"What's wrong with my baby chick?" Symptoms and their association with nutritional deficiency

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by BlazeJester, Mar 9, 2012.

  1. BlazeJester

    BlazeJester Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 2, 2011
    Midway, GA
    Most baby chick issues are not your fault. Nutritional deficiencies in the breeding stock can cause all sorts of deformities in baby chicks. I just found this website and these deficiencies explain every chick problem I've ever had, which are mostly related to the B vitamins.

    Vitamin/electrolyte supplementation in the drinking water may help most if not all of these conditions when caught in time. I will be using electrolytes for my very young chicks from now on, and this website to help me diagnose.

    http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=2114&page=49

    Example chart (this one goes on for several more pages):

    TABLE 7-3 Nutrients Associated with Various Signs of Deficiency in Growing Birds

    Deficiency Signs

    Descriptions

    Species

    Associated Nutrients

    Skin lesions

    Crusting and scab formation around eyes and beak

    Chick, poult,

    Biotin, pantothenic acid

    Bottoms of feet rough and calloused with hemorrhagic cracks

    Chick, poult

    Biotin, pantothenic acid

    Scaliness on feet

    Chick

    Zinc, niacin

    Lesions around eyes, eyelids stuck together

    Chick, poult

    Vitamin A

    Mouth, inflammation of oral mucosa (chicken black tongue)

    Poult, chick

    Niacin

    Feather abnormalities

    Uneven feather growth, abnormally long primary feathers, feathers not lying smoothly

    Chick, poult

    Protein, amino acid imbalance

    Frizzled and rough

    Chick, poult

    Zinc, niacin, pantothenic acid, folic acid, lysine

    Black pigmentation in breeds with red and brown feathers

    Chick

    Vitamin D

    Depigmentation

    Chick, poult,

    Copper, iron, folacin

    Nervous disorders

    Convulsions with head retraction

    Chick, pigeon

    Thiamin

    Convulsions with hyperexcitability

    Chick, poult, duckling

    Pyridoxine

    Hyperirritability

    Chick, poult, duckling

    Magnesium, sodium chloride

    Characteristic fright reaction with tetanic spasms

    Chick

    Chloride

    Spastic cervical paralysis, neck extended with birds appearing to look down

    Poult

    Folacin

    Curled-toe paralysis, gross enlargement of sciatic and brachial nerves with myelin degeneration

    Chick

    Riboflavin

    Encephalomalacia, tetanic spasms with head retraction, hemorrhagic lesions in cerebellum

    Chick

    Vitamin E

    Blood and vascular system

    Anemia

    All poultry



    Macrocytic



    Vitamin B12

    Macrocytic, hyperchromic



    Folacin

    Microcytic, hypochromic



    Iron, copper

    Microcytic



    Pyridoxine

    Hemorrhage, intramuscular, subcutaneous, internal from aortic rupture

    Chick, poult

    Vitamin K, copper

    Exudative diathesis

    Chick, poult

    Selenium, vitamin E

    Enlarged heart

    Chick, poult

    Copper

    Muscle

    Muscular dystrophy, white areas of degeneration in skeletal muscle

    Chick, duck, poult

    Vitamin E, selenium

    Cardiac myopathy

    Poult

    Vitamin E, selenium

    Gizzard myopathy

    Poult

    Vitamin E, selenium

    Bone disorders

    Soft, easily bent bones and beak (rickets)

    All poultry

    Vitamin D, calcium or phosphorus deficiency or imbalance

    Hock enlargement

    Poult, chick, gosling, duckling

    Niacin, zinc

    Perosis

    Chick, poult

    Biotin, choline, vitamin B12, manganese, zinc, folacin

    Bowed legs

    Duck

    Niacin

    Shortening and thickening of leg bones

    Chick

    zinc, manganese

    Curled toes

    Chick

    Riboflavin





     
  2. tweetysvoice

    tweetysvoice Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 30, 2011
    Lawrence, KS
    My Coop
    Great page to have handy in the chicken favorites folder! Thanks for sharing that find!
     
  3. chickitty

    chickitty Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 18, 2012
    Mangilao, Guam
    what foods have all these vitamins?
     
  4. BlazeJester

    BlazeJester Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 2, 2011
    Midway, GA
    All major brand poultry feeds should have the correct balance of nutrients, as well as any electrolyte water mix-in for livestock or poultry (Sav-a-chik, PolyViSol, etc).

    This is more a diagnostic resource for very young chicks, where contagious illness is not a probable cause. All of mine that have died have had neurological symptoms, and B vitamin deficiencies explain all of those deaths. This would mean that the parents did not have adequate thiamin and niacin in their diets. It may have been something I could correct with B complex supplement if caught in time, or it may be something that the chick will die from regardless, but at least now I know it was beyond my control and not due to negligence on my part.

    It helps to have this list of alternative causes to what I only had resources to diagnose as Newcastle or Encephalomyelitis, neither of which made any sense in my situations. The fact that the birds were from breeder stock and therefore a less controlled feed source than hatchery makes more sense to me, though I did have one hatchery chick fall ill with symptoms classic to B vitamin deficiency and recover after a week of isolation with electrolyte water as the only treatment.
     
  5. featheredroots

    featheredroots Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 4, 2011
    Madisonville, KY
    Thank you for posting this. If you don't mind my asking, how many chicks did you lose due to deficiency? I'm losing chicks at an alarming rate, 4 in 5 days and it's not looking good for the last 2. I was worried that it may be a disease or infection, but when I describe the symptoms, which are neurological, and developmental, people tell me it sounds more like a deficiency. I got an electrolyte and vitamin mix from the feed store today, but I'm afraid it may too little too late. [​IMG]

    I'm so glad to have this information now, so that I will be able to do better by our next batch of chicks.
     
  6. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Wow! Awesome! I am bookmarking this thread for distribution!!!!
     

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