HELP with silkie chick...Could it be blind?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by AKyardbirds, Jan 19, 2014.

  1. AKyardbirds

    AKyardbirds Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 4, 2014
    We hatched four silkie chicks last week, I posted another thread about one that still had it's cord attached...This is the same one. It pipped and didn't do much for a long time, it finally hatched but still had it's cord (to the best of my knowledge, that's what it was) although it didn't seem to be doing much...I did cut it as close to the shell as I could and it didn't bleed at all so I don't know that that's the issue. The rest already dried up and came off. It was hatched on the 14th, so about 6 days? I don't remember for sure, and is still alive but acts very's what it's doing

    Walks around kind of aimlessly. If I take it out of the brooder and place it on the floor it perks up, chirps a lot and walks but not in any real direction. It bumps into the other chicks a lot.

    In all the times I have looked in on them I have never seen this one eat, drink, or poop. It pooped one time when I had it out, but this has been quite a few days since...

    It seems a lot smaller than the other chicks. They already appear to have grown a bit...

    It is often sleeping alone but always tries to cuddle up near the others when it can.

    They don't pick on it at all, all of the other chicks seem to kind of just avoid this one to be honest. Not mean, but don't seek him out to cuddle with or anything lol.

    Doesn't seem to ever have it's eyes open. If I take it out of the brooder and it's alone it opens them but inside mostly keeps them closed..

    It moves it's head funny. Just kind of wobbles. My boyfriend and I call him Weeble because weebles wobble but they don't fall down.
    Think of how Stevie Wonder tilts his head around when he performs, that's what this chick does.

    My question is, as bad as this sounds, if it really isn't eating or drinking at all how is it still alive? Also, could it be blind perhaps?
    It will drink when I dip it's beak in water, and when it is near the water after I set it down it has dipped its own beak in several times. Almost like it knew the water was there at that point so it went for it? I haven't seen it eat. I tried egg yolk from a medicine dripper which worked a bit and I did buy some Nutri Drench the woman at tractor supply recommended but I've only given it one or two drops, it ended up being more messy than I planned on so now it looks like it's got a beard!

    Any advice is so appreciated! I am new to all this so not really sure what to look out for, but I don't want it to suffer and I want to help if I can...I do worry about it and just don't see how it can still be alive if it isn't eating/drinking anything...

    You should be able to pick him out pretty easily...wanders around a lot. Doesn't seem to really know where he's going. Think he is blind? Super weak? Brain damaged?? I'm at a loss.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2014
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Silkies are prone to neurological problems because of the skull structure (you can read about this on under the articles entitled "silkie skull" and "crookneck.")

    So, with chicks like that, I have seen some not make it and also some that make it. What I would do is to dip the little one's beak in water as you can, and encourage him/her. Other than that, the only thing you can try is vitamin therapy, like selenium and Vitamin E and mutivitamins. There is a vitamin deficiency in chicks that can look like this:
    some people offer poly vi sol without iron (baby vitamins) to chickens- if you search byc you can read threads on this

    So if it were me, I'd offer the little one some vitamins to see if it helped. However, do be cautious as they can choke and aspirate (die) if you pour anything in the mouth. It is much safer to put vitamins in the drinking water. Be cautious as to not overdose, as the fat soluble vitamins will accumulate.

    If the little one isn't eating he/she will not make it.

    I hope he/she gets better soon!

    In summary, there is a "let's talk wry neck" thread that may be useful to you in the future if your silkies get wry neck, but I just wanted you to know that it is very common for silkies to have problems like this.

    It is of course possible that you are seeing a slight vitamin b1 (thiamine) deficiency and it may have nothing to do with the fact that he/she is a silkie. Or it could be a slight case of wry neck...I don't know.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2014
  3. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

    Jan 17, 2013
    I agree with above try the vitamin regiment for wry neck and see if it helps. It might just be what he or she needs.use vitamin E capsules a very slight small amount of selenium for absorption of the vitamin E and vitamin B And polyvisol liquid children's vitamins without iron. I raise silkies as well and I've had four cases of wry neck and have been able to completely cure three cases. It takes about a month to cure maybe sooner depending on the severity. But it can be cured most of the time. With my fourth case she got wry neck twice.on the second time I lost her but I believe she had some genetic problems as she was also ccrossbeak. So do try the vitamins and see if they help.have patience because if it is wry neck as I mentioned it takes some time to cure but can be cured. Best of luck!

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