Sick female red sexlink....please help

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mamabear_eisenhauer, May 9, 2011.

  1. mamabear_eisenhauer

    mamabear_eisenhauer Out Of The Brooder

    May 9, 2011
    Hi everyone....I need some help with one of my chicks. Here's the background:

    I have two red sexlink girls. I got them on April 29th at 1 week old, so that makes them nearly three weeks old now. Up until today, they have both been eating, drinking, and pooping just fine.

    This morning my husband and I noticed that the smaller of the two, Stella, was very week and her vent was totally crusted over. We had previously washed her butt off once before. I cleaned her vent again this morning with a wet paper towel and made sure she was totally dry before putting her back in her cage. Since then, she has been vacillating between laying on her side twitching, making me think "ok, this is it," and standing up eating, drinking, or basking in the heat lamp. I have no idea what's going on or what to do! BTW the way she's lying down does NOT look like looks like she's at death's door and she never did it before today.

    As I said, she looks and acts very weak and also seems to have difficulty balancing (could just be weakness). Her eyes look fine, but in addition to a dirty vent, one of her nostrils looks crusty. She is eating and drinking, and apparently pooping because her booty is dirty again since I washed it this morning. This is my first experience with chicks, but I have had pet birds before and these were never good signs for me.

    I am trying to keep her vent clean and keep her warm, and I've tried feeding her a little scrambled egg at my sister's advice (she's had chickens for years). Can anyone take a guess at what's going on? Every time she looks her worst--lying on her side, twitching her legs, etc--I prepare to lose her, and then five minutes later she's standing and eating.

    One last note: both girls--the sick one, Stella, and the other one, Blanche--were the same size when we got them. Now Blanche seems twice Stella's size. Stella kind of reminds me of a runty puppy, and still looks like a chick, while Blanche is starting to look like an actual chicken. Don't know if this is important, but I thought I'd include it just in case. Despite the size difference and Blanche's pushiness, Stella has always managed to eat and drink.

    Sorry this is so long but I really don't want to lose her if I can prevent it!!
  2. Hollywood Hen

    Hollywood Hen Out Of The Brooder

    May 3, 2011
    I have one who's kind of like this too - she's not terribly active and doesn't seem to be growing at all, though I see her eating and pooping. She hasn't done the lying-down-twitching thing in a few days, though. My others are thriving. Hope somebody has some ideas! [​IMG]
  3. crazygoatlady915

    crazygoatlady915 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2011
    Hmmm. One of my 3 weekers, Poka, is really small. I honestly think she came out of a tiny egg, she's getting all her feathers, but they are like small feathers, she just tiny! Either that or all my other chicks are amazons! [​IMG]
  4. mamabear_eisenhauer

    mamabear_eisenhauer Out Of The Brooder

    May 9, 2011
    Just as a quick update....I managed to get her to eat some scrambled egg mixed with yogurt and chick feed. She wouldn't touch it at first, until she saw my healthy chick go after it. Then she was so interested in getting some I was actually surprised based on her earlier lethargy. I also got her to drink some sugar water from a syringe. After that she went back to laying on her side. I just checked her again and she was laying curled up under the heat with Blanche (the healthy one) half lying on her--kind of like a mama hen. What I did notice is that her legs seem VERY pale, as opposed to Blanche's, which are a healthy looking pink. So I'm still kind of at a loss.
  5. Podnick

    Podnick Out Of The Brooder

    May 22, 2011
    San Francisco
    Hi, I'm new to chickens and saw some similarities with what you describe. I've seen my 3 week old EE lying on her side, in what looks like an uncomfortable position, with her legs curled up and twitching. I've seen this twice the last day. Then she'll get up, with what seems like difficulty, and move, eat and drink normally. She was vaccinated for Marek's. Should I be concerned?
    Thanks to all of you who share your stories. I am spending HOURS reading this site!

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