crusty head and eyes on baby chick

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by sage, Sep 30, 2007.

  1. sage

    sage Hatching

    Sep 30, 2007
    I am nursing a 2-3 week chick that has a crusty growth around his face. The crusty skin has completely covered both eyes, but I have been applying Virgin Unrefined Organic Coconut Oil several times per day, and was able to pry one eye partially open. The other eye is sealed shut. The coconut oil keeps the skin supple, and is antimicrobial and antibacterial.

    What is this condition, and how can I treat it? The chick was with the mother hen, sequestered in a closed horse stall. The mother could come and go because the top 1/2 of the door remained open. She had 5 chicks to start, and all seemed to be doing fine. When I checked on them, all but one were dead. The surviving one was perched on the water dish. I noticed lots of field mice in the stall, and was wondering if maybe they killed the other chicks? The other chicks did not have the crusty growth, and I could see no obvious signs of death.

    I have been feeding him a bunch of my own superfoods: a flax immune supplement, mixed with some super green powder, maca powder, trace minerals, probiotics, and keep starter mash and water in his box. I have been keeping him in the house under a low watt blue light, which keeps him plenty warm at night since I cover the box. I presume that the blue light causes less stress, since the color blue is calming.

    He seems strong, and is happy to eat when I put the food in front of him. I am hoping that all the superfoods will give him nutrition to make his immune system strong. His poop was very watery at first, but has firmed up and looks pretty healthy.

    Has anyone ever dealt with this disorder? What the heck is that crusty stuff? Any recommendations? I intend to keep him in the house at night, and I put him out during the day to get sun. The chicks were not able to get sun in the stall. Could that be a factor as well? I have another baby I’m keeping in the house as well (abandoned by his mother) and am being very careful to keep the healthy chick separate from the crusty one, just in case it’s catchy. Thanks for any info as I am new to rescuing chicks.
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Hope someone can come along and help you out. I don't really know what that is since I've never seen it before. Maybe the mice brought something in to your chicks? As for the food and stuff, I guess that would work, but maybe avian electrolites and vitamins would be better since the stuff you eat is formulated for mamilian bodies. Can birds see blue very well? Usually they put red ones on chicks if they are picking on each other but that may be due to it disguising the blood that may show up.
  3. sage

    sage Hatching

    Sep 30, 2007
    Thanks for your comments. If it was the mice, why didn't the other 3 have it? And the strangest thing of all, why did the 3 that looked perfectly healthy die, and the one with the crusty growth lived?

    sometimes God works in mysterious ways. As far as an update, the little rooster is strong, hungry and healthy aside from the crusty yellow growth that has completely sealed one eye shut, with just a tiny opening where the other eye is. He's out sunning himself right now. I will give him another week or so, and if it doesn't improve, and if he doesn't have full use of at least one eye, I'm afraid he will have to go kiss the sky.

    it would be cruel to let him go with the others (free range), because I know they would kill him.

    Any suggestions greatly appreciated!
  4. NewGuineaChooks

    NewGuineaChooks Songster

    Aug 24, 2007
    San Antonio, Texas
    I'm afraid the only time I've experienced something like that was in a batch of diseased turkeys. 1/3 of them died without notice, and the other ones gradually died over the next few weeks, as crusty, weeping growths slowly covered up eyes, and then breathing holes too. We never figured out any way to treat them.....Only 3-4 survived out of 25. I think your other chicks died because it affected them internally first.

    I really wish you good luck and better prognosis for you chick!

  5. sage

    sage Hatching

    Sep 30, 2007
    Crusty Head died....

    I guess he wasn't as strong as I thought. Geeze, I hope the energy of my intention about sending him to kiss the sky didn't garner him a premature death.

    sure makes my life easier though. I wouldn't have been able to do it, but I did have a "hit man" lined up.

    Thanks for your response, just the same.

    My healthy baby, Pecker [​IMG] is cooing in my ear, sitting on my shoulder right now. One baby is enough!!

  6. Dawn419

    Dawn419 Lost in the Woods

    Apr 16, 2007
    Evening Shade, AR

    Sorry about Crusty Head. Chcikens are flock animals so your really should get Pecker some company!

  7. sage

    sage Hatching

    Sep 30, 2007
    Pecker has a backyard full of chickens and roosters, but I'm not sure he's big enough to set free on his own. It's quite pitiful, really. I have been on the go with my job, afraid to leave him at the ranch when I leave for days at a time. I've been carrying him around in a cardboard box with me, taking him to the office, leaving him in my car when I go on (short) sales open, in the shade, in moderate temperatures. I put him outside all day in a cage when I'm home, and take him out several times a day to play and scratch and eat bugs. I'm trying to get him acclimated to the dogs (5) who have been known to kill babies. Overall, I'm paranoid and am perhaps being a bit overprotective, but I've come this far with him, and what a waste to have him killed now!

    When I get several consecutive days at the ranch, I hope to catch another chick or two to put in custody with him so he can start to be a real chicken. Or rooster. Whatever.

    Since his 2 siblings died already - one got picked on by bigger chicks in the pen; the other died of hypothermia when I trusted the rancher to put him in a cage with a light to keep them warm.

    I actually wrapped the 2 in warm towels and they slept on my chest in bed for a few days!

    so, I am a bit hesitant to set him free before I feel he's big enough to defend himself.

    Any suggestions? I know it sounds crazy, and it's like having a 2 years old kid, especially now that he's beginning to fly out of the box.

    Thanks for your suggestions!

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