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Silkie hatched with brains out *warning graphic pics*

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by destiny_56085, Dec 28, 2009.

  1. destiny_56085

    destiny_56085 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is a 1st time for me. I had a chick pipping and it was able to zip all the way around but was still having problems getting out. I carefully pulled apart the shell and found this strange occurance. It had the vault like most of my silkies but there was no skull or even skin/down covering the bulging brain. Excuse the blood on the paper towel. It is only from the cord where the chick was attached to the shell yet. The yolk sac was absorbed so it was ready to hatch but just couldn't seem to get out. Normally I leave them in the incubator til they dry off. I knew this lil bugger wasn't going to make it so I pulled him out for pics. He did last about an hour and was sitting up and scooting around too.

    After viewing this.... it makes me wonder if some of those seriously vaulted skulls also have the brains bulging out like this, but just have the skin covering it. Its no wonder that they are so vulnerable to any tap on the head. With no actual skull, what's there to regulate pressure on the brain?

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  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    Guess everybody doesn't make it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2009
  3. Cindiloohoo

    Cindiloohoo Quiet as a Church Mouse

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    Just when I thought I'd seen it all...that's just weird, and yes very graphic. Suprised he lived an hour, poor chicky. Good point about the issue with the breed. You may be onto something there.
     
  4. organicfoltzfamilyfarm

    organicfoltzfamilyfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aww! That is so sad. Poor little thing.

    So what your asking is if the other chicks just have skin over their brains?
     
  5. destiny_56085

    destiny_56085 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It was alive in the pics. Came back about an hour later and it had finally died. The blood doesn't phase me alot. I hatch alot of waterfowl. I have to peel every single one of our call ducks out of the shell too. Between the ducks and geese, you see more blood upon hatching than ever with chicks. Alot of the goose eggs you have to physically crack open and work them out. You just change out the paper towel.......
     
  6. destiny_56085

    destiny_56085 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok... here is a pic of one of my chicks from last week. Extreme vault! When you feel these lil buggers, it is totally soft up there and obviously no skull encasing those brains. On my batch last week 3 out of the 18 chicks did not survive. 1 had obvious wry neck on the 2nd day and had his head tucked between its legs. 1 peck to that vault maybe?

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  7. ultasol

    ultasol Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2009
    SE Washington
    As you and I have been talking about via PM, I suspect that some of the more extreme vaults are a combination not only of the hole in the skull/uncovered brain but also varying degrees of hydroencephaly.

    I have a very nice looking vaulted silkie (not able to sex it yet) that came down with some neurological symptoms a couple weeks ago. It was not like Mareks or any other disease I could find, and all other 'chicks' from the batch were fine. It was extreme enough that the first two days post onslaught I tube fed the bird. Reading up further and talking with a couple breeders I came to the conclusion it might be a head injury due to the vault. Some of the other younguns in the batch were starting to crow, and I was grabbing the roos as I was able to identify them. II am wondering if some young roos flying at each other might be the cause. Regardless, I treated it as a neurological injury and following the advice of a friend (she is a head tech at an exotic practice that sees alot of birds) I used a prednisone burst.

    It seems to have worked as the bird is now acting normal most of the time and not much time has passed.

    It is unfortunate that the nicest crests are so tied to the trait for vaulted skulls. I, for one, would not mind seeing it bred out however with the standards as they stand I don't think a breeder could do that and show at the same level as those raising vaulted birds.

    I could be incorrect on the best crests = vaulted skulls, but I've heard it from more than one person.

    How weird that the chick hatched without skin either! I know the pics are graphic, but do you have any side images that truly illustrate how far the brain is protruding from the skull? Also, did it seem as though the membranes that would normally cover the brain were intact?

    So strange!
     
  8. destiny_56085

    destiny_56085 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    G'morning. More chicks out of the shell when I woke up. Thank god there were no more surprises.

    I dealt with crookneck in 2 older pullets this year too. Both had extreme vaults and were at least 4 months of age. No cockerels in the pens, so it had to be a hard peck from another girl. Both displayed the common symptoms of the head tucked between the legs, twitching, etc. I went through both with Vitamin E and Selenium treatments. The white pullet pulled through and only gets occasional lapses where her head will start twitching again. The black pullet never survived. She would get her head up and you couldn't tell her apart from any of the other birds for spurts. The minute she went back down to eat or drink it was like a magnet pulling her head back between her legs again.

    When I sell birds to new silkie owners, I do warn them about this. They seem to think this bird can just free-range with all their other breeds. Sometimes maybe.... More often than not, they come crying over why they can't keep them alive.

    I wish I could have gotten more pics. I snapped a few and the batteries on my camera died. The membrane over the brain looked to be there. My camera couldn't get close enough to show the details. You could see the veining and tissue holding the spheres together.
     
  9. AHappychick

    AHappychick Wanna-be Farmer

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    Quote:what is a prednisone burst??? I used some that was for a human child on my lav silkie and it took 2 months but he got better. He was damaged in shipping, but I am unfamiliar with that term. I agree I wish that the vaulted sculls were not connected to big puffy crests. I get very excited when I see big vaulted sculls on my chicks but I get nervous about it as well. I think that all the fluff once they are mature add some extra cushining and coverage but not enough.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2009
  10. destiny_56085

    destiny_56085 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Prednisone is a very powerful anti-inflammatory drug. Its going to takes the swelling down almost immediately which in turn relieves pressure on the brain so the bird can function again. You have to be super carefull with its use though. Its one of those that you can't just stop giving. You have to gradually reduce the dosage lil by lil over the course of a month.
     

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