Old English Bantam chick hasn't developed the top of its skull.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by jcottrill, Feb 15, 2014.

  1. jcottrill

    jcottrill New Egg

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    Feb 15, 2014
    We have been raising backyard chickens for one year, and have bought chicks from various breeders. Today, we bought 10 bantams from a local breeder. I hand-picked which chicks I wanted, but I didn't notice anything was wrong until tonight. I went to check on the chicks and make sure they were eating, and I picked up the Old English grey bantam, which is the only one of that type that I bought, and I noticed that his eyes seemed slanted. On closer inspection, its head appeared slightly, almost unnoticeable, larger. I cannot see anything wrong with him, other than when I went to touch his head, he seems to have no cranium AT ALL. I brought him into brighter light in the kitchen, and confirmed that there is no top to its skull, literally nothing but skin and fluid. The chick appears normal with all body functions (walking, eating, drinking, elimination). I have taken it and placed it in a smaller box with bedding, food, and water, and brought along two of its buddies that are smaller in size, and not so noisy, so he wouldn't be alone (I have read that they are very social animals, and prefer to have "friends" around...that and I felt bad for him being singled out). I am unsure as to whether I need to cull him, or just leave him be and see what happens. Is there a need to cull this chick, or would it ever really be able to function and live to thrive as an adult? It is 2 weeks old, according to the breeder. It has lost some of its fuzz and is growing feathers. I did not see any suspicious-looking feces that would tip me off to any other problems. All of the other birds that I purchased today are fine, healthy-looking, normal acting, and precious. I am concerned about there being no sufficient protection on the top of the head for the brain.

    As a nurse, I know how to handle this with humans, but when it comes to chickens, I am at a loss. Are there any helpful suggestions? I would really like to avoid culling this chick.
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Some breeds of chickens such as silkies and polish can have vaulted skulls which put them at risk for head injury, but this sounds like a birth defect. OEG roosters tend to like to fight, andhe may be injured along the way. Can you get a replacement for him, and return him to the breeder?
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2014
  3. jcottrill

    jcottrill New Egg

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    Feb 15, 2014
    That is definitely a great option! Thank you for the info as well. I will check with the breeder tomorrow. I certainly do not want any harm to come to the chick, and I would not risk putting it with our other grown chickens should it grow to be an adult. There is so much at risk.... insufficient temperature regulation, head/brain injury...even with my sweet rooster and other hens, just one peck....it wouldn't be good. I guess for now, it's just the 3 amigos in one box close to me until we find out what the breeder says. :) Thanks!
     

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