HELP! Chick Swollen, Hard lump under left leg


9 Years
Oct 27, 2010
I am new to being a "Mother Hen".

My Black Jersey Giant Peep is 2 1/2 weeks old. We just got her last Saturday and I noticed that her underside has become increasingly swollen over the course of the week. I picked her up last night and the swelling felt mushy, and the skin is red under her fluffiness. She has been "waddling" like a penguin since yesterday morning. I just noticed that she is having difficulty lifting her left leg, so I picked her up to check out the swelling and on the left side it has become firm. It feels like it is about 1"x 0.5" little "egg shaped" hard/firmness. She is eating well(medicated chick crumbles), drinking vitamin/electrolyte water(just started today), and active.

I jumped the gun and took them outside for about a half hour, once yesterday and once the day before. Yesterday they had a few bugs; spider, pill bug, baby centipede, baby earwig, ants, while outside; crickets and a meal worm treats in their brooder. I spoke with the breeder today who stated that they do not let their chicks touch ground until they are 5 weeks old and no treats until then also. They treat them like babies and recommended the vitamin water to perk up the GLW and mentioned that maybe the BJG is overeating.

[I have 5 other chicks; 4 (Partridge Rock, Barred Rock, Light Brahma, Americauna) are fine and thriving; 1 (Golden Lace Wyandotte)has become a little less active and decrease in appetite but eating and drinking, keeping an eye on her too.]

I am very concerned about the swelling on my BJG though, especially since I can now feel firm/hardness under the left leg. Any ideas what may be wrong with my little "Penny"?

Thank you.



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My "Penny" is still active, eating well, drinking well, poo doesn't look poor, but the swelling is still there and the lump is still there. Vitamin/electrolyte water. Took them all off of the medicated starter and switched to an organic soy-free starter. Also gave them some Organic Pastures Raw Qephor mixed with their new feed today. They loved it. My Golden Lace Wyandotte died today though. I don't know why. It was very sad and yes I cried.

Someone mentioned to me about fluid retention/build up within a chicks body. Anyone know anything about that? Or possible reasons she is swollen underneath with that lump under the left leg?
I'm sorry you lost your other chick.
I have been just staring at the pic of your JG trying to think of what it could be. The swelling is in the umbilicus area so maybe infection. Antibiotics could be the answer. You say it has been pooping, right? Worst case scenario is an internal birth defect in which case there is nothing you can do.

I know you said culling is not something you feel you can do but if this gets worse and a treatment is not found it may be something to consider. I'm not saying it is time for that at this point. I only cull if a chick is in pain with no hope of living a normal life.

I really hope someone else sees this and has more info than I do.
Thank you so much for the input. Unfortunately she died this morning.
I think it was a defect because she was a little "bulgy" to my after I observed her closely in comparison to the other chicks. Then when that lump arose I knew something was REALLY wrong. My husband awoke and checked them all and she was fine. I came out about an hour after him and she was gone. I did find out from the breeder that the BJG and GLW were from hatcheries. The breeder I got them from hatched my Brahma, Barred Rock, and Americauna. Even the Partridge Rock is from a hatchery, but she is my biggest and most robust. We shall see how these last 4 do, maybe it is something I am doing wrong...since this is my first time, but I am learning. Could be a number of possibilities, but I can't spend all my time trying to figure it out. All I can do is my best for the rest and go from there. The breeder did let me know that he is more than happy to replace them and that they haven't lost any of the rest of the flock of these two breeds. He mentioned that there is a possibility of stress on these two little ones, having just come from the hatchery and then the trip to my house, new environment etc.

Somebody cluck, somebody cluck, somebody cluck.
peep, peep, peep.
I'm sorry she didn't make it.
I think there was something internal going on that you could not have fixed. I doubts stress or any person caused it. If every chick was meant to live, chickens would not have to lay so many eggs in a clutch.

Good luck with the rest of your chicks.

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