two week old chick-breathing heavy and chirping on exhale

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by joannes, Mar 10, 2017.

  1. joannes

    joannes Just Hatched

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    Hello BYC,

    Posted this under "raising baby chicks" and a bycer suggested I post here. Any thoughts?

    I have five 2 week old chicks (1 Americana, 1 Rhode Island Red, 3 Buff Orpington) The are all growing well and active. However, the Americana seems to be breathing heavy with a chirp on each exhale. She is active (eating, drinking, pooping) , but the breathing does not seem right. Is something stuck? Allergies?Disease?

    We are using newspaper in the brooder box and infrared heat lamp. We did a few days of the nettle tea last week and started electrolytes in their water last night.

    Thoughts? Totally new to this.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Make sure that the sick chick is drinking plenty, or dip it's beak into the water often. They need good air circulation overhead, and the bedding should be kept dry and clean. Wet bedding with spilled feed will mold fast with warm heat, so they can suffer from brooder pneumonia a fungal disease called aspergillosis. I would get a bag of pine shavings for bedding, or use paper towel for better absorbsion, but also because slippery newsprint can cause legs problems. It doesn't give enough traction. Occasionally we lose baby chicks who are weak or who have suffered from shipping stress, and she could be showing signs of that. Aside from drinking well and eating, keeping her bottom clean if she is having pasty butt, that is all you can do? I hope she makes it.
     
  3. moglet

    moglet Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 22, 2016
    Hi I have a 5 day old chick that is doing exactly the same making a little chirping noise on exhaling and looks like she is breathing more heavily, she also is active eating and drinking, I have them on pine wood shavings and poop pick constantly during the day and wipe up any water spillage, there is good air circulation over head and the temperature is at 25 degrees is this too low? the other chicks seem fine. How is your chick Joanne? I find this part of hatching so stressful, I'm new to this too.
     
  4. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Hi @moglet Can you clarify your temperature? 25C? That is still too low for 5day old chicks - aim for 32C-29C (90F-85F) in one spot of your brooder - have enough room so the chicks can get away from the heat source and cool down if they need to.

    Watch to see that she is drinking well.
     
  5. moglet

    moglet Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 22, 2016
    Thank you Wyorp rock I will re-check the heat it is an infrared light at one end of the brooder and I have also put in a heat pad which she is sat on directly underneath the lamp but she keeps getting on and off to eat drink and poo the temp seemed to fluctuate up to 29 then down to 25-26C She seemed fine in the other brooder with the others up until I put pine woodshavings in,so have taken the shavings out and put kitchen towel back in. Don't know if that's the problem,she seems active still. She is drinking ok, I have put intervits in her water.
     
  6. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Sounds like your temps are ok, if she is moving about to get food/water. Chicks should get warm, then move to play/eat/drink/run around, then back to get warm.

    Shavings can be dusty and sometimes hard to navigate for little ones. If she seems to be breathing easier without them in there, then I would suspect dust. Just in case, check to make sure they are not cedar shavings - these are too aromatic for chickens delicate respiratory system. Pine shavings should be fine as long as there is plenty of ventilation.

    I'm glad to hear she seems to be doing better, keep us posted.
     
  7. moglet

    moglet Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks again! so good to fire questions on here for people with lots of knowledge to reply, checked the shavings they just say dust extracted pine shavings, but they must contain a certain amount of dust. I don't suspect cocci as the poos are normal, no blood or anything unusual there, it's just this heavy breathing, looked in a few minutes ago and she was jumping up the sides of the brooder trying to peck something she's seen. This is so strange. Pictures above of chicks, they are chocolate silver laced Pekin bantams.
     
  8. moglet

    moglet Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi, getting a bit concerned about little pekin chick,, I took her to the vets on Tuesday as breathing was still heavy, vet checked in her mouth, nothing there, no temperature, stethoscope found no crackling, no discharge from nose or eyes. She gave me synulox in case of any infection, 2 tiny drops twice daily. Thought she was doing better but not eating a lot and lost about half a gram so not putting any weight on! Still seems active between sleeps and breathing doesn't seem as heavy and not breathing through beak any more which she was before I took her to the vet. Still making a "snicking" noise and shakes her head, almost like a sneeze but it doesn't sound like a sneeze. I've put grapefruit seed extract in her water, (5 drops per litre) so really tiny amount. Does anyone think I should try Vet-rx I'm going to order some anyway. I'll be so upset if I lose her as she's trying so hard.
     
  9. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    I'm sorry to hear she isn't improving.

    Try to encourage her to drink. If you haven't done so, offer her wet chick starter to see if that's more palatable for her. You could try VetRx to see if there's any improvement with it. I have not used it, but I've seen where some people report it's similar to using something like Vick's Vapor Rub.

    Keep us posted.
     
  10. moglet

    moglet Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 22, 2016
    Thanks for replying Wyorp rock, She seems to drink ok and I have crushed up the chick crumbs in a pestle and mortar as she kept picking crumbs up and eating some and dropping others, even though these organic crumbs are really small anyway. I will make a mash as you have suggested to see if she prefers this instead of the dry crumbs. I saw her picking crumbs out of the water pot today and eating some. I'll keep you posted, thank you for your help and suggestions.
     

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