Vitamin E Deficiency! I need advice

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by fiveidahoboys, Aug 30, 2016.

  1. fiveidahoboys

    fiveidahoboys Out Of The Brooder

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    I will try to make a long story short. I have 25 chicks, and at 15 days one exhibited sickly-like behavior by not standing well, tipping over, feathers puffed out, and acting cold. It was all the typical signs for Marek's disease. I fed it polyvisol infant vitamins, and scrambled eggs (I had to force feed it), and it got so sick that it's like it's legs were paralyzed. It could move it's legs, but it could not sit on them or stand on them. So it just layed there with it's legs to the side. In the meantime, I had two more chicks start with the same symptoms. I was so upset thinking I might have Marek's when I'd never had a problem with chicks before.

    I was about to kill the chick and take it in for a necropsy when a friend suggest I look up vitamin e deficiency. I did, and the symptoms were all the same. So I started treating with vitamin e yesterday. I forgot to pick up selenium today, so I don't have that. The chick that is doing so poorly (I really don't know how it's still alive) has just the slightest improvement, and the other two have a little improvement as well (but certainly not 100%). I have switched all the chicks' feed, and I am giving everyone polyvisol via their water. I don't know why the feed would be bad, I buy it from a reputable feed store, and it has all the right ingredients for chick formula including vitamin e and selenium. BUT I HAVE NO IDEA HOW MUCH VITAMIN E I SHOULD BE GIVING THE SICK CHICKS OR HOW OFTEN!

    I cannot find anywhere a good read on what exactly I should be doing to treat a severe vitamin deficiency in my chicks, especially the sick ones. I don't even understand why they would have this. Could it be from the parent stock not having a balance diet? I am not even 100% sure this is the problem, but it feels right. I also found that Marek's really doesn't show up until 3 weeks, and my chick was barely 2 weeks when it started acting poorly. Also, the breeder I got them from is tested twice yearly for NPIP certification including Marek's disease. Interestingly, vitamin deficiencies start to appear at day 15, exactly what my chick was.

    ANY information would be extremely helpful as I have found all the info to make a diagnosis, but barely any info on how to solve the problem. THANKS!
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    If you just use a poultry vitamin added to the water, or Poultry Nutridrench or Poultry Cell vitamins 1 ml per every 3 pounds, that will deliver the correct dosage of vitamin E. The latter 2 also include selenium. A bit of chopped egg or tuna can supply selenium, and not a lot is required. Vitamin E deficiency can cause muscle weakness and muscular dystrophy, as well as wry neck and encephalomalacia.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2016
  3. fiveidahoboys

    fiveidahoboys Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you! For some reason I always thought nutri drench was for lice and mites. I'm sure this is probably normally used as a preventative. Do you think it will be strong enough to use to reverse the effects of vitamin deficiency?
     
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Toss out current bag of feed and get another. That will save you manipulating vitamin levels using premixes or supplements.


    Check bag run date and make certain it was properly stored.
     
  5. fiveidahoboys

    fiveidahoboys Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks, I did swap out the feed with a bag from a different feed store. Unfortunately I have nearly 75 lbs. of the stuff I used initially. I looked for a date, but found nothing. I am really surprised that it would be bad. But I have no idea why else they would have this problem either. All the sick ones are wheaten Ameraucana and the not sick ones are lavender Ameraucana. I thought that was interesting too. The lavendars are top-notch healthy and very active as a 3 week old chick should be. There are several wheatens that are a little tipsy. That's why I wondered about the parent stock being the issue.
     
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    When I purchase feed it is in lots that will be consumed within no more than a month as vitamins have a limited shelf life, especially when temperature is high and sunlight might be involved. Generally I feed all out in two weeks or less. Sometimes high humidity can also be a problem with mold / fungus. With younger, faster growing chicks, feed is kept on my place for less than two weeks (generally feed restocked every Saturday with old chick feed mixed into adult ration) with greater effort made to keep it cool and dry. Buying feed in bulk is not ideal for small flocks.
     

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