Unsteady Chick Won't Drink; Food Repeatedly Stuck in Mouth

Derikoma

In the Brooder
Jun 7, 2020
5
2
11
One of our four black ameraucana chicks we got two and a half weeks ago has recently had issues eating and I'm unsure as to the cause. She has been repeatedly getting food stuck pretty tight in the right side of her beak the previous two days(which we have cleaned out several times now in hopes that it was not any sort of internal blockage but just a greedy chick eating too much) but today she has gone from happy and as healthy to the others to listless and unbalanced.

She does not yet feel any more lightweight than the others and her vent is clean and looks healthy but today she has started moving much slower than the others and maintaining a very deep hunch. When I reach in to our brooder to check on her she has a much slower, staggered gait that none of her sisters are displaying and although I have seen her attempt to eat at least twice she hasn't been lifting her beak up to drink when I dip her beak, only bothering to "smack her lips" without actually lifting her head.

This unwillingness to lift her head has also made it very difficult for me to be able to try and look down her throat so I am unable to ascertain if there is any deeper blockage. We have been using wide pine shavings for their bedding and I have been diligent on keeping their water and feeder clean of debris but we have been allowing them short spurts of activity outside where-upon they have been pecking at the ground and I am worried she may have ingested something I'm unaware of.

Should I be seeking veterinary aid on this matter? Are there home treatments I could attempt that I am unaware of? None of the common diseases I have looked at so far seem to correlate too strongly so I believe there may be some other issue with her crop or her jaw.
 

Kiki

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Can you pick up some Nutri-Drench today?
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Wyorp Rock

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She has been repeatedly getting food stuck pretty tight in the right side of her beak the previous two days
she has gone from happy and as healthy to the others to listless and unbalanced.
she has started moving much slower than the others and maintaining a very deep hunch. When I reach in to our brooder to check on her she has a much slower, staggered gait
two and a half weeks ago
have seen her attempt to eat at least twice she hasn't been lifting her beak up to drink when I dip her beak, only bothering to "smack her lips"
unwillingness to lift her head has also made it very difficult for me to be able to try and look down her throat

It would be good if you can get a look inside her beak if she's getting food stuck. 2 people may be better than one on this. Also if possible, some photos of the inside of the beak. I know...tricky!!
Is she pooping at all? What's that like?

What's her crop feel like?

The hunching is concerning. I would lean toward Coccidiosis just at the mention of "hunching" and lethargy - but with food sticking and you having to clean out the beak...I'm curious if what you are seeing is dehydration and weakness because she's not drinking or really eating.
 

Eggcessive

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Sorry about your chick. Do you have any pictures of the chick? Can she not lift her head up? I would try to dip her beak into water as much as possible, after giving the Poultry NutriDrench orally 1 ml daily.
 

Derikoma

In the Brooder
Jun 7, 2020
5
2
11
Apologies for the late update to this thread (and thank you for all of the thoughtful replies) but last night her symptoms grew worse and she died shortly after arriving at our local emergency vet clinic late last night. I was able to take a picture of her last droppings (which she was too weak to fully expel from her vent) but they were off-white to a pale yellow (perhaps mucus?) without any signs of blood in the stool like I have read to expect from Coccidiosis. We also noticed that her beak seemed slightly malformed and believe this may have exacerbated her inability to eat as she got weaker from whatever was wrong with her.

Today we went out to the local feed store and picked up Nutri-Drench, a few packets of electrolytes, and Corid and within two hours of being home we noticed another of our chicks had developed a hunch and slight lethargy (though she seems far stronger than the prior chick did). I am now working under the assumption that Coccidiosis made its way into the flock during the brief times we let them out into the grass and have begun the Corid treatment, my fiance and myself plan to administer a few drops of the Corid-treated water by dropper every hour this evening in hopes that if I am correct in my assumption that her symptoms will start to abate.

If her symptoms do not improve we will be making an immediate trip to the vet in hopes that more professional help might be able to prevent another tragedy.
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Wyorp Rock

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last droppings (which she was too weak to fully expel from her vent) but they were off-white to a pale yellow (perhaps mucus?) without any signs of blood in the stool like I have read to expect from Coccidiosis. We also noticed that her beak seemed slightly malformed
within two hours of being home we noticed another of our chicks had developed a hunch and slight lethargy
have begun the Corid treatment, my fiance and myself plan to administer a few drops of the Corid-treated water by dropper every hour this evening in hopes that if I am correct in my assumption that her symptoms will start to abate.
I'm sorry for your loss :hugs
Did the vet clinic do a fecal float on any of the poop? That would have told you if Coccidiosis was part of the problem.
There are several strains of Coccidia and only 2 present with blood in the stool. Going by behavior as well as taking a look at droppings (sometimes showing blood, sometimes loose with mucous) if a better indicator.

It's good that you started the other one on Corid, I hope you see improvement by morning.
If you have liquid Corid, you can give the chick 1-2 drops of undiluted Corid once a day for 3 days in addition to getting the mixed Corid water into her.

Please keep us posted.
 

Derikoma

In the Brooder
Jun 7, 2020
5
2
11
Did the vet clinic do a fecal float on any of the poop? That would have told you if Coccidiosis was part of the problem.
They did not, it was an emergency vet that primarily worked on cats and dogs and did not actually have any proper tools for treating chickens (though they certainly tried their best and I am very thankful for how well she was treated in her last moments) and I had wiped her clean before we took her anyway. She died very quickly once we got there and they returned her to us with an apology and a promise that we wouldn't be charged since it all happened so fast. I was a little too disheartened to ask if they could still attempt a diagnosis and am unsure if they could have anyway.

Is there a procedure I should have followed instead with keeping the sample in some kind of container to get ti a vet's office? There is a livestock vet nearby we intended to bring her to but they were closed by time we thought it necessary.

It's good that you started the other one on Corid, I hope you see improvement by morning.

If you have liquid Corid, you can give the chick 1-2 drops of undiluted Corid once a day for 3 days in addition to getting the mixed Corid water into her.
Unfortunately the only Corid we could find was in powder form but we found the right ratios and added it along with Nutri-Drench and a packet of Electrolytes to their waterer in hopes that it would help curtail the Coccidia and also provide some much needed nutrients to the girl (or girls if the others are merely asymptomatic at this time).


We have been feeding the sickly one with a dropper every hour and shut off the lights (not the heat lamp just the overhead) a little early in hopes she would benefit from the early rest and it seems like she's doing a little better! I only just drop-watered her for the fourth time so it hasn't been all too long but she seems a little more active and aware, I even saw her feeding on her own from the feeder this last time which makes me hopeful! She's also peeped up a storm and has been willing to extend her neck upwards to drink properly, which she wasn't doing when we first started with the dropper. She still has the hunch when she's put down so I don't believe she's out of the woods yet, but my fingers are crossed!

Thanks to everyone who is following this thread and helping my fiance and myself with this! We are truly thankful.
 

Wyorp Rock

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we found the right ratios and added it along with Nutri-Drench and a packet of Electrolytes to their waterer in hopes that it would help curtail the Coccidia and also provide some much needed nutrients
Is there a procedure I should have followed instead with keeping the sample in some kind of container to get ti a vet's office?
Can you get some photos of the chick/how it hunches and of it's poop?

Corid powder dosage is 1 1/2 tsp per gallon of water. Use at the only source of drinking water for 5-7 days.

I would not add Nutri-Drench or Electrolytes to the Corid water. Corid acts as a Thiamine blocker to starve out/reduce the number of Coccidia so chicks can build resistance - "excess" Thiamine like "added" vitamins could cancel the affects of the Corid. (I said could. I have yet to find "excess" defined in the drug manual, so...)

I do have to wonder if she's dehydrated since you are seeing improvement with your mixture.

You can gather samples of poop and put them in a ziplock bag to take to the vet.
I'm sorry you lost the other one, I hope this one continues to do well.
 

Derikoma

In the Brooder
Jun 7, 2020
5
2
11
I would not add Nutri-Drench or Electrolytes to the Corid water. Corid acts as a Thiamine blocker to starve out/reduce the number of Coccidia so chicks can build resistance - "excess" Thiamine like "added" vitamins could cancel the affects of the Corid.

Oh wow, that's great information to have. I'll definitely be watching how she continues through the night with this current batch of water and adjust the formula for tomorrow and the following days according to that info!
 

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