Wheezing and sneezing chick

TurkeyMountainChickens

Songster
10 Years
Apr 3, 2009
687
7
141
Central Virginia
Hi!

I brought some chicks home from a local farm on Monday. They are Marans and Wyandottes, about two weeks old. Six of the chicks re doing great - drinking, eating, digging in the pine shavings, etc. The seventh chick is active like the others, but wheezing and sneezing. When it breathes the chick stretches its neck and opens it beak, and squeaks. Then, probably ever 10 seconds or so, it sneezes.

I've got them on unmedicated feed, but am supplementing their water with terramcin (1 tsp/gal). For now, I've separated the sneezer. Is there anything else I could/should do?

Thanks!
 

TurkeyMountainChickens

Songster
10 Years
Apr 3, 2009
687
7
141
Central Virginia
Here's what the poor thing looks like gasping for air:

26987_wheeze.jpg
 

fiberart57

Songster
10 Years
May 31, 2009
614
19
164
Colorado
Your baby doesn't look good, I'm afraid. From the picture, her eyes look cloudy and she's clearly in distress. Without taking her to a vet, the best you can do is continue nutritional support, check her nostrils and keep them wiped off in case of crusty mucous. Make sure she stays warm and give her some scrambled egg and some electrolytes or vitamins.

At this point it might be a bit late, however, I think she should be separated from the rest of the flock in case what she has is contagious. She won't like being alone, so a stuffed animal may help her.

In regards to medicated feed: I used it a year ago with the eleven babies I raised. I was told by the feed store to buy extra chicks because they die, but none did. I think this was because I fed medicated feed and used vitamins in their water.

The medication in chick food is for cocciosis; a parasite all chickens have. Eventually, they grow into an immunity to it, but as babies they don't have the same resistance as adults. The medicine is amprolium; a cocciostat. It controls the amount that they get so they can develop and immunity to it and not have to fight it off. Yes, many people don't use it and do fine because chicks fed on the ground will eventually get immune to it. Or they'll get sick and die. I personally would recommend it.

I would additionally caution against antibiotic use unless there's a clear indication of an infection. Antibiotics won't kill cocci. Antibiotics are hard on kidneys and indiscriminate use can lead to resistant bugs and resistant chickens. I can see where you think that you might need them for the sick chick but that kind of illness may be viral and antibiotics can help with secondary infections but won't cure a virus.

Good luck,
Mary
 

TurkeyMountainChickens

Songster
10 Years
Apr 3, 2009
687
7
141
Central Virginia
Update - unfortunately this little chick didn't make it. I hope that I separated her in time and the rest of the babies don't come down with whatever she had.

Thanks for all of the information - hopefully I won't have to use it with the other chicks! I'll look into a medicated feed, though - my local TSC doesn't carry it, but maybe one of the farm stores does.

Thanks!
 

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