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lethargic baby chick, help!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by 77horses, Sep 14, 2011.

  1. 77horses

    77horses ◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊

    Aug 19, 2008
    1) What type of bird , age and weight: easter egger mix pullet, around 2 months old, not sure how much she weighs.
    2) What is the behavior, exactly: very lethargic, bloody/orange/red colored droppings, loss of appetite...she also is always standing still, peeping quietly with her feathers puffed up and her eyes closed.
    3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms? Since last Sunday...so a few days.
    4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms? No.
    5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma: Nothing besides the bloody/orange colored droppings.
    6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation: Not sure, maybe cocci? I'm going to do some more research on it because it seems to be the likely problem. Please let me know if you have any info on it...
    7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all: chick starter (medicated), water...although as I mentioned earlier, she has had a dramatic loss of appetite ever since she started acting lethargic.
    8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc. Bloody, orange/red colored.
    9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far? Keep her separated from the others inside in her own brooder box, give sugar water...what else could I do???
    10 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet?
    11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help: No picture available right now.
    12) Describe the housing/bedding in use: newspaper/pine shavings in a brooder box...she's the youngest and almost died while hatching, so she's smaller than the three older chicks that are currently outside in the coop with the adults. Until she gets older and I sell some of the older chicks, I can't bring her outside otherwise she gets picked on by them and the adult chickens. So she has been raised in her own broody box perfectly fine, until one day she just wasn't herself and now she's slow, quieter than usual, and very lethargic.
    Most of the time she just stands somewhere with her eyes closed and her feathers puffed up, and her peeping seems quieter and slightly distressed. I've been making sure she has plenty of food and water, and although she drinks water just fine, she has definitely lost her appetite and I can feel that she's getting lighter in weight by the day because she isn't eating enough, nor does she have the desire to eat.

    Any advice is must appreciated! [​IMG]

  2. 77horses

    77horses ◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊

    Aug 19, 2008
  3. 77horses

    77horses ◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊

    Aug 19, 2008
    not that anyone answered yet or anything...but she just started randomly eating a little more today, which must be a good thing?
  4. TeePants

    TeePants Chirping

    Aug 11, 2011
    Could be Coccidiosis.

    Coccidiosis is the name given to a group of closely related diseases caused by a single-celled (protozoan) parasite called Eimeria. Eimeria species develop inside cells lining the intestine. As the parasites reproduce they cause bleeding and massive swelling of the gut. This leads to a huge loss of liquid and the bird is unable to absorb the nutrients from its food. Many chickens may die as a consequence.

    The infective stage of the parasite burrows into cells in the intestine, where it develops. It develops through various stages and large numbers of the parasites are produced, which move into uninfected cells and spread the infection. The result is that the cells become leaky, blood vessels are damaged. The loss of blood and fluid is often fatal.

    The life cycle of Eimeria is complicated but it ends with the production of infectious egg-like structures called oocysts which are excreted by birds into the environment. The oocyst can remain infective on the ground for many weeks. Eating the oocyst starts a new infection. The time interval between eating an infective oocyst and the appearance of clinical signs is generally between 4 and 6 days.


    Birds with coccidiosis may appear dull and depressed with ruffled feathers and are often reluctant to feed. Droppings may be loose and/or contain blood. In severe infections, mortality can be high and recovered birds may be unthrifty due to chronic gut damage.


    Coccidiosis can affect chickens from around two weeks of age onwards. If treatment is required in the rearing period, drugs such as Amprolium, sulphonamides or Toltrazuril can be used. When coccidiosis occurs in laying hens, treatment is more difficult as the medications used are not licenced for use in laying birds and prolonged egg withholding periods may be required.​
  5. Ksane

    Ksane Crowing

    Jun 21, 2011
    With bloody dropping it certainly sounds like coccidia. I'm really shocked non one answered, I'm sorry! I use Sulmet for coccidia but others use corid. Get whichever you can ASAP. Baby chicks can die if not treated. It's a protozoa parasite, real common. But it irritates their gut and they can't absorb the nutrients from their food. (thats the short explaination). It's critical enough that I'd be late an hour to work if I were you and go to the feed store or Tractor Supply amd get the meds and get her started 1st thing in the AM.
    Edit: I guees TeePants was answering the same time as me [​IMG]
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2011
  6. mysweetgypsy

    mysweetgypsy Chirping

    May 1, 2011
    I am not a chicken expert, but the poop, and other syptoms, may suggest cocci. It's a good place to start. Sulmet or Corid as directed, but treat EVERYONE. It's likely that if one has it they all do. When my girls got cocci it took several days to clear, and I suppose it's never really cleared up 100%. I did have one that died of complications, (damage to internal organs), several months later.

    Poor little chicken [​IMG] Good luck!
  7. WA4-Hpoultrymom

    WA4-Hpoultrymom Never enough coops...

    Feb 5, 2009
    Monroe, WA
    My Coop
    Quote:Ditto. Get them on meds asap. We just went through this last month and lost 5 chicks from it before it was over. We started with Sulmet and were still losing one or two a day, so when that treatment was over I then treated them with Corid and had no more losses. Good luck!

  8. CluckCluck18

    CluckCluck18 Songster

    Apr 26, 2010
    Largo, FL
    I agree, it sounds like coccidiosis.....bloody poop is usually the tell tale sign. I had 2 chicks come down with it within 24 hours of getting them and one died very quickly. I used the Sulmet.....you put it in the water and thankfully it works very fast. After you treat her, add some probiotic to her feed for awhile or give some yogurt. I hope your baby gets better.[​IMG]
  9. greenkjb

    greenkjb Chirping

    Aug 13, 2010
    so sorry about your chick! When one of my girls was 7 weeks old she came down with cocci and had the same symptoms. I treated with corrid for 5 days and she recovered. I had to syringe a few drops at a time in her mouth usually about a teaspoon and a half for each feeding. After two days she became much stronger and made a full recovery. I also fed her plain yogurt and egg yolk while she was sick. FYI feed her unmedicated food while she is being treated. I hope she feels better soon!
  10. 77horses

    77horses ◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊

    Aug 19, 2008
    I was just able to get some Corid today...in the meantime, Julia (the baby chick with the sickness) has been doing okay...not getting any better but not getting any worse. Still some bloody droppings and acting lethargic, but still walking around/peeping/acting normal besides the slowness/puffed up feathers. Since I wasn't able to get the Corid until today, I've been feeding her the baby chick feed, cooked egg, and some sugar water for electrolytes. She's been doing a little better with eating and drinking on her own, so she still has an appetite, but she has definitely lost weight and feels very light and frail when I hold her. [​IMG] Poor baby! [​IMG]

    Now that I have the Corid, how much do I give her? I remember someone telling me to mix in a certain amount of Corid to one gallon of water, but I forgot how much. So if anyone knows, please post so I know the right amount to give her!


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