Vitamin E deficiency and "Crazy Chick Disease" - Photos added post #5

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by mandelyn, Mar 9, 2013.

  1. mandelyn

    mandelyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So I'm posting more as an FYI more than anything now that I know what's going on.

    Last Spring we had to put a chick down. Didn't know then why. Came home from work today to a chick in the same position as that one.

    Head tucked up under itself and backed into a corner. Uncontrollable movements of the head and legs.

    Caused by a vitamin E deficiency. Earlier signs are weakness, fluffing of the feathers, and runny nose. After learning that today, the other chicks must be deficient as well. Too calm, acting cold (fluffed feathers, not cold at 5 weeks with a bulb!) and I noticed a couple of sneezes.

    Must have been using bad search terms or something last time. This time I found more information on it, and what it is.

    So for anyone else hunting around, I'll put in "chick with head down".

    I read to tube feed parrot formula. I had some on hand as luck would have it, and the worse off chick ate on it's own from a spoon after it tasted what was in the syringe. It perked up a bit, and we're doing feedings every 2 hours now. It might recover. Small chance. The others were caught in time. It can now sleep with it's head in it's wing like normal, but it still has episodes. But only when the head is lowered. So I've been holding it for awhile after feedings to keep the head up and prevent regurgitation.

    So we'll see how the little bird does. It's a relief to know what is causing it. Now I'm looking into why this fancy natural feed is causing it. Same feed as the last bird. Later onset this time, but I started them on something different. They must be picking out what they want and not eating all the feed, missing the supplements maybe.

    Off to the drugstore for vitamin E capsules, then the grocery store for Sunflower oil, Wheat Germ, Spinach, and turnip greens. While being careful not to cause an overdose, too much of it isn't good either. The worse off one will have a drop in the parrot formula, and the rest the natural sources of it.

    I hope this bird pulls through, it's a pullet!
     
  2. LoveChickens123

    LoveChickens123 Chillin' With My Peeps

    oh my gosh i hope it makes it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  3. jobouss

    jobouss Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had one that did that too after I brought her home. She was just a couple of days old. She would put her head between her legs and run backwards till she ran into something. She would act as if it was unconscious then snap out of it, start eating and drinking and a few minutes later do it all over again. Over and over all day long. I went and got some vitamin E capsules, some poly vi sol without iron and some selenium. I gave it to her every day and after a few days I noticed a reduction in the amount of times she did it. Then I saw her do it about once or twice a day and now not at all. She is doing fine and thriving at 4 weeks old.
     
  4. mandelyn

    mandelyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She's doing a lot better today. The episodes aren't lasting as long and she's perkier. Still a long way from normal, but she's eating good.

    The others are acting crazy today, full of themselves. Most energy I've ever seen from them, like normal chicks.

    Today's positive changes reflect that it was dietary. The worse one is getting parrot formula with a dash of Safflower oil and tablespoon of Wheat Germ. I get her to eat 2 table spoons, then give the left overs to the others with feed sprinkled on top. Then they get a salad with turnip greens, spinach, flax seed, wheat germ, and the safflower oil. They like it!
     
  5. mandelyn

    mandelyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yesterday I got some photos of what this looks like. She has made a lot of progress, being able to feed herself and drink. She can stand up a lot better! Still having frequent episodes but they're not as severe.

    During an episode.

    [​IMG]

    1 second after, like nothing happened. Look how tall she stands now! Before the head was just stuck down.

    [​IMG]

    She can eat now without setting herself off!

    [​IMG]

    And the others napping just because, they hardly sit still anymore and the boy is trying to crow already.

    [​IMG]

    So glad she's making progress.
     
  6. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    What feed were you using?
     
  7. jobouss

    jobouss Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I found a video that I forgot I had made of my little chick doing the same thing the day I brought her home. She is a month old now and doing great!
     
  8. mandelyn

    mandelyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah, that video is exactly it. Scary when you first see it and don't know what it is!

    It was an all natural milled mash, I'm pretty sure they were picking and choosing through it and made themselves deficient. Debating on if I want to stick with that kind of feed and continue E rich foods, or go back to a crumble where they can't nit pick through it.
     
  9. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

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    I also have a little chick with this syndrome. It's a Dominique, now approx 12 days old. I first noticed that something was wrong with her Sunday night. When I went down to check on them, she was backed up against the wall of the brooder, out of the "heat circle" and for all intents and purposes, unconsious. I picked her up, revived her somewhat and put her under the heat lamp. Then she started the head tuck, backwards dance. I was actually surprised to find her alive the next morning. I did some research on this site, and started some Vit E and sugar water. Per my sister ( a veterinarian ) I got some "hand feeding formula" and started her on that yesterday along with some "Nutri-Drench". She is improved. I'd love to hear from others who have dealt with this issue. Has it been completely cured with nutritional supplimentation, or have the affected birds remained stunted and non-productive. She's still posturing her head at a funny angle, face planting in the shavings, and doing the "dance". But occasionally she'll perk up and to the casual observer look normal. I've also noticed that her chirp is higher pitched and sounds almost "complaining".
     
  10. jobouss

    jobouss Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I started my little chick on the poly vi sol without iron, vitamin e capsules and selenium every day. I noticed day by day she would decrease the amount of times she did it. Now at 1 month old there is absolutely no sign of the syndrome. She is the same size as the others and you wouldn't even think there had been something wrong with her.
     

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