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Sneezing chicks; one with pastier poo. Should I worry?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by PurpleGizmo, May 2, 2009.

  1. PurpleGizmo

    PurpleGizmo Out Of The Brooder

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    32
    Jul 19, 2008
    Enumclaw, WA
    Hi there,

    My four little chicks are about two weeks old and have recently started sneezing. Not a lot, but at least once a minute, I can hear a sneeze from the box and have observed two in particular—our Ameraucana and one Buff Orpington. At one point, I noticed a little wetness near their nostrils but haven't seen that recently. They're all very active, eating and drinking like they should.

    One other concern is the droppings of our Ameraucana. She's also very active and will usually jump up on the edge of the box when I come in (it's about 15" up), but her droppings have been thinner than those of the other chicks. I would describe them as pasty, like ketchup, but still homogeneous. It doesn't look like what I'd expect diarrhea to be, but really, I'm new to this so I could be wrong! [​IMG] In case it matters, she appears to be growing faster than the rest: she's bigger and has more feathers.

    Do you think they're just bothered by something environmental or do they sound ill? Do the droppings of my Ameraucana sound normal? To put it another way, when should I start to be worried and what should I be on the look-out for?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Jenski

    Jenski Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    Are they shipped and/or hatchery chicks?

    What is your bedding?

    Are they in a brooder away from all other birds, or have they been exposed to older birds?

    What is your brooder temp?

    Is there a household HVAC vent anywhere near your chicks, or perhaps some other drafts?

    Are their eyes clear and bright? No facial swelling or crustiness?
     
  3. PurpleGizmo

    PurpleGizmo Out Of The Brooder

    41
    0
    32
    Jul 19, 2008
    Enumclaw, WA
    Quote:Hi Jenski,

    To answer your questions:

    1. The chicks are from the feed store, who in turn got them from Privett Hatchery. We bought them the day they came in.
    2. The bedding is white wood shavings (the big curls), not cedar.
    3. I don't have any other birds, so yes, they're away from other birds. [​IMG]
    4. Brooder temperature is currently 85 degrees (dropping to 80 this Wednesday), though that can rise a few degrees during the day. They seem content; no huddling under the light or sitting at the edges.
    5. The chicks are in our bathroom upstairs, with an inefficient vent on the kick plate of the counter below the box (they are up on our counter). The vent puts out very little air, more of a breeze than anything. There is a window six feet across the room that I only open if it's getting hot or stuffy in the room and I'm around to monitor it, but not if the wind is blowing. Their brooder is two boxes spliced together, with tape sealing the seams. Total space: 34" wide, 18" deep, and 16" tall.
    6. Yes, their eyes are clear and bright. I haven't seen any crust, drips, or anything unusual. Sneezing and the droppings of the Ameraucana are the only noticeable behaviors that make me nervous.

    Here are two pictures of our Ameraucana taken two days ago. When their wire mesh lid is removed, she jumps/flies up onto the edge of the box to watch us.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And here are some pictures of the others:
    [​IMG]
    This little buffy is my favorite! She loves jumping up onto my hand for some cuddle time. [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

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