How easy is it to over-dose on B vitamins?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Manyfur, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. Manyfur

    Manyfur Out Of The Brooder

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    I posted over a month ago about one of my (now) 3-month-old polish/silkie mix chicks. She's been a little weaker than the other two since the beginning, but in December I noticed she was having difficulty standing, walking, and roosting. There doesn't seem to be anything wrong with her legs except that they're weak. Until 3 weeks ago, the chicks were living in a dog kennel on my kitchen table; when polyvisol didn't help, I started putting pink "rooster booster" from the feed store in their water. It's vitamin B12 and K. That in (I think) combination with letting them run around outside during the day while I was at home made her improve enormously. She was still a little unsteady, and often used her wings to help her balance when running, but I never saw her stagger or her legs tremble.
    3 weeks ago I put the chicks outside, in the now-weather-proofed kennel, so they could adjust and meet the older hens. Since then, though I've kept putting the B12 in the water, I don't know if she's getting as much as before, since the chicks often follow the 'big hens' to their water instead of drinking in their kennel. She has been a lot more sedentary the past three days, sometimes stumbling and falling. It's very windy here in the spring, which makes it harder for her to walk, and I worry that she's not eating and drinking as much as she should for that reason. She tends to move in short bursts, about 6 yards, and then sits down. Plus her brother, the new yard rooster, is going crazy trying to guard her and the other hens at different ends of the yard. It's hard to hear her crying when the other chickens are on the other side of my garden wall.
    Today I gave her about 1/4 tablespoon of the booster in a syringe (though she didn't swallow it all). I'm wondering, should I do this every day until she improves? Is there another vitamin deficiency I should be looking out for? Can she overdose? What symptoms of overdose should I be on the lookout for? If I start dosing the water of all of the chickens, could it hurt the ones that don't need it?
    If anyone has any advice, or experience with this kind of leg issue, I would love to hear it.
     
  2. AnimalLady123

    AnimalLady123 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    At the computer
    Google it up.
     
  3. Manyfur

    Manyfur Out Of The Brooder

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    Googling it up was pretty unhelpful. I tried searching the forums here before posting, and I read a lot of suggestions to USE polyvisol or a B vitamin mix, but no info on how much is too much...some said it's water soluble and can't be used too much, but is that also true of young chicks? I'm also worried about the vitamin K. The bottle only states that you mix 1-3 cc into their food, which seems like very little, or to give orally, and doesn't say how often. I also don't want to overuse because of the expense.
    When I look up B12 overdose in chickens on the regular ol' internet, I just get a lot of links telling me how great chicken meat is for a B deficiency.
     
  4. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Vit Bs are all water soluble, but Vit K is not. It is fat soluble therefore should not be given in higher doses than the recommendation. You cannot OD a bird on B Vits. You OD a bird on B Vits and you get...expensive waste. Any excess is flushed out via the kidneys. You OD a bird on Vit K and you get a dead bird. Vit K cannot be flushed out of the body naturally.

    I hope this helps.
     
  5. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    http://www.ca.uky.edu/smallflocks/Nutrient_deficiencies.html
    weakness mentioned in vit b1

    http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.jsp?cfile=htm/bc/toc_206900.htm
    look down the page for various vitamins

    "Muscular degeneration due to vitamin E-selenium deficiency can cause lameness, particularly in ducks."
    from
    http://www.canadianpoultry.ca/chapter_v.htm


    http://www.poultry-health.com/library/solvits.htm

    http://www.ansci.umn.edu/poultry/resources/nutrition.htm#vitamins

    I hope this helps.

    Additionally, you might consider some of the conditions causing paralysis???

    http://www.poultry.msstate.edu/extension/pdf/diseases_poultry_diagnosis_symptoms.pdf
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2012
  6. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I edited my above post to include more links. Please note that I don't know what is wrong with your little hen. I hope she gets better soon!
     
  7. Manyfur

    Manyfur Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you so much for all the helpful info, ChickensAreSweet and CMV.
    Unfortunately, she's gotten much worse. I brought her inside Monday when I found the rooster standing on her and pecking at her neck; she could barely walk two steps. She's been inside in a box with food and booster-dosed water, but she spends most of her time on her back or side, and seems to have little control of her legs and limited control over her wings, though she still wants to eat and drink, and her droppings look fine. I'm worried it's Mareks, or at least something chronic, considering this has been going on since she was 4 weeks old.
    I'm afraid I need to cull the poor girl now. Even if she gets a bit better, I'm not sure I would want to eat or hatch any eggs she lays. I'm wondering if anyone knows anything about where/how to get a necropsy done? My local extension is unable, and I think a vet would cost a fortune. I only have 4 other chickens, but I'm worried about bringing Mareks to my new place when I move, or infecting any new birds even if the ones I currently have are resistant.
    If anyone has any further advice, I'd love to hear it. I just had a hen die the weekend before last (completely different symptoms), and I hate to have to go through this again.
     
  8. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Sorry things aren't going better.
     
  9. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I too am sorry she is worse. If I were you I'd call the extension back and ask them what your options are in terms of mailing your bird to another state for necropsy if yours won't do it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2012
  10. Manyfur

    Manyfur Out Of The Brooder

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    The deed's been done :(
    When I came home tonight she was in visible pain. I'm going to call the state extension in the morning; it's in town, so I might be able to drop her off, and several people in my local forum have said it's not too expensive. Even though I'm fairly certain the causes are totally different, two dead hens in two weeks merits checking out, I think.
     

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