HELP!!! 7 Day Old Sick Chick

Amlesni13

In the Brooder
Mar 5, 2018
8
11
26
Hello Everyone!

I have been combing through several posts over the past few days but havent found anything that fits my particular situation, or answered all of my questions.

I went to pick up 10 pullets, 1 cockerel, and 8 broilers from my local hatchery this past Monday. I started them on electrolyte water and medicated chick food. All was well for the first few days until on Friday one of the broilers started breathing through her mouth. Softly. I researched and concluded that it was too warm for that particular chick although it wanted to be under the lamp. All the others had no issue. I seperated it to try and cool it down. It seemed like it helped, so I put her back. Then Saturday morning she seemed worse. Breathing harder and I started to hear a clicking sound when she breathed. After hours of researching I came to two conclusions. Her crop was blocked, or a respiratory infection. I quarantined her and tried to feed her olive oil soaked bread to no avail. So I dribbled a drop in her mouth. Her crop seemed fine as far as I could tell. After a few hours she became very weak. Unable to stand or walk. NO watery eyes or mouth, NO feather issues, NO discoloration in her or her poop. NO coughing, sneezing or anything!!! I fed her sav a chick electrolytes via a dropper, and went to the store and got Tylan 50 and injected her with a .1 cc of it. She seemed to perk right up after an hour. Eating fine, drinking fine, pooping and walking around. I had her quartined in the broiler brooder, and the rest of the chicks together in a seperate brooder. For hours she peeped at a pitch so high and hard it made my ears ring. I assumed it was a blocked crop because antibiotics wouldnt help THAT quick. She squeeled and squeeled so I ended up adding a few of the other meat chicks in with her. She was fine for a couple hours then back to the heavy breathing. I'm extremely confused. I'm not sure if it is a respiratory infection, a blocked crop or something totally different. I cant figure out how she would be fine one second no issues, then back to gasping for air. I've heard that with broilers their bodies grow faster than their insides and that can cause issues. Please advise on what to do. Should I quartine her and continue antibiotic injections and for how long? Do I need to "put her down"??? And a whole other set of concerns, with it being a chicken I intend to eat, can I even eat it if I gave it antibiotics or if it gets better after being "sick" without knowing what is wrong?

I appreciate all the help! :
 

Wyorp Rock

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Premium Feather Member
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Can you post some photos or a video of her? upload videos to youtube, then provide us a link. (photos of her, the brooder, her poop, etc.).

How old is she?

It does sound like she is overheating, how feathered in is she?
I would definately check her crop to see if it's emptying overnight - it should be full at night and empty in the morning. If she is under a lamp (has light 24/7) then you may want to take her food/water away for several hours after she has eaten to see if the crop empties.

If you haven't done so, provide your chicks with poultry grit free choice- since meat birds are designed to eat, eat, eat, she may be consuming bedding-it's hard to know, you will have to watch her.

It's hard to know if the antibiotics are needed, since you don't know what's wrong with her. If you continue them, then give her the correct dosage for the time period. Weigh her. Injectable Tylan50 can be given orally or by injection - I would recommend giving it orally since she is a meat bird and this will help avoid injection site necrosis. Tylan50 has a wide dosage range of 10-40mg/kg given 2-3times per day. I would start with a happy medium of 20mg/kg given 2X a day (.20ml or cc per 1pound of weight given 2X per day).

As for using antibiotics in meat birds, everyone has their preference-do some research and find what you are comfortable with. Tylan has a 1day withdrawal period (days to wait before slaughter) if I remember correctly. Other antibiotics have longer withdrawal periods or may not be approved for meat/eggs.
 

Amlesni13

In the Brooder
Mar 5, 2018
8
11
26
Can you post some photos or a video of her? upload videos to youtube, then provide us a link. (photos of her, the brooder, her poop, etc.).

How old is she?

It does sound like she is overheating, how feathered in is she?
I would definately check her crop to see if it's emptying overnight - it should be full at night and empty in the morning. If she is under a lamp (has light 24/7) then you may want to take her food/water away for several hours after she has eaten to see if the crop empties.

If you haven't done so, provide your chicks with poultry grit free choice- since meat birds are designed to eat, eat, eat, she may be consuming bedding-it's hard to know, you will have to watch her.

It's hard to know if the antibiotics are needed, since you don't know what's wrong with her. If you continue them, then give her the correct dosage for the time period. Weigh her. Injectable Tylan50 can be given orally or by injection - I would recommend giving it orally since she is a meat bird and this will help avoid injection site necrosis. Tylan50 has a wide dosage range of 10-40mg/kg given 2-3times per day. I would start with a happy medium of 20mg/kg given 2X a day (.20ml or cc per 1pound of weight given 2X per day).

As for using antibiotics in meat birds, everyone has their preference-do some research and find what you are comfortable with. Tylan has a 1day withdrawal period (days to wait before slaughter) if I remember correctly. Other antibiotics have longer withdrawal periods or may not be approved for meat/eggs.

Thanks so much! She is a week old. Looks totally normal compaired to all the other chicks. I will upload photos and videos asap. She has plenty of cool area to move away from the lamp but acts like shes cold and always wants to be huddled up under it. I will try removing the food and putting down pellets instead of shavings so she cant eat them.
 

Amlesni13

In the Brooder
Mar 5, 2018
8
11
26

Here is the video. I did notice she has a large mass on her right breast. Not sure if its her crop.... I took food away, but left a little water. She seems better when hydrated. She does seem to be making a stramge chirping noise as well. The 3 other chicks I have had with her are still fine.
 
Last edited:

Wyorp Rock

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Premium Feather Member
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Sep 20, 2015
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Southern N.C. Mountains
Thanks so much! She is a week old. Looks totally normal compaired to all the other chicks. I will upload photos and videos asap. She has plenty of cool area to move away from the lamp but acts like shes cold and always wants to be huddled up under it. I will try removing the food and putting down pellets instead of shavings so she cant eat them.


Here is the video. I did notice she has a large mass on her right breast. Not sure if its her crop.... I took food away, but left a little water. She seems better when hydrated. She does seem to be making a stramge chirping noise as well. The 3 other chicks I have had with her are still fine.

She is breathing quite heavily, like she is too hot, I would try decreasing the amount of heat she is getting to see if that helps. You mention that she seems better when hydrated-see that she is drinking well. She will be o.k. for a few hours without food. Once she is hydrated, then offer her a little wet chick starter.

Put the water and food on the cool side of the brooder-the brooder should only have 1 warm spot.

The large mass on her right breast is the crop-feel that, is it hard, soft, squishy? Watch to see if it goes down after several hour of not eating, she may be having some crop issues which can cause distress.

I forgot to ask-is she pooping o.k. does it look normal? Her vent is clear and not pasted over?
 
Last edited:

Amlesni13

In the Brooder
Mar 5, 2018
8
11
26
She is breathing quite heavily, like she is too hot, I would try decreasing the amount of heat she is getting to see if that helps. You mention that she seems better when hydrated-see that she is drinking well. She will be o.k. for a few hours without food. Once she is hydrated, then offer her a little wet chick starter.

Put the water and food on the cool side of the brooder-the brooder should only have 1 warm spot.

The large mass on her right breast is the crop-feel that, is it hard, soft, squishy? Watch to see if it goes down after several hour of not eating, she may be having some crop issues which can cause distress.

I forgot to ask-is she pooping o.k. does it look normal? Her vent is clear and not pasted over?

I took food away all night and she seemed okay this morning. I only had a minute to watch her before I had to leave for work. But I didnt see her gasping. I felt the pump last night and it was squishy and large. I have two long brooders set up where the heat source is at one corner and the food and water are at the other cool end. Both have breathable lids that I can cover parts of at night to keep the heat in. I am in ohio and its been in the 30s and 40s with snow all week. I try to adjust the temp at night when it gets colder. As far as her poop when I had her seperated it was normal. Ive been doing butt checks daily for all of them, and cleaning when needed. I will add some softened food her her and see how that goes.
 

Amlesni13

In the Brooder
Mar 5, 2018
8
11
26
I'm glad she seems to be doing better. She may have not been drinking like she should have.

Please keep us posted.


Now she has a large mass where I said that lump was. The top has no feathers and it has a large red vein running on it and small purple looking bruises.
 

Wyorp Rock

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Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Sep 20, 2015
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Southern N.C. Mountains
The lump-does it feel like it has air in it or is it hard?
In the video, there is a "line" is that the vein?
Have you noticed if any of the chicks have been pulling out her feathers?

Has her breathing continued to improve?
 

Amlesni13

In the Brooder
Mar 5, 2018
8
11
26
The lump-does it feel like it has air in it or is it hard?
In the video, there is a "line" is that the vein?
Have you noticed if any of the chicks have been pulling out her feathers?

Has her breathing continued to improve?

The lump feels more like air than hard. I didnt want to poke at it too much. And yes the line is the vein. I'll watch them for quite a while and I dont see them pecking at her. They all act normal. She stopped gasping as far as I noticed. I go check on and watch them quite a bit. I clean up the brooders everyday and do butt checks. Her breathing has definately improved.
 

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