Questions about my crippled Serama chick... How to help, things to try, when to consider culling?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by MisfitMarie, Jan 28, 2015.

  1. MisfitMarie

    MisfitMarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 20, 2014
    Portland, OR
    DAY ONE: I assisted the hatch of a tiny Serama chick, smallest chicken I've ever seen in my life. The leg appeared quite deformed: bending the opposite way that it should at the joint, appeared shorter than the other leg, and lots of twisted toes. I watched it thrash around the incubator for a few hours, hoping that it just needed to collect itself and dry off a little. No progress... Just lots of wiggling on its back. (This isn't spraddle leg, it has to be something else.)

    I taped the toes and leg with a BandAids. It was still unable to walk, of course. I moved it into a small container, so that it was held upright in the warmth of the brooder. I administered two drops of Polyvisol (vitamins) which it seemed unable to swallow (bubbling at the beak). So I figured it needed time and left it alone.

    DAY TWO: The chick was vocal. And squirmy! I removed the BandAid to take a look. To my relief, the leg seemed to be bending properly, and the toes were much straighter. Curious, I placed the chick on a paper towel. It waddled a few steps, before flipping onto its side and unable to get back up. So I taped the toes once again (not the leg that time) and placed it back in its little cup in the warm brooder. I again tried to administer a couple drops of vitamin water off of a Q-tip, but the chick again seemed unable to swallow... Making "hiccuping" motions and bubbling at the beak, not making the natural throwback motion that a chick makes when I give it water for the first time. So I stopped. Figured it needed more time.

    DAY THREE: Progresses has halted, even regressed. Chick is still completely uninterested in food or water. Still bubbles at the beak and twitches unaturally when I give it a couple drops of vitamin water. And the chick's leg appears to have stiffened straight. Still unable to hobble more than a couple steps or pick itself up after flipping on its back.

    DAY FOUR--SO NOW MY CONCERNS: Chick has shown no signs of progress, and seems even weaker than before. When I try to give it a drop or two of vitamin water, it still seems unable to swallow. Again, bubbling at the beak and making odd jerking motions that are not like the typical throwback motions that a drinking chick makes. Chick continues to flop over onto its back or side, legs flipping about, unable to correct itself.

    Do you have any ideas as to what could be wrong or what I could try to do for this chick?

    Should I be concerned about the fact that it has not eaten or drank in days?

    Should I be concerned that the chick, when forced a drop or two of water, seems unable to swallow?


    Am I going to drown the chick by continuing to force it to "drink" ?

    If the chick continues to struggle, not eating or drinking, when should I consider culling it? I'm willing to try for as long as it takes to save this chick. The only reason that I ask is because I am concerned that the chick might be in pain... I don't want to see it have to die slowly, painfully... or starve... despite my best efforts.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2015
  2. FoxHead

    FoxHead Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 26, 2015
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    Ugh. I'm sorry to hear you're having a problem with this. I have a similar issue, and I am also looking for advice. I'll keep an eye on your thread. Best of luck!
     
  3. MisfitMarie

    MisfitMarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 20, 2014
    Portland, OR
    I hope your chick gets better! I've lost chicks before... I know it's only been a few days and that anything can happen. This little one just looks so pitiful, constantly on its back. So I'm pretty worried. I don't like to see a chick in pain, either. I don't want it to slowly starve into nothingness.

    Seramas are SO TINY! I'll have to add pics later of the little guy... Smallest chicken I've ever seen in my life!
     
  4. FoxHead

    FoxHead Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 26, 2015
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    Turns out my little one was blind. Now everything makes sense. I feel bad because other than the blindness, it appeared healthy. My boyfriend only has a couple concrete responsibilities with our flock, and culling is one.
    How is your serama? I'd love to see a pic of some!
     
  5. MisfitMarie

    MisfitMarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 20, 2014
    Portland, OR
    I'm sorry to hear that about your chick. =(

    Sadly, the little Serama passed away at some point during the day. I gave it some water and tried a tiny bit of yogurt this morning. But it died at some point within the past few hours. I, too, had to caution my boyfriend that there was a possibility that the chick would have to be culled. I'm glad that it isn't suffering anymore.

    It was from a bunch of random assorted bantams (I'll picture them below). It was the only Serama, my first, so I was pretty excited about it. But overall, my hatch was extremely successful: 8/10 shipped eggs hatched and survived. So I have to be grateful for that. You can see 7 of them in the picture. The eighth hatched a little late and wasn't quite ready for a picture. =P

    [​IMG]
     

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