause of these mystery deaths! I really feel bad that I didn't figure it out sooner, but glad that I got the answer.

    [​IMG]
     

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