Need just about any idea to try to make my baby chick comfortable


8 Years
Mar 3, 2011
I have posted here a lot lately about my 10 day old baby chick scratching her head repeatedly and crying. This has been going on from day 3. Well the crying and scratching went on all night last night almost NON STOP keeping us all awake. ..I am really worried about this chick.. I tried to treat for ear infection, ear mites and applied neosporin with pain relief on the head. Nothing helped... my hatchery thinks it may be a reaction from the Marek's vaccine..not sure if they mean a neurological reaction or dermatological... i was wondering if anybody can think of anything I can do to make this poor baby comfortable.. it is terrible to watch.. but the chick wants to live as it still eats and drinks on its own.. but has a hard time falling asleep..any ideas? am I at a lost cause? should I just watch and wait? so far has gotten better some days with only one itching episode, but since last night definitely worse, oddly, the areas scratched are only a bit seems like she tries to reach to the top of her head with her nails but is unable to do so the damage is therefore minimal..

What else can I try? Vitamins? some cream that relieves itching? can I wash her in dawn dish detergent since this is what vets tell cat/owners/dog owners to do when their skin comes in contact with irritants? does vitamin b help the nervous system? electrolytes? sugar added to water?
Oh no, how distressing! I actually had this sort of issue with a serama chick of mine for a few days when she was around two weeks old. She would peep and peep and scratch at her head with her foot until her skin was red. I wasn't sure what to do about it either, but just as I was looking for solutions it stopped completely and now she's a healthy, beautiful hen. Mine was not vaccinated for Marek's, so in her case that was not the issue. It sounds like your chick has whatever it is more seriously.

I'm not sure what the solution is, but I figured I'd share my story as just a little bit of hope for you. Poor little chick, I hope she recovers soon!
have you tried using plain vit E on the area? I don't know about soaking a 10 day old chick and not getting it chilled, that might be a little hard to do. can you call the vet and ask if you can use childrens benedryl on a chick? just a drop might do the trick, I am sorry I don't have the answer, and the poor chick how sad, you'd think if it was a reaction to the mareks vac. it would have run it's course by now.
read this post it talks about giving a tiny amt. of benadryl to a chicken.
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Bought the vitamin E capsules , opened one and applied to the area that seems bothering her so much.. not sure how long it takes to work, so far still scratching..will post an update later this evening.. I tried neosporin last night and also olive oil..I am wondering if oily stuff on her hair makes her more itchy..may consider trying benadryl but need to figure out dosage for small chick.. I only have capsules so may be tomorrow another trip into town..
I'd say to get the childrens benadryl. and if you try it maybe just a small drop. I couldn't find any measurement for chicks.. vet might be able to tell you, and the benadryl topical may help..and you won't be throwing your money away because if they don't help baby chick they will come in handy in case dog or child gets stung or bit by something.
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Thanks to both of you.. I used to work for a vet and recall that benadryl was pretty safe to give and also remember a really high dosage was required to be toxic. I too believe a drop will not hurt.. the cream is also a good idea..
I would turn to my tried & true lavender oil (which is available at health food stores). I would put one drop on topically as well as giving one drop via beak. If it's fungal it will get rid of it and is also soothing. It also has strong antibacterial properties.

Adding a 1/2 tsp. per quart of blackstrap molasses is also good for providing immune support.

Personally I would shy away from industrially produced medications.
Last night opened and applied the vitamin E capsule on the skin, and she was still crying and scratching but after a couple of hours, it stopped and she went through the night with no more itchy fits!... the house was so quiet! the chicks, our dogs and ourselves had a peaceful night sleep! just wanted to thank you, as it seems to have helped a bunch.. she is still sleeping as she has lost lots of sleep these days..she gets up every now and then and eats and then goes back to sleep... I caught her shaking her head a bit and occasionally scratching but she no longer cries which makes me think she is on her way to recovery.. if the fits happens again I will apply another dose of vitamin E to the skin.. thanks again!
Is she getting new feathers? I recently read that some chicks scrach incessantly when getting new feathers because it itches when they come in. I don't know how much truth there is to that, but either way it's good to read that the vitamin E is helping and that the poor li'l girl (and your family) is getting some rest and relief now. Keep us posted & I hope she continues to feel better.

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