sudden onset of extreme weakness in youngsters

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Momo, Apr 27, 2008.

  1. Momo

    Momo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 16, 2008
    Nelson BC
    Hi, all. I have 30 EE chicks, 4 and 5 weeks old. Except for a couple of beak issues they have all been very vigorous and healthy youngsters.

    However, this morning I found two of the girls sick. One can stand and walk although her gait is slow and unsteady. She is eating, but with an oddly repetitive motion punctuated by bouts of resting her beak or chin on the feeder, which is how I first noticed the problem - I thought she had a neurological issue. When I picked her up out of the brooder her neck hung down limply. The other pullet has better tone in her neck but can't stand up - she can move a little, crouched down on her hocks, but mostly flops over to her right side.

    They eat medicated chick starter, free choice. I give some scrambled egg every couple of days. Water is always clean and available. They've been on pine shavings ever since they were a few days old; they do scratch in it and eat pieces of it. They are still in the brooder (well, several brooders now because they've grown so much and were starting to pick) but the coop is nearly finished and they should be moving out to it soon. They're currently at 70 degrees, room temp, with no lamp because they had started to sleep on the opposite side of the brooder (these chicks from day one seemed to prefer a slightly lower temperature).

    I have separated the two to an "infirmary bin" but don't know what else I can do to help them. There are no feed stores open in my area today and in any event they don't stock much in the way of supplies here.

    So far there's only one poop in the infirmary, and other than being greener than usual it doesn't look particularly odd.

    Taking these chickens to a vet is not in the cards, but I don't want to cull them if there's something I can do to help. Also of course I'd like to figure out what the problem is as I'm worried about the rest of the flock.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks!
     
  2. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

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    You can buy Poly-Vi-Sol (liquid baby vitamins/supplement) at any drug store. Give them a drop or two directly in beak and add it to their water. 4 - 5 weeks is the age that vitamin deficiency/malabsorption issues like limp neck/crook neck start to show up. Give them some scrambled egg every day. It's a great source of protein and vitamins.
     
  3. Momo

    Momo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nelson BC
    Okay, I'll do that! Thanks!!!
     
  4. Momo

    Momo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 16, 2008
    Nelson BC
    Well, they're doing much better even though I wasn't able to get into town for their vitamins until this morning. Despite this, one of the two girls (the one with the limp neck) improved pretty much on her own and was almost back to normal by last night. Maybe the scrambled egg helped? The other spent most of the day lying on her side like a flattened bundle of feathers and wouldn' t eat. I gave her water several times by dribbling it along the side of her beak while holding her head up for her, and that seemed to perk her up a little. By the end of the day she wasn't quite so flat. This morning the first one seems entirely normal and the other is able to get up and walk some, although still a little crouched down, and she hasn't flopped over all day. I gave them the vitamins this morning and they continue to improve. I think they're going to be okay! Thank you!
     
  5. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

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    So glad to hear they are better. Keep feeding them the scrambled egg - they love it and it is so good for them. And keep adding vitamins to their water for at least a week or two.
     
  6. Momo

    Momo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nelson BC
    Okay, will do. What is the dosage of vitamins to water?
     
  7. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

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    I don't think it matters too much since I give the sick ones a couple of drops straight-up. But what I do is use the plastic chick waterers and instead of adding it to the whole thing of water I just drop a couple of dropper fulls in the red tray. I usually change and clean the waterer every day so I just add some more drops the next day.
     
  8. Momo

    Momo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nelson BC
    Okay, I can do that! I use the plastic waterers and clean them every day too. Thanks again!
     
  9. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    They would be at the perfect age to get cocci, but you're giving medicated feed. So, do you know if they were vaccinated and against what?

    Also, I agree a soluable vitamin/electrolyte in their water would be a good starting point.
     
  10. Momo

    Momo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nelson BC
    I wondered about cocci after reading about it on this site (I haven't kept chickens since I was a kid, but they are getting the medicated feed and there's no bloody poop, no diarrhea... and 28 of the chicks are as vigorous as ever. They weren't vaccinated; they came from a small breeder. The good news is that one of the pullets seems fully recovered and the other one is well on her way. Yaaay!
     

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