Sad outcome - 4wk old chick

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by BYCOwner, Apr 19, 2012.

  1. BYCOwner

    BYCOwner New Egg

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    Apr 19, 2012
    Hi all,

    My husband and I are newbie chicken owners and about 2 weeks ago we got 5 2wk old buff orps. Everything had been going great and they had been growing fast and getting friendlier by the day. Yesterday morning, we fed, watered, and played with the chicks before leaving for work and everybody was normal. I got home last night and found one little girl sitting in the corner. This was odd because now they come running to the cage door to greet me as soon as I come home. I reached in to pick her up - another odd thing because she's usually one of the more flighty ones - and checked her over. I didn't see anything physically wrong with her so I set her down in front of the food with the others and she was not interested and walked a little stumbly and plopped down. I picked her up again to check her legs and couldn't find anything that was causing her pain or looked out of place. I laid her down in front of the water and she just ruffled her feathers and plopped down again. I immediately put her in a seperate area with food and water and her heat light. She seemed incredibly tired as well, so I let her sleep for a little bit while I went researching and calling some people who have chickens as well. I prepared her electrolytes and she wasn't interested in drinking so I took an eyedropper and rubbed it along her beak for a bit and then again, let her rest.

    As about an hour passed, she seemed to be getting worse. Her movement was much more unstable and she was using her wings to maintain her wobbly balance. It got to the point where she was laying on her side, wings spread, adn feet were moving slowly. I tucked her wings up and tried to prop up shavings to make her more comfortable and again gave her electrolytes. With my husband's help we were able to get her at least acting a little more interested for a bit. We set her up next to her water with electrolytes in it and added a little food. She could barely keep her head up but did move the food around with her beak a bit and drank slightly. We kept an eye on her for a few more hours. The only vet I could even think of that might have been able to help is the one we use for our ferrets and she was over an hour away and it was WAY past closing time, which meant an ER vet who knew nothing about birds of any kind. So I just jept researching. We eventually went to bed after attempting electrolytes again and propping her up so she was comfortable and warm.

    She made it through the night, but was incredibly exhausted and could barely keep her eyes open, at points they were flickering. She kept resting her head down into the shavings or to the side and would again lay on her side sometimes with her wings spread for balance. We again tried the electrolytes and she didn't want any part of it or food - she just had zero energy to literally do anything. Her beak was almost completely white, her eyes were fluttering, and her face had a green/blue look to it. We decided to humanely euthanize her since she was just acting like she was in so much pain and so weak.

    I'm a total wreck over this. Has anyone dealt with this before or have any ideas what was wrong? I researched everything from diseases to deficiencies and nothing seems to add up 100% for her symptoms. I'm just lost and so sad. I wish I knew more and wish I could have saved her.
     
  2. sonew123

    sonew123 Poultry Snuggie

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    Mar 16, 2009
    onchiota NY
    Have you looked into coccidiosis? Any bloody stools? Could she have posibbly gotten into something bad? Moldy feed? Also, the place where you got them from...was it clean...did the other chicks..chickens look healthy? Im sorry!
     
  3. BYCOwner

    BYCOwner New Egg

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    Apr 19, 2012
    No bloody stools at all. I suppose it's possible she alone could've eaten SOMEthing, but I have NO idea what. They are all in the same cage and we're SUPER good about keeping it clean for them. The place we got them from is purely organic and is VERY VERY clean. She has only lost 1 other chick ever that she knows of in the past 8 years and she keeps close contacts with everyone that buys poultry from her. Knock on wood, everyone else is doing great and they're super healthy. This little girl was doing great, looked healthy the morning before she was sick too. It kills me that we couldn't save her. :( I've talked to a bunch of people and nobody can seem to put their finger on it. I'm going to talk to the vet I use for our ferrets tomorrow. She sees a lot of birds at her practice and is an amazing vet, she's just a very long ways away from us, but she's amazing. Maybe she can provide some insight.
     

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