Week old baby chicks sneezing and shaking heads... No other symptoms ????

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by MeggyC, Aug 28, 2014.

  1. MeggyC

    MeggyC Out Of The Brooder

    32
    1
    31
    Jul 27, 2014
    Hudson Valley, New York
    Hi all! Question... My chicks are now about 1.5 weeks old and they just started sneezing. They have been shaking their heads a little bit, almost like they are wet (but they are not) or their ears are bothering them for almost the whole time I've owned them. Also their stools look pretty healthy except the occasional watery/frothy one here and there, but mostly healthy. They are all active, eating, drinking, growing with the exception of the one who has been and remained the smallest (she is also developing a scissor beak :( ). Also, no discharge from anywhere, no swelling, nothing noticeably painful, no growths or lesions, no discoloration. Just a little moist spray if they sneeze onto my hand. What should I do? I have been giving them a vitamin, electrolyte (durvet) for almost a week and before that they were on those probiotic , electrolyte chick packets. I don't want to treat them with an antibiotic unless I'm pretty sure they need it. What do you think? Dust? Cold? Disease? HELPPPP :barnie

    Update: after searching this site a bit, I read a little on poly-vi-sol so I bought some today. The chicks wouldn't let me administer it directly so it's in the water until they get used to the smell/taste. What else should I do? What could be wrong with them. No changes in the condition in the last few days... :/
     
  2. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

    20,569
    1,163
    391
    Jul 24, 2013
    What type of bedding are you using? Dusty bedding can cause sneezing, as can high ammonia levels. I don't suspect a respiratory disease, as they are only one week old and probably haven't been exposed to much (unless their parents had a respiratory disease at one time and it spread through the egg).
     
  3. MeggyC

    MeggyC Out Of The Brooder

    32
    1
    31
    Jul 27, 2014
    Hudson Valley, New York
    I am using pine shavings right now.initially I had a thin layer of pine shavings down, then they were all covered with paper towel and then that was all covered with that roll out cushion/rug grip stuff. They started the sneezing just before I switched them to full pine shavings. I'm going to switch it back asap and see if it gets better. I clean their brooder every other day, more thoroughly now that they are sneezing and i havent noticed any smell at all.

    Not sure about their parents, I got them all from mypetchicken.com so I don't think they'd be sick but I guess you never know. Thanks for the advice though! I will report back with any changes. Most of them seem to brush off the sneezing, I'm just concerned about my little black silkie BC she has been the runt since day one. She also is developing scissor beak (which I will say MPC has refunded me my money for, still sad though) and she is growing at a much slower rate than the others. She is also the first one I noticed the sneezing with and I'm worrid about her because she already has so much to deal with!

    No progress with the poly-vi-sol by the way. Not yet anyway.

    I'll take out the bedding and let you know if it helps! Thanks again! Any other advice is still much appreciated as these are my first chickens ever and I don't want my inexperience to be a cause for their harm/illness/ worse...
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

    29,945
    4,188
    521
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Good ventilation in the brooder as well as the coop can go a long way to prevent respiratory diseases. Keep the temperature warm enough, but not too warm, and make sure there is a cooler spot in the brooder. Some brands of pine shavings are just too dusty, so you make need to check different suppliers, and get the course ones. Some of the fine shavings that I have seen at TSC were almost like sawdust. Sand is sometimes used in brooders.
     
  5. MeggyC

    MeggyC Out Of The Brooder

    32
    1
    31
    Jul 27, 2014
    Hudson Valley, New York
    Ok thanks Eggcessive! I think there is plenty of ventilation.... Maybe? Lol My brooder is a baby play pen so it has the mesh sides and the chicks are not able to jump/fly out yet so the entire top is open. I am going to play around with the heat a little more. I have a lamp set up over one corner so that's the warmest spot and I have been regulating that according to the instructions on all of the chick care pages (95 week 1, lower 5 degrees each week after). I do have a heater in the room besides the lamp since it's in our basement which stays really cold all year (half finished basement). I keep that about 10-15 degrees lower than the lamp so that the rest of the brooder is warm, but not as warm as under the lamp. I'm going to play with it though, maybe lower the heater temp and see how it goes.

    I did get my pine from TSC. I bought one with a pretty generic looking wrapping (guessing TSCs own brand) and I got the one that says least dust. It's not the fines I know that. I'm going to take the shavings out completely and really give the brooder a good cleaning right now and see how it goes. I do think it is something in the brooder that is causing it now that everyone mentions it because... I took my black silkie out of the brooder and separated her as soon as I heard the sneezing so as not to infect the others. She really didn't like being separated, though, and she wouldn't eat or drink and just wanted me to hold her instead of stay in my little hospital. So after hours of having to hold her I realized she hadn't sneezed at all after about an hour of removing her so I put her back with the others where she ate,drank and played again. Then they all started sneezing so I just assumed she spread it to them. Really hope changing the bedding works!!! If it does work then I will consider sand since I want to get something down for them. Thanks so much!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by