Week old baby chick scratching ears and screaming!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ladydoc1992, Dec 22, 2011.

  1. ladydoc1992

    ladydoc1992 Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 24, 2011
    Hartsville, SC
    Hatched out 9 chicks in the incubator a week ago..today one started scratching it's ears on both sides and screaming! I have examined it closely(with 2 pair of glasses!) and can't find any signs of mites or anything unusual, just red ear lobes where it's been scratching. It screams when I touch it's ears. Can a chick have an ear infection? Or ear mites down in the canal? If so, how can I tell which it is? The poor little thing is miserable. What should i try?
  2. CrazyCatNChickenLady

    CrazyCatNChickenLady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2010
    Berry Creek, Ca
    I'm sorry I don't know, but I sure do hope someone comes along and helps you soon!
  3. TrystInn

    TrystInn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 16, 2009
    Southern Arizona
    Given that we don't know what it is, I would recommend palliative care:

    Put a little stuffed animal for snuggling and using as a scratching post so the chick has something relatively safer to scratch its ears against. File down the points on the points on the nails so it can't do further damage, hopefully there's no infection set in. You'll want to put a few drops of mineral oil or similar in the ears to soothe them. You can try diluting a few drops of tea tree oil in a carrier oil in case there's a fungal infection, perhaps.

    My thought is that perhaps with the heat in the house, this chick may have dry ears and scratching them has made her miserable. Let us know how it goes.
  4. leadwolf1

    leadwolf1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 1, 2011
    Have you cleaned the brooder or changed shavings? I had the same thing happen with a bantam cochin and finally figured out that is was the aspen that I used instead of pine that he was used to. Just to be on the safe side, I decided not to use either the aspen or the disinfectant that I used when the problem surfaced. Good luck with your baby...I hope it turns out to be a simple fix!
  5. as above. if it is not an irritant (change brooder bedding 1st) then more than likely mites. 1 drop (no more) of ivermectin pour on on the back of her neck. yes it is a little expensive, but you will have it a very long time and you will be glad you do in the future.
  6. Pele

    Pele Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2011
    Yes chickens have an inner ear system similar to most animals, including humans. And they can get an infection in there, just like we can.

    I would dose with an antibiotic, and the chick should recover in a matter of days.
  7. ladydoc1992

    ladydoc1992 Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 24, 2011
    Hartsville, SC
    Thanks for the input! I do heat my house with a heat pump, and it is very dry in my house. Decided to increase humidity in brooder room. Also started putting warm VET-RX drops on Q-tip and holding it against each ear for a minute..3 times a day. This combination has made a huge difference. No more screaming and frantic scratching.
    Thanks for all the help..it sure is comforting to know there are lots of concerned folks out there to help in times of need!

  8. TrystInn

    TrystInn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 16, 2009
    Southern Arizona
    Quote:Very glad to hear the chick is improving. I think I can safely speak for us all when I say we've all had our moments of sheer panic and counted upon the knowledge of our more knowledgeable chicken elders in here and our communities.

    For me, I'm just so proud of this community that folks feel they can come in here and share their concerns. So many folks are afraid they'll be judged or their egos are too fragile or who the hell knows what all else. But instead of sharing and listening, the animal suffers without additional care.

    So three cheers for BYC!

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