azygous

Crossing the Road
Dec 11, 2009
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The chick is certainly a lot larger. And very sick, judging from the eyes. Fat and fluid buildup shouldn't be uniform. There should be areas where you should be able to feel the bones. Use you sense of touch, not just your eyes, to get an idea of where this chick is carrying this extra fat or fluid. Usually it would be predominantly between the legs. Either one, fat or fluid, would not be good.

Fluid would be caused by organ failure, primarily the liver. Some chicks hatch with genetic flaws, may get through their first few weeks seeming as normal as any chick, then the underdeveloped organs begin to fail. This isn't to insist that this is what's going on with this chick, but one possibility.

Chicks all peep very loudly when they are uncomfortable, in pain, cold, too hot, hungry, scared, etc. Any loud chick has an immediate issue that must be looked into.

It's also not a good idea to give chicks so many supplements, especially electrolytes. Electrolytes should be reserved for short term emergency use only. They can have long term negative effects on all chickens if used over a long period.

As a rule, commercial feed is well balanced with proper vitamins and minerals and needs no supplementing.

Let's see how the chick is in the morning.
 
Oct 3, 2020
67
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Bethel, NY
I have had the occasional bird that stuffed themselves and had a huge crop. It looks to me like she just made a pig of herself. Being sleepy may be because she ate so much.
With solid sides on the brooder and where the heat lamp is it is possible she did indeed get to warm. Solid sides hold in the heat somewhat.
That is certainly optimistic, but I hope you are right! It would be wonderful if she were just too self induglent, but I fear azygous's assessment may me the reality. As we've said, there is nothing I can do for now but wait and see. Hopefully the brooder isn't too cold for the splash silkies that has been under heat for the last week.
 

21hens-incharge

Nuttier than a squirrels stash
Premium Feather Member
Mar 9, 2014
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Northern Colorado
That is certainly optimistic, but I hope you are right! It would be wonderful if she were just too self induglent, but I fear azygous's assessment may me the reality. As we've said, there is nothing I can do for now but wait and see. Hopefully the brooder isn't too cold for the splash silkies that has been under heat for the last week.
@azygous is certainly much more knowledgeable than I am when it comes to issues chicks can have. She makes a good point about the eyes and possible internal issues.

They will sleep in a heap so the splash should be fine for heat.....do listen for loud peeping though.
 
Oct 3, 2020
67
113
76
Bethel, NY
The chick is certainly a lot larger. And very sick, judging from the eyes. Fat and fluid buildup shouldn't be uniform. There should be areas where you should be able to feel the bones. Use you sense of touch, not just your eyes, to get an idea of where this chick is carrying this extra fat or fluid. Usually it would be predominantly between the legs. Either one, fat or fluid, would not be good.

Fluid would be caused by organ failure, primarily the liver. Some chicks hatch with genetic flaws, may get through their first few weeks seeming as normal as any chick, then the underdeveloped organs begin to fail. This isn't to insist that this is what's going on with this chick, but one possibility.

Chicks all peep very loudly when they are uncomfortable, in pain, cold, too hot, hungry, scared, etc. Any loud chick has an immediate issue that must be looked into.

It's also not a good idea to give chicks so many supplements, especially electrolytes. Electrolytes should be reserved for short term emergency use only. They can have long term negative effects on all chickens if used over a long period.

As a rule, commercial feed is well balanced with proper vitamins and minerals and needs no supplementing.

Let's see how the chick is in the morning.
Yes, she certainly is a lot larger... The eyes don't look as bad in person, she is squinting because of the harsh flash I had to use in the dimly lit room, I also think it makes them look more glossy.

By uniform fat and fluid buildup, are you referring to how she looks so round? I cant remember if I can feel any bones on her, I wasn't paying attention, but I certainly can on the other two. It seems like there is a lot of buildup near the lower rear, like she's carrying a pouch under her tail behind her belly.

Do you think organ failure could be caused by the excess poultry cell, B12 and electrolytes? The water was strongly colored, maybe it was just too much. It definitely seems like organ failure is possibility now that you've highlighted excess fluid or fat between her legs. Is there anything I can do now to flush her out?

I bought her at 4 weeks two days ago and these severe symptoms only started showing this afternoon/evening.
 
Oct 3, 2020
67
113
76
Bethel, NY
@azygous is certainly much more knowledgeable than I am when it comes to issues chicks can have. She makes a good point about the eyes and possible internal issues.

They will sleep in a heap so the splash should be fine for heat.....do listen for loud peeping though.
Great advice, they are all silent for now, so I will assume they aren't too cold. Thank you.
 

azygous

Crossing the Road
Dec 11, 2009
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It's a near impossibility that you caused this chick to become sick in these scant few days. Electrolytes and vitamins need to be overused over a long period to cause this much harm. I'm inclined to think this chick has congenital issues that are coincidentally occurring at this moment.

Yes, fat and edema both accumulate in the area just behind and in front of the legs. It's more likely fluid. This also can account for the crop issue. If the chick is entering organ failure, it can cause the digestive system to shut down. None of this is your fault.

That's the worst case scenario. It may be your chick just got overheated and will have pulled out of this by morning. There is nothing more to do right now than wait until morning to see how the chick is doing. We will assess things then, and try to figure out where to go with this chick. Whether she survives the night or not, whether she shows improvement in the morning or is worse, come morning, we will know more than we do now.
 
Oct 3, 2020
67
113
76
Bethel, NY
It's a near impossibility that you caused this chick to become sick in these scant few days. Electrolytes and vitamins need to be overused over a long period to cause this much harm. I'm inclined to think this chick has congenital issues that are coincidentally occurring at this moment.

Yes, fat and edema both accumulate in the area just behind and in front of the legs. It's more likely fluid. This also can account for the crop issue. If the chick is entering organ failure, it can cause the digestive system to shut down. None of this is your fault.

That's the worst case scenario. It may be your chick just got overheated and will have pulled out of this by morning. There is nothing more to do right now than wait until morning to see how the chick is doing. We will assess things then, and try to figure out where to go with this chick. Whether she survives the night or not, whether she shows improvement in the morning or is worse, come morning, we will know more than we do now.
I really appreciated your consoling and reassuring words last night, its been really difficult dealing with chick death and feeling like its my doing. I didn't realize how fragile silkies, or chickens for that matter, would be.

It seems as if she's actually doing great today! I am kind of in shock, I had prepared myself to wake up to a dead chick - maybe accepting her death is what brought her back to life!

Her crop has drastically gone down, she is back to being active with the rest of the chicks and she seems overall way less swollen with fluids. I am not sure what changed, but I think taking out the heat source and removing the food for 10 hours really helped. She definitely eats more than the other too, which is why she is fatter. I have never been so happy to see a chick run from my hand!

I do not want to be too optimistic at this point, she does still seem to be swollen between her legs with what is either fat or fluid and she is definitely lower energy than the other two chicks. I do feel like she could have some sort of internal issue, but as long as she is happy for now, everything is okay.

I uploaded two videos to illustrate her size and disposition. You can see she looks less swollen and much less sickly. She is the bird in the end who jumps up and scares the other two.

 
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21hens-incharge

Nuttier than a squirrels stash
Premium Feather Member
Mar 9, 2014
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Northern Colorado
I really appreciated your consoling and reassuring words last night, its been really difficult dealing with chick death and feeling like its my doing. I didn't realize how fragile silkies, or chickens for that matter, would be.

It seems as if she's actually going great today! I am kind of shock, I had prepared myself for a dead chick - maybe accepting her death is what brought her back to life! Her crop has drastically gone down, she is back to being active with the rest of the chicks and she seems overall way less swollen with fluids. I am not sure what changed, but I think taking out the heat source and removing the food for 10 hours really helped. She definitely eats more than the other too, which is why she is fatter. I have never been so happy to see a chick run from my hand!

I do not want to be too optimistic at this point, she does still seem to be swollen between her legs with what is either fat or fluid and she definite is more low energy than the other two chicks. I do feel like she could have some sort of internal issue, but as long as she is happy for now, everything is okay.

I uploaded two videos to illustrate her size and disposition. You can see she looks less swollen and much less sickly. She is the bird in the end who jumps up and scares the other two.


She certainly looks better today! :thumbsup
 

azygous

Crossing the Road
Dec 11, 2009
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27,202
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Colorado Rockies
The improvement is dramatic and oh so very welcome! She seems to be a large girl by genetics. Usually, a chick with genetically caused issues is smaller, a runt, due to underdeveloped organs not allowing for efficient utilization of calories and nutrients. Your chick does not fit this average model of a failure-to-thrive chick.

My take is that this chick is a focus of lots of coincidences. That can happen in life - bad luck can hit like a tidal wave rather than have it distributed evenly in a fashion easier to deal with. My philosophy in treating sick or injured chickens is that gradual improvement is something to celebrate. Gradual decline is something that indicates a chicken doesn't possess the tools to recover, and I need to prepare to euthanize at some point.

We can only make guesses as to why this chick went into such a nose dive. Overheating can do it. It's the only obvious explanation. Occam's Razor demands we accept the most obvious and simple explanation for a puzzling situation. Or, as an old farmer would declare, "Never look a gift horse in the mouth".
 
Oct 3, 2020
67
113
76
Bethel, NY
The improvement is dramatic and oh so very welcome! She seems to be a large girl by genetics. Usually, a chick with genetically caused issues is smaller, a runt, due to underdeveloped organs not allowing for efficient utilization of calories and nutrients. Your chick does not fit this average model of a failure-to-thrive chick.

My take is that this chick is a focus of lots of coincidences. That can happen in life - bad luck can hit like a tidal wave rather than have it distributed evenly in a fashion easier to deal with. My philosophy in treating sick or injured chickens is that gradual improvement is something to celebrate. Gradual decline is something that indicates a chicken doesn't possess the tools to recover, and I need to prepare to euthanize at some point.

We can only make guesses as to why this chick went into such a nose dive. Overheating can do it. It's the only obvious explanation. Occam's Razor demands we accept the most obvious and simple explanation for a puzzling situation. Or, as an old farmer would declare, "Never look a gift horse in the mouth".
Yes!! Thank you for your insight, I really appreciate all your responses. If it’s not one problem, it’s another! ONE of the chicks stool is REALLY bloody - like a solid poop covered in a thick mucus of blood. The brooder was covered in bloody droppings this morning and they were going nuts for the bloody pine shavings.

I am not sure which black chick it is, but it’s either the one that was very ill before or the smaller one (I saw the splash have a normal poop). Both seem and act REALLY healthy, which is why it’s so surprising. They are currently running around chasing each other in circles, chirping, eating and drinking. They are super perky!

My chicks eat SO much grit, they treat it like it’s a treat, they are crazy for it! They eat as much (if not more of it) than their food. I think they like how fine it is. What should I do??

I took out the grit, cleaned out the entire brooderreplaced the towels, bedding, food, water and added a little bit of ACV, 1/2 teaspoon of B12 and 1/2 tsp electrolytes in their mason jar waterer just now.

They are showing no other sign of coccid (such as fatigue, etc) so I am leaning towards their digestive issues being torn up from eating the pine shavings and a copious amount of grit. What should I do?? Should I treat for coccid just in case?

Keep in mind the health issues of the big girl from earlier this week (I’m trying to see if it’s her poop). Any advice much appreciated!
 

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