Strange constipation issue

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Ardizzone7, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. Ardizzone7

    Ardizzone7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 25 RIR chicks that are 2 weeks old. Yesterday I had 1 die from what I finally figured out was some type of constipation. The chicks hold themselves in a squatting position and make a loud fast chirping sound I have never heard before. I have raised chicks for 7 years so I know the noises chicks make. Today I noticed 2 more doing the same thing. Their vents are working hard to push out their poo but it’s like a ball too large for them to pass. I don’t want them to die. I have gotten so I softly help them pass it by gently squeezing back by the vent, just so they don’t stay bound up.

    Their water has probiotics and today I started wetting the food into a slurry hoping it will pass easier. Has anyone ever had this happen before? Most everything I have read has talked about a single chick. I have had 3 in this batch. I’m wondering if it is a genetic thing?

    Any thoughts or words of wisdom?
     
    Little Chicken Girl likes this.
  2. Little Chicken Girl

    Little Chicken Girl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry that I cannot be of any help in this area. I am curious though and will be watching this thread to see what the experts say.
     
  3. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

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    You're very alert to realize what's happening. Now, for the treatment. Get some coconut oil and cool it so it's solid. It's easier and safer to give to baby chicks that way.

    Measure one teaspoon for each sick chick. Pry open the beak and slip a tiny bit in at a time until all the one teaspoon is in the chick. Repeat with the next constipated chick.

    Chicks get constipated when they don't drink enough water. You need to figure out why they may not be drinking. I had a chick last summer get constipated, and I figured out the nipple waterer wasn't venting properly so no water could come out when the chicks drank.

    In about four hours or overnight, the chick will pass a huge turd. If a chick remains constipated after the oil, repeat the oil and massage the vent to "milk" the poop out of the lower intestine. Sometimes, inserting a bit of oil just inside the vent will help, too.
     
  4. Ardizzone7

    Ardizzone7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you! I’ll try the oil. Not sure why they wouldn’t be drinking. We use a standard waterer. Hopefully they are getting extra water since I’m wetting the feed quite a bit.
     
  5. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

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    Another cause of constipation is feeding treats without also supplying chick grit for their gizzards. People have had toddlers in the house that slipped the baby chicks things to eat, and without grit, the chicks quickly became stopped up. Other examples were from countries where commercial chick feed was unavailable, and the chicks were fed rice and cracked corn. If they had been also fed grit, they may have been okay.
     
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  6. Ardizzone7

    Ardizzone7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That’s what’s so crazy. We have been brooding chicks for the same way for the last 5 years. No little kids in the house, no treats and we always use commercial feed. I just don’t know why they are constipated. They shouldn’t be. I’ve gotten some coconut oil in them so hopefully today will be better.
     
  7. I had a constipated Hen and gave her margarine mixed with Chicken feed and she pooped great..Not sure what is causing your issues.?
    Best of luck.
     
    Brahma Chicken5000 likes this.
  8. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

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    If you been doing everything the same, but the ambient temperature is much warmer this time, the chicks may be getting dehydrated from not being able to cool down. For example, if you are keeping the heat zone at 95F and the room is at 80F, that would not allow chicks to shed excess heat.

    Another cause is failure-to-thrive. But it's unusual to have that many under-developed chicks in one batch. Shipping stress could also account for the constipation. If the chicks got chilled in transit, the consequences may just now be manifesting.
     
  9. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

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    Or perhaps there is too much salt in the water. So they don't want to drink it or... The salty water is dehydrating them.
    Best,
    Karen
     
  10. granny hatchet

    granny hatchet Tastes like chicken Premium Member

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    Azygous, Will molasses in the water do the same thing as the oil ?
     

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