Help! My previously craziest/healthiest/biggest 4 day old chick overnight is not doing well. :(

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by pitbullmomma, May 6, 2017.

  1. pitbullmomma

    pitbullmomma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi all, I'm Cindi from NJ, didn't even get to introduce myself yet. I'm a first-time chicken owner but used to be a small-animal (not chicken) veterinarian. Know a bit about animals and raised quite a few babies. :)

    I got 6 banties off MPC on Tuesday. 3 silkies, 3 feather-legged mix. Five of them were doing great initially. The runt who was sickly and weak from the start died after two days. I did all the supportive care stuff, but she died anyway. It wasn't a surprise and I was expecting it, honestly. Here's the problem though:


    My biggest, friendliest, and healthiest silkie (she looks just like Big Bird from Sesame Street) was acting perfectly fine up till this morning. Goofy personality, kicking and scratching her food, eating like a pig, lovey. This morning I go in to check on them and she's off by herself, weak, acting like my other chick who died. Won't eat. The others are fine and lively. I gave her sugar water which she took, but still won't touch the food or chopped eggs. I don't know what to to. I really love this baby and want her to live!!! Any input would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance,

    Cindi
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2017
  2. SIMZ

    SIMZ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 29, 2011
    Northwest Indiana
    Welcome!!

    How frustrating for you - but it sounds like they're in great hands with your experience!

    Is your brooder temperature in the 90 degree range? Fresh feed? No drafts? After you've checked all those obvious things, it very well could be that they were chilled during shipment.

    In my experience that's how they act when that's happened - great one day and dead the next morning. It can happen that way up to 3-5 days after they've arrived. They'll also tend to have "pasty butt" or diarrhea with that. Either way, I'd suggest giving them some finely chopped up scrambled egg to give them a boost. You can also give them some diluted Nutri-drench (available here at Tractor Supply and our local feed stores). I mix 4-5 drops with just enough water so it's like iced-tea color. Then I'll carefully use an eye-dropper and place that at the side of their beak so they don't aspirate it. Just a few drops a few times a day can also give them a boost. The big thing is to not force it so they don't aspirate it.

    If you lose anymore give MPC a call. Hopefully, that the rest will do great for you!
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. pitbullmomma

    pitbullmomma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi Simz, thanks for the quick answer! Yes, the temp is 95 degrees, no drafts. I bought a Sweeter Heater cuz I was afraid of the red bulbs burning the house down. I check for pasty butt several times a day and keep their butts clean. I've been feeding them medicated starter chick crumble and have electrolytes and probiotics in their water (the Chick Saver packets or whatever it's called). I've been doing the chopped egg thing, first with the dead baby who did eat it, and now with Big Bird. She's looking a little perkier with the dribbled sugar water by the beak but still not eating the egg.

    It's crazy, she has been such a character up till today! I'm wondering, did something happen overnight? Have I been handling them too much? Is there a disease running through my flock?
    I'm calling MPC as soon as they open.

    I ordered Marek's vaccine online but was holding off till they were a week of age, as MPC doesn't vaccinate bantams. Now I'm glad I did!

    Cindi
     
  4. SIMZ

    SIMZ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 29, 2011
    Northwest Indiana
    It sounds like you're doing everything you can to help that baby. You've seen it eating, right? Sometimes if they haven't been eating well they'll start to "starve out" around 3-4 days, too. But that doesn't seem to be the case here.

    Since you don't have other chickens and these are your first, I wouldn't suspect a disease. It's also too early for Coccidiosis, too. I wouldn't think you've been handling them too much, unless you've been carrying them around everywhere with you. lol I still recommend the Nutri-drench - that has a lot of nutrients and vitamins that can address several nutritional issues much better than the sugar water will.

    Keep doing what you're doing! They can pull through....but also be prepared that sometimes they don't. Please keep us posted on how your little cutie is doing!
     
  5. pitbullmomma

    pitbullmomma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks for the quick answer! No, she's been my best eater up till now. I mean she would hop in the feeder and scratch and kick the food around and kick like my dog after he takes a big poop, lol. She ate like a monster up till now. It's crazy.

    I don't carry them around, just pick them up throughout the day, hold them, check their butts, love on em a bit, then back in the brooder. I wonder if something happened overnight? Maybe she got stepped on or something? I'm stumped. I hope it's not that they were chilled during transport, cuz she was my biggest and healthiest up till now! I don't want them all to perish. :(

    I'll check out the Nutri-Drench, thanks!

    Cindi
     
  6. pitbullmomma

    pitbullmomma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi wonderful chicken peeps!
    I wanted to give you an update on Big Bird, my 6 day white old Silkie. She had some bloody diarrhea and was real sick and weak, I didn't think she was going to make it~
    I called MPC and they suggested doing this baby chick emergency smoothie in a shot glass thing. I did that, and just continued intensive care. Guess what, she pulled through! She's not 100%, but sh'e eating and scratching and walking around. Poop still loose but not bloody. Much better than nodding out and trying to die! When I finally saw her eat on her own, I started crying, I was so happy. I'm going to hold off on vaccinating till she's 100% for a few days and then I'll vaccinate the flock for Marek's.
    I have to post pictures. :) Thanks so much to everyone for their help! You guys are awesome!
    Cindi
    (cross-posted to baby chick thread)
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2017
    1 person likes this.
  7. SIMZ

    SIMZ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Great to hear! So glad she's doing better for you! Can you share what was in the emergency smoothie - it sounds like good info!
     
  8. pitbullmomma

    pitbullmomma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yes, for sure!

    You scramble one egg in a teaspoon of olive oil. Then add half a cup of water with chicken electrolytes in it (whatever measure it says on the instructions). Blend it till it's smooth--if it's too thick you can add more liquid (I used my Nutribullet which worked fine).

    Then you dip the bird's beak in in three times (allowing time to swallow of course) every 5 minutes for a half hour. I did this as directed with my sick chick and then the rest to boost their immunity. It seemed to definitely help, as she perked up after that and started eating on her own. :)

    Hope this helps!

    Cindy
     
  9. SIMZ

    SIMZ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Northwest Indiana
    It does help! Thanks so much for sharing!
     
  10. pitbullmomma

    pitbullmomma Chillin' With My Peeps

    You're very welcome! :)
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2017

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