Wasting Disease... Have you heard of it? How do I know for sure?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chick818, May 11, 2009.

  1. chick818

    chick818 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    I have a young cochin chick, about 5 weeks old. A person I met that has a lot of experience with chickens, says she has seen it in one of her chickens and that it is a genetic disease also know as "wasting"

    The breast bone is easily felt and she is has some baldish spots under her wings. We are not positive this is what it is but she is fairly sure. I would like to be able to give the chick any chance of fighting it by treating it sooner rather than later. She suggested either an anitbiotic or a treatment of Foy's All in One and some electrolytes.

    This little cochin is so sweet, my younger daughter (and myself) have really gotten attached to her (we think a her). She even comes to us and jumps up on our lap. Does this sound like it could just be a vitamin deficiency, and are there any other signs I should look for. She eats and drinks normally.
  2. horselover58

    horselover58 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 19, 2009
    I would definitely call an agriculture dept. of your nearest College and ask them. It may not be anything at all and the college ags are very good about helping! Good Luck! I had a sweet little cochin a while back as well. [​IMG]
  3. Glenda L Heywood

    Glenda L Heywood Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 11, 2009
    actually wasting disease is called mareks
    and there is no positive cure but you can try her theory
    it always is the mareks that effects the liver
    email me for more help

    my advise is to use the
    Vit E and Vit B complex

    and the
    natural probiotic wet mash and what ever the lady said
  4. chick818

    chick818 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    Is that a children's vitamin supplement?
  5. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    Do you only have one chick? Have you had chicks before? Chicks are skinny- the keel is very prominent in them. All chicks have bald spots under their wings. If you have several chicks and this one is more bald or more skinny- then I might be concerned. Is it eating well, drinking, pooping, growing, peeping ect? The person you talked to may have had a lot of experience with chickens, but that does NOT mean they are knowledgeable.

    Wasting is a very general term- meaning getting skinny- it could be applied to any chronic disease that is causing weight loss. Mareks, parasitism, kidney disease, other viral or chronic bacterial...

    Genetic disease means HERITABLE & due to the genes, ie born with. Genetic abnormalities will not be helped with antibiotics or supplements.

    If you are feeding fresh, commercial, non spoiled, chick start/crumbles- it is highly unlikely it has any vitamin or mineral deficiency- unless the food is deficient due to storage or accident at the plant.

    Chicks usually run out of vitamins/minerals provided by the yolk around 2 weeks, so depend entirely on their food- so can show up with deficiencies at this time if on a poor diet. If the hen was deficient, they often won't hatch, or can hatch in poor shape- but then I would not have expected him to have made it to 5weeks.

    I would see out another chicken person in your area to have them take a look at your chick. It may be totally normal!

  6. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    I had to look up the 'foy's' product.
    The ingredients are levamisole, ronidazole, amprollium & tylan. A dewormer, a protozoal parasiticide, coccidiostat & an antibiotic. This is 'shot gun' therapy aka throw the medicine cabinet at the animal. The sort of product to use when one does not know what is wrong, and does not want to take the time or money to figure it out. This appears to be a pigeon product, not intended for use in an animal that may enter the human food chain. Not a big deal if this is a rooster and you are not going to eat him, but if you look up these drugs individually- you will find the 'not for use in laying hens' for most. The food chain and environment already has an overabundance of drug contamination, I dislike products like this intensely, as these things contribute to resistance in organisms as well as residues in the environment. This recommendation by the experienced chicken person makes me think you should not go to them for further advice.
  7. chick818

    chick818 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    OK, What you are saying makes total sense. In fact it is for that same reason that before going ahead and odering the "Foys" I have been on line researching and posting questions. So I am really glad you have hit on my topic. People like yourself give me the jumpstart I need to research a little bit more before taking a course of action. But I do know that the poop is sometimes a bit rusty brown color and smelly, other times their poop is normal.

    There ar 4 chicks all together. 2 are fully feathered 1 is almost fully feathered. The other is the one in question. She is a bit thin and her breast bone pertrudes. She eats, drinks, and poops like the others, she is our friendliest bird. ( we think she's a she) But I would like to make sure I am treating her for the right thing. I am so hopeful that there is nothing wrong with her. We have been taking such good care of them. THe whole family has grown attached. And I realize that if one is sick, they may all be. These 4 are our only birds. We got them on Easter Weekend. My kids will be so upset if they are all sick. Thank you for giving me some hope and helping me to think a bit more clear. Now what do you think I should do next?

    I should mention that I have 2 cousins in the vetrinary field, (neither are avian specialists, but maybe they can recomend me a medication or supplement or somthing that may be helpful.

    I really appreciate your thoughts, concerns and true words of wisdom. I hope I can return the favor somtime.
  8. chick818

    chick818 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    Quote:BTW, these are our first chicks, so we lack the experience, and did not expect to run in to any problems so soon. And yes this chick is eating, drinking, pooping and peeping, and just too darn cute. But she does seem to be thinner then the others and lacks in the amount of feathers that they have. We love her (or him) and are hopeful. We will take a ride to our nearest Agway this weekend to see about purchasing some vitamin supplements....

    Thank you
    ~ Tara
  9. sammi

    sammi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 21, 2007
    Southeast USA
    I would not go with the Foys product either..the chick does not need to be wormed for one thing..

    please say what are you feeding?
    is the feed medicated?
    are you giving treats?
    what bedding and set up do you have?
    what temp are you keeping them at?(at 5 weeks..they should be kept at about 75-80 degrees, no draft)

    are the chicks different breeds?
    does this chick seem to be much smaller and less developed then the others?
    are you seeing runny droppings with signs of red?(you mentioned rusty colored droppings) ..(check other chicks also)
    she could have early signs of cocci..(keep a close eye on droppings) if cocci is suspected..liquid Sulmet 12.5% can be used...follow directions exactly.
    Sulmet is usually available at most farm/feed supply stores, and is not expensive.

    It could be she is being bullied away from feed.

    you could try getting some Poly-vi-sol liquid baby vitamins, Enfamil brand if possible, no iron..1-2 drops on beak once a day for a week. or get come chick vitamins..
    best to observe closely and see if she is getting her fair share of feed and water.

    there is a condition called "Stunting/Runting Syndrome" that can cause chicks to have slow development, but with good nutrition and care, they will make nice pets.
    sometimes it just means it was the runt of the "litter"..
    other times it can be caused by a retro-virus (a more serious condition).
    does the chick have pasting of the vent? seem pot bellied? act ill?

    sometimes "Pale Bird Syndrome"..can indicate a Vitamin A deficiency..

    as suggested, make sure feed is the proper chick/starter feed and is fresh, and properly stored to protect from mold and critters.
    Last edited: May 14, 2009
  10. chick818

    chick818 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    Quote:They are on medicated chick food. They are now approachig about the 7 week mark, and they are indoors still with outtings durring the day, which they love! This chick does get to eat and drink and I just started treats this past week, yogurt, cut-up grapes and some little bits of popcorn. Oh and I gave them a little scramb. egg the other day. (This of course was not all at once and in moderation.) I will post pics of them. The poop is definetely more normal looking than not, but there are some rutsy browns on occassion, not just from this chick. Yes they are different breeds, 2 are cochins, and 2 I am not sure what they are. Nor do I know who is a hen or his is rooster. No pasty butts.

    Here are some pics of the chicks and a couple of poops...
    Thank You,

    The group of 4

    The chick in question she/he is the dark cochin[​IMG][​IMG]
    See any Roos?



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