Week old chick falling over can't walk

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by oliviaandjosh4, Apr 25, 2017.

  1. oliviaandjosh4

    oliviaandjosh4 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 28, 2014
    One week ago I bought 4 silkie chicks and 4 standard size chicks from a local farm store that orders them from a hatchery. I have them all set up in a plastic bin with plenty of room, heat lamp, feeder and waterer. I worked this past weekend and then was sick Monday so my husband has been the main one taking care of them since then. Today while on a lunch break from my college class I called him and he told me that 2 of the silkies were dead in the brooder and that another one was having trouble walking. Of course I started freaking out! He also said that the one that couldn't walk had pasty butt so he was cleaning it off. He said that one of the silkies had pasty butt pretty bad but can't remember if the other one did or not (men...smh). When I got home I inspected all of the chicks and 3 other ones had pasty butt but not bad, I went ahead and cleaned all of them off. We are using a different feed that we have never used it is called Tucker Milling. I'm assuming that is what is causing it. But that doesn't explain what is wrong with the chick that can't walk. It will walk some but it stumbles and then falls down, and once it falls it spreads its wings out. I have been helping it get to the waterer which I put the sav-a-chick probiotic and electrolytes in. Any idea on what it could be? We have had chickens in the past that were free ranging in our yard have weird symptoms such as seizures and not being able to walk and wing drooping then eventually they would die. But that was a year ago and all of our full grown chickens are fine. And these chicks aren't outside.
  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Flock Master

    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Silkies are "tender", so you may want to separate them from the standard chicks. A peck to the head can cause serious injury resulting in difficulty walking or death.

    Offer your remaining silkie wet chick starter and plenty of water - add some poultry vitamins that contain B and E vitamins along with Selenium. You can also give human B-Complex vitamin and give Vitamin E 400 IU daily. Eggs and tuna contain Selenium which helps with the uptake of Vitamin E.

    Pasty butt can be caused by overheating, so check to make sure there is only one spot of heat and they have room to move to a cooler area. It's possible that a blocked vent could (pasty butt) could have resulted in death. Once you clean them up, apply a little vaseline or coconut oil to the surrounding down, this helps keep poop from sticking.

    Personally, I would also provide chick grit (crushed granite) free choice, even if you are only feeding chick starter and no treats at this time. This is a personal choice, but if you have some you may want to offer it. I feel like this does help with processing the feed and gets the gizzard functioning at an early age.

    http://www.browneggblueegg.com/Article.html (look for an article on the left side "Silkie Skull") The website has a lot of info about Silkies, so you may want to browse it a bit.
  3. kitkat5505

    kitkat5505 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2017
    Does it have wry neck? (Twisted neck). One of our chicks got that a few days after we got it and couldn't stand up without falling over. I read it's more common with silkies because of their soft heads. We gave ours vitamin e (squeezed a capsule into a bottle cap of water and helped her drink it since she couldn't hold her head up herself), did that a few times a day. And got the save-a-chick electrolytes and helped her drink that. Within a day she was doing much better and we continued the Vit e a few days and just put a dish of the save-a-chick in the brooder since she was able to drink by herself once she stopped falling over constantly. She walked in circles for a few days and any time we picked her up it seemed to stress her out and make it worse. 2 weeks later now and she is all normal.

  4. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Chicken Obsessed

    Sorry you are having trouble.

    Likely shipping stress as all feed stores get their chicks shipped as well. Even the pasty butt is probably still from that.

    Lack of nutrients is probably what's causing the chick not able to walk. Sometimes even when you do all you can they might have internal issues or failure to thrive. You can't OD vitamins, but you can electrolytes as they have salt and potassium. I use either a bird vitamin or Poly VI SOL baby vitamins with NO iron and drop directly on the beak full strength. Making sure the B's are in them... I usually see an instant slight improvement.

    Hydration is most important. And the additives you are giving should help. If a chick is struggling I make sure they get hydration every half hour. They can just be too tired to even try making it there.. like when you are sick and couldn't care less about eating a lovely meal.

    Also, I don't use grit... but as mentioned, have seen evidence that people who do offer grit young have birds with much better developed gizzards at time of processing. So I will agree that it is likely beneficial.

    The one thing I do is offer boiled egg yolk as I consider it easy to digest since that's what they start off with in their belly. But also it's loaded with micro-nutrients. However struggling chicks rarely care and I might even put a little in the water when I have ones I know aren't eating. But again hydration is key.

    Also, it's highly important to make sure they are at the right point under the light because too hot or too cold equals a quick death.

    And I will agree that if they aren't jumping up and squealing when other chicks bump them, they should be separated or protected in some way to prevent trampling.

    Hope they pull through! [​IMG]

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