New chicken mama- Impacted crop?

beckster01

Hatching
Jul 16, 2020
8
8
8
I noticed my 8 week old silkie not acting itself since at least Saturday. Quick background: Because of a family emergency the chicks were poorly cared for for about a week. Once things were settled on Thursday I got them out of the brooder that they outgrew, so I’m not entirely sure when things went awry.

Back to the silkie, when I was watching them in the run, s/he was eating, scratching, and pooping, but would occasionally fall asleep randomly. This is also the chick that usually picks fights with its bigger sibling, and it definitely didn’t do that at all. I noticed the crop was full, but it was later in the day. Sunday, I was busy again but did notice the crop was still full in the morning. This morning I intentionally checked on it early (6am). Crop is still full. I massaged it for about 5 minutes, and it softened up but I can feel it is full of gravel. I checked it’s butt, and there is some pasty butt (But the vent wasn’t blocked). There was a verrry tiny amount of blood, so I’m not sure if that is normal intestinal shedding or not. I then seperated it from the flock and have had it inside all day. I syringe fed it some nutridrench a couple times. I left some bread soaked in olive oil (per Google recommendation lol), and it didn’t touch it while I was gone. So I just gave it some scrambled eggs which it was excited about. Even though it is alone, it isn’t giving the “lonely chirp.” Crop is still full, it is about 1.5inches long (slightly smaller than a ping pong ball?). Poops look pretty normal, no other hints of blood.

Because I am such a new chicken mama I can’t tell if I’m overreacting. Is it more stressful for it to be separated at this point, since it is eating and pooping? Since there was no more bloody poop I was planning on returning it to the flock tonight but removing the feed at nighttime to better assess the crop issue. I have read conflicting advice about emptying crops, and usually people demonstrate on adult chickens not 8 week old chicks.
 

azygous

Crossing the Road
10 Years
Dec 11, 2009
20,217
25,719
982
Colorado Rockies
Blood in poop is an indication of a serious condition. But most people can't tell the difference between normal intestinal shed and blood. The former is orange-red while the latter is ruby red. So which do you think it is?

Crop disorders can happen in young chicks when they are fed table scraps and have no access to grit. Could this be a factor in your chick's case?

Here's my short educational article on crop disorders. Perhaps it will steer you in the right direction. https://www.backyardchickens.com/ar...w-to-know-which-one-youre-dealing-with.73607/
 

beckster01

Hatching
Jul 16, 2020
8
8
8
That article is very helpful, thank you. Because I didn’t see any more blood all day, I did return it to the flock. I would say it was more the orange color. I removed their food last night and this morning the crop was still noticeable, but more “deflated“ than before.

I can’t account for its care that week that I was gone (long story, circumstances outside of my control), I know they weren’t getting grit, and it is possible they were getting things they weren’t supposed to. They all dove for the grit when I did give it to them, so it sounds like it probably had something in its gizzard that slowed things down until the grit did it’s thing? I did a few more massages today, but it seems to be picking back up to normal activity levels.

Owning new animals is scary lol. I grew up with dogs and cats, birds are an entirely different story!
 

azygous

Crossing the Road
10 Years
Dec 11, 2009
20,217
25,719
982
Colorado Rockies
Yes, when chickens have been deprived of grit, they start to feel sick. If given grit, they will dive into it to replenish their gizzards.

Hope life settles down to a manageable grind.
 

beckster01

Hatching
Jul 16, 2020
8
8
8
Same chick, different problem (probably).

S/he is now limping badly. Foot pads look normal and no signs of mites from what I can tell. It doesn’t seem to be eating on its own but will eat out of my hand, even though the bowl is right in front of it. I’m syringe feeding it water with quick chick in it. Poops are normal and frequent. Of course I’m worried about Mareks (I got it from someone local, and I doubt it was vaccinated although I will check), or it could just be a very bad sprain as I’m realizing silkies are delicate creatures. Or vitamin deficiency after last weeks debacle? None of the other silkies are having issues, and all the others were vaccinated at the hatchery.

I cannot for the life of me find these answers on my own. How much water should I give and how often? I have been using quick chick in all the chicks water because, why not. So it has been getting a supplement this whole time, should I increase the concentration from what the package directs? Mash up the feed or focus on hydration? I read somewhere that you can give a half baby aspirin to rule in a sprain, but would that dosage be ok for a 9 week silkie?

I know it sounds like I’m panicking, I’m not. I already resigned myself to inevitably losing chickens, but I am trying to assimilate the monstrous amount of advice found on the internet.
 

azygous

Crossing the Road
10 Years
Dec 11, 2009
20,217
25,719
982
Colorado Rockies
Silkies seems to be magnets for balance and leg weakness. Vitamin B complex, a tablet dissolved in water each day plus vitamin E which won't dissolve in water, and you need to give the capsule directly into the beak, both are recommended treatments for this. Sometimes they work, and sometimes not. It won't hurt to try.

I wouldn't employ the aspirin right now.

Try soft boiled egg and see if the chick will eat it. Crumbled tofu is another food baby chicks seem to like, and it's easy to digest.
 

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