Day old chick... Head injury? Disease? Nutrient deficiency?


10 Years
Jun 25, 2009
I'm pretty sure it's a head injury, but just in case the symptoms are indicative of something else I figure it's best to ask.

Mama hen hatched her first brood yesterday. Six in total. When I got home, they all appeared healthy - peeping, following her, etc. I went inside for a few minutes and came back out to get a closer look. Now there were only 5. We found the other, lying in the grass near the rest of the flock. He had a fresh wound on his head and looked to be very near death. Still breathing however. We brought him inside. I really didn't expect him to make it through the night, but he progressively got better and better and was soon peeping again, but unable to hold his head upright or stand/walk. I was sure the big bird that pecked him had broken his neck.

This morning, he seems to be doing much better. Neck strength has returned. He can hold his head upright. Eye on the uninjured side is open - the one on the injured side is partially closed (swelling perhaps?). However, he can't stand up straight. He can stand, but he leans badly toward the injured side (his left). If you move your hand, he falls over. Leg strength is very good also. He's trying to "walk" this morning, but being that he's not upright, he just kicks himself around in a circle.

I think this is probably one of those things that's just going to take some time and patience and a week from now, I'll be amazed that he's recovered.

But just in case it's not an injury... is there something else that I should be doing?

Yeah - I had planned to do that but my PolyViSol was expired. I'll pick some more up at lunch. He's with me at work today and I just gave him a dab of yogurt. Surprisingly, he gobbled it right up and is now peeping his head off for more. :)

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