Question about odd zipper belly on chicks

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by MyKidLuvsGreenEgz, Mar 2, 2011.

  1. MyKidLuvsGreenEgz

    MyKidLuvsGreenEgz Songster

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    We hatched out some chicks from our own chickens that we got last year at the feed store. Father is a black australorp, and mothers were either black australorps or easter eggers. They hatched Feb 4-7... after a week, there were 5 left (1 died ... heart defect assumed).

    All 5 chicks are eating well, growing new feathers including at the tail, and trill and roost and such. But they ALL have a "zipper" on their undercarriage. Practically from tip to tail, down the center, they have no feathers and it's hard, like their spinal column is on the underneath instead of the top. But it's not.

    Here's a pic we took last weekend or the one before. But it's still valid. Used computer program to draw the red "box".
    [​IMG]

    Any clue what this might be? Should I be concerned about it since it doesn't seem to affect them?
     
  2. BooBear

    BooBear Chicken Cuddler

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    If they are heathy it probably is not anything to worry about. If it is causing them discomfort or issues then I would worry. It may be just how they are changing over from fuz to feathers.
    Someone with more experience can chime in and give you more feedback.
     
  3. MyKidLuvsGreenEgz

    MyKidLuvsGreenEgz Songster

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    Anybody else?
     
  4. FiveHens

    FiveHens Songster

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    Not an expert--but I think all birds have large, long sternums that stick out. It is a sternum. The chicks just might not have enough fat right now to hide it or pad it. Unless there's a problem, I wouldn't worry.

    http://4hembryology.psu.edu/c-biologyn.html
    Scroll down to the bottom, see that thing that looks like a ridge sticking out of the chicken's breast--I think that's what you have.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. MyKidLuvsGreenEgz

    MyKidLuvsGreenEgz Songster

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    Thanks, Hazel and BooBear.

    Hazel: I looked at the diagram at the bottom but didn't see the sternum.

    Maybe I just need to give them tasty treats. They do seem pretty skinny. And scraggly, actually. Losing the down and feathers are coming in.

    I just covered the pine shavings with newspaper (they were eating too many so maybe that counts for the lack of "fat" on them). Then I added vitamins to their water, and scattered a handful of oats on their paper. They have all the medicated chick feed they can handle. So far they've refused the yogurt ... just walk through it!.

    Gonna keep working on it.

    I appreciate the input.
     
  6. Judy

    Judy Crowing

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    I think you'll find it's just the odd ways they lose fluff and grow feathers. They'll love the yogurt when they figure out it's good to eat. Maybe try mixing it with just a bit of their feed.

    Good luck.
     
  7. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    Just wanted to say, if you are giving them whole grains (oats) you need to give them grit (sand will work) [​IMG]
     
  8. MyKidLuvsGreenEgz

    MyKidLuvsGreenEgz Songster

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    Thanks Dawn and Tala:
    So be patient and hope they fill out soon?

    I'll try again with the yogurt. I had mixed it with the feed, but they just stepped in it. Will try again tomorrow. And yes, they get chick grit. Didn't matter ... they never did eat any of the oats. The only birds in Colorado that won't eat oats!

    Appreciate the advice. I'll update when I can.
     
  9. classicsredone

    classicsredone Songster

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    Quote:You might try putting the yogurt in a little condiment bowl. It seems to keep them out of it pretty well.
     
  10. MyKidLuvsGreenEgz

    MyKidLuvsGreenEgz Songster

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    Actually, I think I have a tiny bowl that might work. Thanks for the idea.
     

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