Multiple chicks with weak legs, others fine

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by raisingdaisies, Mar 25, 2016.

  1. raisingdaisies

    raisingdaisies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've searched google and byc for the last 3 days and I can't seem to find just the right situation for what's going on with our chicks, so I figured I'd bring it up here.

    Background:; almost 3 weeks ago we picked up 12 chicks(3 Ameraucana, 4 Silver laced Wyandottes and 5 "Blue Splash Marans") We got them from 3 different places, Ameraucanas from a feed store, and the other 2 from 2 different private parties. All 2-3 days old and pretty close in size. We put them all in the same brooder with the same feed/probiotic protocol we've used for all of our birds. After 3-4 days, one of the Marans became weak legged and we discovered that he was missing the outside toe on both sides. We saw plenty of pictures of adults with this problem, so we separated out the Marans into a different bin since at this point there was a size disparity between them and the other 2 breeds. The Marans being smaller and no feathering at this point. He died within 24 hours of us noticing the leg weakness.

    Our first chick loss(we've lost a few chickens and a pullet to dogs and 2 to injuries but never chicks or illness). Sad, but I know...it happens. We moved on. We kept the Marans separated but they have access to the same feed as the other chicks. The other chicks are super active, feathering out nicely...the Marans finally start to get a little feathering but are still very small. About 1/3rd of the size of our Ameraucanas. 3 days ago about 2.5 weeks old one of the other Marans begins limping, within a few hours he mostly lays around but is very alert, eating and drinking(and this is how he remains). The following morning another begins to exhibit the same symptoms, and this morning, a 3rd. The one remaining Maran is larger and more feathered out than the other 2.

    There is no splaying of legs. They get up and waddle to the water/food/other side of the bin, using their wings to help them but then plop back down.

    The other chicks are fine, and again, same feed protocol we've always done, a chick starter with all they are supposed to need nutritional, plus probiotics in their water. We've done ACV in their water a few times as well. What could this be? Bad breeding? Deficiencies due to malabsorption? Something else entirely? Why only these chicks and not the others?
     
  2. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

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    Marans are slower to mature than other breeds. it's perfectly normal for them to be slower. hope this helps :)
     
  3. raisingdaisies

    raisingdaisies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That does help a lot, I googled that and came up empty-handed(though I admit I didn't search here specifically on that issue). So then it's just the leg weakness issue I need to deal with.
     
  4. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

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    what EXACTLY is happening with the legs? certain things can mean different defiency ect. are they hock walking? or I should say using there hock to walk with? is their actual paralysis if yes is one leg stretched out in front? are toes curled at any time? what is your brooding surface? answers to these questions can possibly help figure out what's going on. last question, we're your chicks vaccinated against Mareks disease at hatch?
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2016
  5. raisingdaisies

    raisingdaisies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They are just weak. They stand and walk on their feet and not on their hocks, though one does it sometimes. They use their wings a lot to get up and down, but do hobble around. Usually just a few steps then back down. No legs sticking out and when I lay them on their backs, both legs on each respond evenly and appropriately, though not strongly. No curling of the toes, and they will perch on my finger fine, though they are still wobbly(so are the bigger ones, though).
    We have cedar shavings on the floor, and have from the beginning, about 1 1/2". We transported them in small boxes with newspaper and shavings as well.
    Pretty sure they were not Mareks vaccinated nor were the Silver laces. The Ameraucanas probably have been since they were via Pet store, but they had no one there to ask, and the cashier didn't know. I did not consider Mareks at all since they are very alert otherwise, eating well, and all have the same exact progression in their illness so it seemed unlikely.
     
  6. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

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    it very well could be a riboflavin defiency. I'm thinking riboflavin is vitamin B1. (you might want to double check that.) Usually this behavior is due to that specific defiency.The parent hen could have been deficit herself and passed it to the chicks. You can treat the chicks with a good poultry riboflavin vitamin. a really good place to get a good quality poultry vitamin is online at First State Vet. if I remember correctly they have several vitamin choices. See if treating with the riboflavin helps. It can take 3 to 4 weeks sometimes for full improvement depending on the severity of the defiency. I really hope this helps. I hope they get better really soon.
     
  7. raisingdaisies

    raisingdaisies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've got a liquid b vitamin here, can I use that in the meantime? I went to look for poly vi sol w/o iron last night and after 5 stores, came home empty handed on that account. 1 place had it with Iron but all the others were out completely. I'm afraid if I wait until I get something in the mail it will be too late. I can run to TSC today, though if they have anything there.
     
  8. raisingdaisies

    raisingdaisies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I went ahead and started them on vitamins the night after I posted, I figured they were probably going to die without them, so it couldn't hurt worse than that. I couldn't find poly vi sol, so I mixed up a tiny bit of niacin, d3, vit E, zinc and a liquid b complex(that has riboflavin in it) and gave that to them night before last and yesterday morning. The first 2 started doing much better by yesterday morning, but the 3rd one, who is the smallest of the bunch was doing pretty bad by the time I gave them the vitamins(at first I thought it was the 1st one b/c they look so much alike, but my girls pointed out their differences, lol). She mostly just laid yesterday and the afternoon before, and hock walked when she wanted to eat or drink, so I thought slipped tendon on top of the weakness. I kept on with the vitamins, though, b/c she didn't seem in pain, and today she's standing up some and hobble walking! The first 2 are doing MUCH better. I am beginning to think we may not lose any of them. Hoping!
     
  9. dragonmomma

    dragonmomma Out Of The Brooder

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    I have read not to use cedar
    Shavings because the out off harmful fumes. Maybe try pine Shavings?
     
  10. ShanandGem

    ShanandGem Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine did the same thing and were low on vitamin A.
     

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