Help? Feeding concern/question for special needs chick.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by saul1432, Mar 23, 2013.

  1. saul1432

    saul1432 New Egg

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    Mar 23, 2013
    We have a chick that is about 18 hours old...'he' was a surprise at 23 days, and I went against all my previous will power to not assist with hatching. He has one leg that is slightly gimpy but, seems to be slowly adapting. The most concerning problem is his neck...it's mostly stuck in a downward position. He's made some progress since last night, but it's still a significant issue. We've given him some sugar-water with a water dropper, and he is eating crumbles (yay!), but he cannot lift his head enough to get water on his own. I cut most of the top of a plastic cup, and added glass 'rocks' and water. We're watching closely to make sure that if he does get his head up and over the edge he doesn't get stuck there and drown. I will also continue to give him water via the dropper. However, my son brought up a good point, that is if he can't lift his head to swallow the water, then what(?)! Has anyone had a similar experience? What did you do? Is there a special waterer that might help? Might it be kinder to let him go, and if so, how long do we wait to decide?
    Thank you in advance for your response(s).
     
  2. lalalovinlil

    lalalovinlil Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 22, 2012
    You say he hatched late, that could lead me to believe he has a neck or spine malfunction. If you post a picture I can further observe but he is only 18 hours old so he does not need water or food. I recommend to just leave him in the incubator for a little longer and let him rest he might be better later please post a picture
     
  3. lalalovinlil

    lalalovinlil Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 22, 2012
    I don't think there is a special waterer that will help and he may need to be put down but he is young if I could just see a pic
     
  4. Reurra

    Reurra Overrun With Chickens

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    I had a wonderful little bird named Stumpy i got last April. He had a problem with his legs and could not walk. I hand raised him for the longest time, but he only got worse the older he got. Pretty soon the quality of life was lost and it was harder for me because I had become attached to him.

    I would suggest culling the chick. Long term care for a chicken is very difficult and often ends up poorly in the end. Its also much easier when you are not attached. i had to do the deed for poor Stumpy and I still feel pretty bad. He was 6 months old when I culled him.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2013
  5. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    He/she will not need food/water for the first 48 hours. I'd give it until then to see if the neck straightens out more normally. Do a search on "crooked neck" or wry neck. I seem to recall that some kind of vitamin helped significantly improve this condition. But, as another poster suggested, it could be a spine issue?

    If it continues to need help drinking (after 48 hours or so), I would also suggest putting it down. An animal totally dependent on a human for drinking water just isn't in a good situation...and it will get harder for you to do as you grow fond of it.

    But new chicks don't have a ton of muscle control at first, so at least give it another day...
     
  6. Reurra

    Reurra Overrun With Chickens

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    Definitely this^^

    Some chicks are just all warped when they come out. Try and imagine coming out of a box after a week. I dont know about you, but I'd be wobbly and stiff too! haha

    Seriously though, if it does not improve, then consider letting the little guy go. Its better for both of you.
     
  7. saul1432

    saul1432 New Egg

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    Mar 23, 2013
    Thank you all for your response! The first image is his usual state. The second shows him making an attempt to lift his head. It IS hard to not become attached. [​IMG][/IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  8. saul1432

    saul1432 New Egg

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    Mar 23, 2013
    Also, his head mostly stays angled to the right, as pictured. And even though he is walking, it is often backward and in circles. I gave him the sugar-water on advice for some similar problems I read on another thread....to give him some strength. and he does seem strong, clear eyed, chirping, snuggling with the little chicks,..but disabled. It's a mixed batch of Ameracaunas and bantams. When I put a larger bird in with him the larger one didn't hesitate to attack him. :-(
     
  9. saul1432

    saul1432 New Egg

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    Mar 23, 2013
    I just posted a couple pictures at the end of the thread. Thank You!
     
  10. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I wish I hadn't looked at his picture, because he's cute!
    Many chickens will attack a "defective" one. I hate to say it that way, but that's the clearest way I can say it. I had an ill, dying pullet once that a few of my birds would go out of their way to harrass. That's part of the "quality of life" issues I'd be concerned about.
    As a last resort, I've read about breaking open a vitamin E gell cap and feeding (squeeze the goo into its beak??) it to wry neck birds - and it helped in some cases. You could try that for a few days???
     

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