Is my chick sick?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by doodlelover, Feb 18, 2015.

  1. doodlelover

    doodlelover Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 18, 2015
    Hello, this is my first time raising chicks so I was hoping you guys could please help me out. I have 4 silkie chicks that I got from craigslist four weeks ago. They are 7 weeks old now. I had them inside in a brooder since I got them at 3 weeks old and they just went to the outside coop last weekend. When I got them, the lady told me to watch for a funny head tilt thing that would indicate a vitamin deficiency. I thought that I saw a couple of them do it (or maybe I was just paranoid) so I got some vitamins to add to their water last week. About 5 days ago, I noticed one had it's eye closed shut. I flushed it with saline and it opened up, but it still kind of squints. I also noticed it may have a little bit of nasal drainage/crusty stuff. I'm also wondering if the area of skin around the eye doesn't look normal-is there feathers missing? Please see the last picture for a close up. It also might be acting a little off-but it isn't lethargic or limping or anything crazy. Thanks for any advice!




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  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    Welcome to BYC. Do you see any signs of sneezing, nasal drainage, or a swollen or watery eye? Squinting and closing of an eye can be a symptom of air that has ammonia odors or dust, but also can be an early sign of a chronic respiratory disease such as mycoplasma (MG.) It can show up around 3 weeks of age, and may be from the chick being exposed to a carrier bird. Here is a good link to read about MG and other common diseases:
    http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps044
    http://www.thepoultrysite.com/disea...ction-mg-chronic-respiratory-disease-chickens
    http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps031
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2015
  3. doodlelover

    doodlelover Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 18, 2015
    Thank you for your quick response and the links. I have not seen any sneezing but haven't been able to sit and watch for more than 20 minutes or so...and I do believe there is some nasal drainage. The eye doesn't appear to be watery-in fact, it looks dry/scaly around it to me-but I'm not very familiar to how chicken eyes look up close. I think it used to have more fuzz around it-but I don't know if it's to be expected since the feathers came in.

    I was actually going to keep the chicks inside my house in the brooder for 1 more week, but this one's issues prompted me to let them outside sooner in case the fresh air would help. I used pine pellets sold at TSC for horse bedding in the bottom of the brooder, and changed it out a few times as well as picking out visible messes every couple days, but was thought I would take them out in case it was from the dust or something.

    From looking over those pages, it does seem like it could be ammonia related or a respiratory infection-what would the basic supportive measures/treatment include? I'm already giving vitamins in the water.

    From what I saw on MG, I wouldn't think it's that because if the incubation period is 6-10 days they would have probably developed it within a week of me having them, and wouldn't the others show signs as well? They all seem to be fine.
     
  4. doodlelover

    doodlelover Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 18, 2015
    Anybody have suggestions for supportive measures? It is still doing about same...not worse but not better.

    When I search, all I'm finding is meds for different diseases, but that might not be appropriate for an upper respiratory infection...?
     
  5. Sonya9

    Sonya9 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What are the temps like where you live?

    If it is cold at night then I personally would bring them in or provide a heat source for the benefit of the sick bird. Warmth helps especially with chicks.
     
  6. doodlelover

    doodlelover Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 18, 2015
    I'm in Florida, it's been in the 40's and 50's, down to 30's night.
     
  7. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    If you're not seeing sneezing, then I would just make sure that they are on clean shavings to keep down ammonia odors, and provide fresh air and ventilation overhead. Clean the eye with saline, and you can even apply Terramycin ointment or vetericyn eye gel from the feed store twice a day.
     
  8. doodlelover

    doodlelover Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 18, 2015
    I wonder if the pine pellets weren't the best to use then? Maybe they don't absorb as much ammonia as shavings...I am getting ducks later so I might not use the pellets again with them.

    Thanks for advice!
     
  9. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    I tried pellets once and hated them, but some others do use them. I just prefer the larger pine shavings, and I also will stir them around daily to keep things dry and clean. At their age, I would be adding some clean shavings to the remaining ones at least every other day, and they will need lots of room. Some people use sand and like it.
     
  10. doodlelover

    doodlelover Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 18, 2015
    I think I will try that with the shavings this time. Thanks.
     

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