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Huge fluid-filled bulge on 6-day-old chick's neck - Very Worried!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by RIRintheCountry, Nov 4, 2013.

  1. RIRintheCountry

    RIRintheCountry New Egg

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    We are not necessarily "BackYard" chicken owners, as we have nearly always had a flock of 20 or so hens on our 20 acres for egg production and insect control, but I love this website, and have implemented so many great ideas for our flock that I found here. But we are pretty experienced chicken owners, and pretty experienced chick-raisers. We have never encountered anything like this, though, and are reaching out for help or advice because we're awfully worried about one little chick we got recently.

    Last week, we purchased several RIR day-old chicks. All were happy, healthy, hungry, and thirsty when we got them home. On their second day, one chick started having some feces build up on her rear, looked like "pasting up." We checked her probably 5 times a day, and gently cleaned any waste off of her with a warm, wet cloth, then dried her off as best as possible with a soft dry cloth. She never stayed wet, and continued to eat and drink well, but she never stopped soiling herself. Yesterday (chick is 6 days old), while cleaning her vent, I noticed a very large bulge at the base of her neck. It is at the very base of the neck; it is off to the right side (just in front of and below her right wing), not in the middle of her neck. At first glance, I thought she might just have drank a ridiculous amount of water and overfilled her crop or something.

    Then I noticed that where I could see skin, I could actually see fluid sloshing around, VISIBLE THROUGH THE SKIN on her neck over this "bubble." This "bubble" as I'm calling it was mostly (85-90%) fluid-filled, with a little air at the top, too.
    She continues to eat and drink well, even though the "bubble" is just as large as when I discovered it 24 hours ago. She also continues to have the "pasting up"-type problems, and we continue to clean and dry her as often as possible (at least 6 times a day). She's smaller and less active than all her sisters, but is still eating and drinking well.

    Does anybody know what this could be? Will it be a chronic problem? Will it start affecting her quality of life? Is there any way to treat?

    We want to get her better, but certainly don't want her to suffer for a prolonged period. She doesn't seem really unhappy right now, just a little smaller and slightly less active. And she's definitely still eating and drinking well, so I'm hoping that this is fixable, and that she will pull through!
    I don't have a photo right now, but will try to post one tomorrow.

    Thank you, in advance, for any help or advice!
     
  2. Pontata

    Pontata Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is that her crop? Does it go down every morning?
     
  3. chippysmom327

    chippysmom327 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Could you take a picture? or better yet, a video?
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2013
  4. RIRintheCountry

    RIRintheCountry New Egg

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    Pontata: that was what I first thought, too, but it's way too large for a chick her size, and the fact that I can see the fluid through her bulged out skin is the really odd part to me. With a normal crop, even if really full, you shouldn't be able to see the contents from the outside of the bird's body, right?
    Also, it has not really changed in size at all during the last 48 hours. This morning, it also had feed in it, besides just the water from yesterday, but everything was the same size.
    Chippysmom327: I will try to upload a pic when I get home this afternoon!
     
  5. chippysmom327

    chippysmom327 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Maybe she's just special and her crop is very close to the skin.
     
  6. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

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    Yes my guess would be that its her crop also. I had a bird that when she would eat her crop bulge would be off to her right side and not the middle like my other chickens. Sometimes with babies their air sacs can burst causing a bubble of air but since your saying its fluid in it without seeing it my guess would be she has a crop like my bird did off to one side. It never bothered or hurt my bird in any way but it was just different. AT first it scared me but after I felt the seed in it I knew it was her crop. can you feel seed in your birds area or is it just fluid only?? If its not the crop and your 100% certain of that and its a fluid filled area after you figure out for CERTAIN what it is and if its NOT the crop you might be able to help the chick by draining it.but I would find out for CERTAIN what it is before I would attempt something like that!! If you do end up having to drain it you could use a small needle and remove the fluid that way but please don't attempt this unless you know for certain what the swelling is.you wouldn't want to drain it if it was the crop just in a odd position. Hope this helps and hope you can figure out what it is. A picture would be very helpful. Best wishes
     
  7. Pontata

    Pontata Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well I had a chick who after eating, I can really see the contents of her crop. Liquidy slush food goodness. It was gigantic and I stopped feeding her so that it will not burst or something, only feeding her when it went down :)
     
  8. CABrighty

    CABrighty New Egg

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    I had this problem just lastnight.
    My poor chick was only a few days old, 5 at most, and I noticed she wasn't running around as much.
    She deteriorated within the space of an hour, going from an empty air pocket, to it being filled with what I can only describe as puss.
    I called my vet who told me to leave her on heat and that she would right herself.
    Later there was a hissing noise, the air released, the fluid gushed out of the pocket and she choked to death.
    Absolutely heart broken as I tried my hardest to do right for her.

    I do have a picture of the air sack but it was taken a few minutes before she passed, so not sure if people would be comfortable with the image
     

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