Nearly five Week old chicks dying for no reason?

LadyCluck77

Songster
7 Years
Jun 5, 2013
937
678
231
Maine
can anyone help me? Last Friday I came home from work to a dead chick who I hatched on Easter from shipped eggs. He had been breathing heavy for a few days, and spending his time off sleeping by himself. I feed medicated chick starter, and they have an Ecoglow.
He had crawled under the Ecoglow to die. His butt was not pasty. No one is having watery bowl movements, so I don't think it's coccidiosis.
Now his sister is acting weak and has an odd swelling in her chest. It is not a full crop, it never goes away, and it feels soft and seems painful to her when I touch it.
These are both Lavender Ameraucanas from shipped eggs. Only three hatched and they have always been a little weaker.
Thank you for any help!
 

MrsBachbach

Songster
6 Years
Mar 6, 2013
2,045
343
236
Arkansas
can anyone help me? Last Friday I came home from work to a dead chick who I hatched on Easter from shipped eggs. He had been breathing heavy for a few days, and spending his time off sleeping by himself. I feed medicated chick starter, and they have an Ecoglow.
He had crawled under the Ecoglow to die. His butt was not pasty. No one is having watery bowl movements, so I don't think it's coccidiosis.
Now his sister is acting weak and has an odd swelling in her chest. It is not a full crop, it never goes away, and it feels soft and seems painful to her when I touch it.
These are both Lavender Ameraucanas from shipped eggs. Only three hatched and they have always been a little weaker.
Thank you for any help!


I would treat them for coci anyway. Use Corid, it is most effective. When it comes to chicks, that is the first thing you have to suspect. Other than that, make sure they have warmth and give them some chick grit once in awhile. I don't know what the lump could be if it isn't their crop.
 

LadyCluck77

Songster
7 Years
Jun 5, 2013
937
678
231
Maine
Thank you- I just ordered some from Amazon.com- it will take a few days.

This chick has the weird lump but she isn't breathing heavy like her brother did before he died. They both did show the extreme fatigue and generally "look" ill- puffed out, off by themselves, closing the eyes a lot.
The lump is really really big- it looks like a tumor. She is extremely tired and sleeps a lot. I really don't want to loose her. I have a dish of chick grit for them- I'm not sure if she picks at it, she isn't very mobile.

The corid won't harm the other chicks, right? Even if it isn't cocci and I put it in the waterers. I'll try anything on her because I think she's dying anyway.
 

KurtG

Chirping
5 Years
Nov 5, 2014
117
14
61
Maryland
It sure sounds like a crop issue. We just had to operate on one of ours. What makes you sure it is not the crop? They get solitary, kind of hunched, puffed out, and just dont look good. I dont recall any breathing issues though.
 

LadyCluck77

Songster
7 Years
Jun 5, 2013
937
678
231
Maine
Is there anything I can do for the crop (other than providing chick grit?)

If it is the crop, it is way more than just full- I have seen chicks with full crops, this one is three times that size, it isn't emptying either. It seems very painful to her when I touch it as well. I should get a photograph of it, just in case this happens to someone else.

Is there anything that will help her?
 

KurtG

Chirping
5 Years
Nov 5, 2014
117
14
61
Maryland
It sure sounds like an impacted crop. Search that here. Make sure they don't have access to grass. I suspect it needs surgery. Ours was full and soft (tangerine sized). We pulled out a giant wad of grass.
 

MrsBachbach

Songster
6 Years
Mar 6, 2013
2,045
343
236
Arkansas
Is there anything I can do for the crop (other than providing chick grit?) 

If it is the crop, it is way more than just full- I have seen chicks with full crops, this one is three times that size, it isn't emptying either. It seems very painful to her when I touch it as well. I should get a photograph of it, just in case this happens to someone else. 

Is there anything that will help her? 


Impacted crops develop over time and what you usually notice first is the huge size. When you pick up the bird you can tell it's lost weight and feels boney. Basically, the bird is starving. Sometimes sour crops can develop and cause these symptoms too. You need to determine whether you are dealing with a sour crop or an impacted crop. Both slow moving crops and blocked crops can sour. Sour crops can sometimes be gassy and you can smell a yeasty breath smell from the beak. If you feel a large wad of something in the crop then you likely have a blocked crop. It usually is grass or hay or trash the bird ate in the yard. You can try to massage it several times a day in an effort to "break" the mass up, but if it's a wad of long grass or hay, it's not likely to break up. Surgery is usually the only way to get it out. There are topics on both on the forum and how to treat sour crop and how to do crop surgery if you don't use a vet. A weakened starved bird may not survive surgery though.
Btw, Corid will not harm the other chicks. They may need it.
 

LadyCluck77

Songster
7 Years
Jun 5, 2013
937
678
231
Maine
The bulge could* be a possible sour or slow crop. She wasn't exposed to grass though, she has never left the brooder. She may have eaten some of the shavings, though, and I suppose that may have gotten lodged in the crop. Her brother kept gasping a few days before he died- so maybe he also had something stuck in his throat?
My corid medicine should arrive tomorrow.
I will update- especially in case these symptoms happen to someone else.

I really appreciate that everyone has been helping me try to figure this out! You guys are awesome
 

KurtG

Chirping
5 Years
Nov 5, 2014
117
14
61
Maryland
It is interesting that yours has not been out of the brooder. I wondered about sour crop with ours now, but there is no smell. I have cut off food today and hoping the crop shrinks down a bit. We had fine shavings in our brooder and coop but none were found in her crop when we pulled out the grass, grit, and other food (they had only been in the coop/pen a couple days).

If you were feeding medicated feed in a brooder, it is difficult to imagine this being coccidiosis. I hope your chick makes a recovery. We are still watching ours and hoping for the best, not sure what else to do.

With the cost of chickens what it is, it is difficult to find much info on these types of issues as I expect most just get culled.
 

MrsBachbach

Songster
6 Years
Mar 6, 2013
2,045
343
236
Arkansas
The bulge could* be a possible sour or slow crop. She wasn't exposed to grass though, she has never left the brooder. She may have eaten some of the shavings, though, and I suppose that may have gotten lodged in the crop. Her brother kept gasping a few days before he died- so maybe he also had something stuck in his throat? 
My corid medicine should arrive tomorrow. 
I will update- especially in case these symptoms happen to someone else. 

I really appreciate that everyone has been helping me try to figure this out! You guys are awesome


If the brother was gasping it sounds like a respiratory illness. Sometimes chicks do eat alot of the finer stuff from shavings. It's a good idea to make baby chick grit available to them early on. I use regular parakeet sand for the first week or two, then switch to chick grit. I never put a whole bunch of it out though, because they will eat it all up!
 

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