Sick baby chick

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Laurie Wright, Apr 1, 2018.

  1. Laurie Wright

    Laurie Wright In the Brooder

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    she is about 5 weeks old in a brooder with one other chick. Recently, she is constantly puffed out, chirping loudly, lethargic. She sneezes and had a runny nose. The heat is at 70 degrees. She is eating and drinking. What’s wrong with her?
     

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  2. Pyxis

    Pyxis Hatchi Wan Kenobi

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    Have you ever had any other respiratory issues with your birds? Any that had 'colds'?

    It's possible that your chick has contracted a respiratory disease, based on the symptoms you are describing. If you ever had birds in the past that had a 'cold' (chickens don't get colds) then they would have passed the illness along. The rest of your chicks are also exposed if this is case. These diseases can also come in on wild birds and rodents, or in some cases the chicks can hatch already infected with them.

    It would be helpful to find out what disease exactly it is before giving antibiotics, since different diseases take different antibiotics to treat, and giving antibiotics for a disease you aren't sure you have is how antibiotic-resistant bacteria comes to be.

    If you can swing it, there is a lab called Zoologix that will run a full respiratory panel on her and find out what disease it is. It costs $98 and you simply send in three tracheal swabs taken from the sick chick.

    Some diseases that it might be include infectious coryza, which is best treated with Sulmet, Mycoplasma gallisepticum, which is best treated with Denagard, Ornithobacterium rhinotracheale, which is best treated with amoxycillin or Denagard, infectious bronchitis, which is a virus and cannot be treated, infectious laryngotracheitis, which is also a virus and cannot be treated, etc. Since they all require different treatments, knowing what you're dealing with is best before treating.

    Being that the symptoms are mild, of the above I'd most suspect Mycoplasma, Ornithobacterium, or Coryza.

    Tylan is a medication that could treat a couple of those, like coryza and mycoplasma, but would do nothing for the viruses and probably nothing for Ornithobacterium. You could try it if you want, but again, using antibiotics when you don't know for sure you need them is what leads to antibiotic resistance.

    Unfortunately all of these diseases leave the birds as carriers for life after they have them, meaning they will always shed the diseases and will infect all new birds they come into contact with. This means that you should close your flock and never sell or give away birds, or perhaps cull all your birds and start over fresh if you'd rather.

    For now I would offer supportive care - bring her inside, give her a heat lamp to get warm if she needs to, put something like Nutri Drench in her water, maybe offer her some scrambled eggs.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2018
  3. azygous

    azygous Crossing the Road

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    A puffed up chicken is telling us she doesn't feel well, and the sneezing and runny beak point to a likely respiratory bacteria called Mycoplasma. It's sort of the chicken version of the common cold, but way more serious since it's now on board your chick's cells for the duration of her life.

    Your other chicks have probably also been exposed, so don't panic about trying to separate them. What you do need to do is to treat these symptoms, which are pretty serious, with an antibiotic. Tylan 50 should be available at your local feed store. It's injectable but you'll be giving your chick a daily dose of 1/4 ml orally.

    As @Pyxis suggested, she needs nutritional support to assist her in fighting this. The extra heat can also help since she's probably not been eating enough to keep her body heat constant and she may be feeling chilled.
     
  4. Laurie Wright

    Laurie Wright In the Brooder

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    Wow, thank you for your reply. We have 2 one year old hens outside in a coop. She is inside with one other chick in a brooder. I haven’t experienced a sick chicken before. I wish I could take her in and get it diagnosed but I can’t afford it right now.
     
  5. Laurie Wright

    Laurie Wright In the Brooder

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    Thank you! I’ll certainly look into this. I’ve been researching the last two days but this is helpful! Would I give it to the other chick as well? I could give her eggs even tho she is only 5 weeks old?
     
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  6. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 Crossing the Road

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    Boiled egg yolk is good, some Nutri Drench would be good too. Increase the heat in the brooder to maybe 80.
     
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  7. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

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    x3 Pyxis and Azygous
     
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  8. azygous

    azygous Crossing the Road

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    For now, treat only the one chick, unless you notice other chicks exhibiting symptoms. Chickens may carry this but not get sick. But once you have a CRD, which stands for Chronic Respiratory Disease, in your flock, it's best to always keep some Tylan on hand. Treating symptoms immediately helps produce better outcomes.
     
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  9. azygous

    azygous Crossing the Road

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    Boiled egg is the perfect, high protein food for all chickens, from just a couple days old to the oldest and sickest.

    The younger the chick, the more finely you need to chop the egg. I've found one of those mini-food grinders does a perfect job on one boiled egg.
     
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  10. Laurie Wright

    Laurie Wright In the Brooder

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    She isn’t doing well today. I can’t get medicine until tomorrow, everything is closed. She isn’t moving and breathing hard. We have separated her and the other chick. This is heartbreaking.
     

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