Help - Chick weak overall or perhaps injured leg???

CMLR

In the Brooder
6 Years
Feb 25, 2013
36
1
32
I have a chick that is almost two weeks old. Although it can stand and walk when scared or jostled by other chicks, it seems unsteady when it does so and generally lies down. I noticed this behavior just this afternoon. The only two things I can think of that may have caused this are 1) the temperature in our house dropped lower than expected and the brooder was cooler than it should have been this morning by ten degrees, this was immediately corrected upon discovery; or 2) we had out of town family visit yesterday with young children and after I had supervised a chick visit, unknown to me they went back in with their parent, although they were very gentle while I was there, I worry maybe a chick fell or was held too tightly (purely speculation on my part). Does anyone have any thoughts on what could be wrong or what can be done to help? The other chicks seem to be fine. Thanks!
 

Judy

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
34,024
580
448
South Georgia
If you're following the usual 95 degrees the first week and drop by 5 a week, chances are they were glad to have it a bit cooler. I would try dropping the heat a little, unless you have a really good sized brooder and they can get away from the heat lamp completely. It does sound like it could very well be some rough handling that is the cause, though.

Tell us more about your brooder, and what you are using for litter.
 

CMLR

In the Brooder
6 Years
Feb 25, 2013
36
1
32
By my count, I should be at 90 degrees a couple more days and drop to 85 when they officially hit 2 weeks old on Tuesday. First week was at 95, and now I am in the second week and it is 90. That is what I have read is correct?

My brooder is a very large Rubbermaid tub, open on top. Pine shavings for litter (pads like they use for the elderly or puppies were used the first day or so, but shavings for past approximately 10 days). We will make a lid for it with hardware cloth soon. The heat lamp is at one end at the very edge (not attached to plastic though) and they can get away from the lamp by going to the other end. Other chicks are happy, not piling up and not panting. They were crowding together this morning, but the temp wasn't horribly cold, just a bit too cool.
 

Judy

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
34,024
580
448
South Georgia
I think you'll find as you become more familiar with BYC that experienced chicken keepers do not keep their chicks that warm. They often do need to start that warm if they have been shipped, for several days, to recover from shipping stress. But once that is past, they are hardier than we think. I would try lowering the heat and go by how they act. They will sleep cuddled together for the cuddling, or because that's where they fell asleep, not just for warmth. The trouble with Rubbermaid type brooders is they don't have a lot of air circulation. Pine shavings do have some fumes and they are a little irritating to their lungs, though it's not enough to be a problem with good air movement. They are much better off being a little cool than a little warm. Also, the temperature really doesn't vary in there much, and they should be able to get away from the heat if they want. I'll give you a link to show you what one experienced chicken keeper does for brooding.

The limp could be as simple as a sore toe or foot, where another chick has pecked it or where it scratched itself on a piece of pine. I hope it does turn out to be something this simple. You might want to separate it (maybe put one other with it for company) for a day or so to be sure it is eating and drinking, and to cut down some on the usual jostling and bumping, to let it rest the limb a bit.

https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/735392/redneck-fungshui-brooding-17-degree-temperatures/0_20
 

CMLR

In the Brooder
6 Years
Feb 25, 2013
36
1
32
In searching further on byc, there are several other old threads with wobbly chicks. I don't see a swollen joint or obvious favoring of one leg. One possible cause noted in those threads was vitamin deficiency. I feed medicated starter (southern states brand) and for a few days when they first arrived by mail sav a chick electrolyte/vitamin mix. I mixed up more sav a chick today and put it in for all the chicks and in this poor little guy's infirmity for him and his buddy ( who is fine, but keeps the sick chick calmer). Does anyone know if the vitamin concentrations are high enough or should I do the poly vi sol I have seen discussed? I want to help the chick recover if that is possible. I know the vitamin deficiency is probably a long shot, but figure the vitamins are unlikely to do harm. Thanks again!
 

CMLR

In the Brooder
6 Years
Feb 25, 2013
36
1
32
Or perhaps I should go buy some Poultry Nutri Drench to try?
 

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