Bubble on neck and shoulder of chick

by Becki
(Georgia)

Question

Bubble on neck and shoulder of chick: I have bought baby chicks from this store twice before with no problems, but today I left with four Aracaunas. Perhaps I didn't look carefully enough, but they seemed fine to me.

When I got home and unloaded them into the brooder. I noticed one not moving. She was breathing, buy would not stand.

It was a 20 minute ride home, so I took her inside to my bathroom sink an ran some warm water over her to warm her up and to inspect her more closely. I noticed a large vesicle just below her head and over her right wing.

It looked like an abscess to me. I should admit at this point that I'm an RN and not the least bit squeamish. I sterilized the area and punctured the "bubble".

Much to my surprise, nothing came out the puncture site but instead the chick began to vomit up the yellow mucous. She continued to do so until the bubble was gone, I gave her some water and she wouldn't eat, so I gave her a little egg white with her water.

Now she is resting fine and chirps from time to time. She had better muscle strength, though still weak.

My question: I'm afraid to put her back with the other chicks for fear it was viral or bacterial, but at the same time, they all came from the same pen in the store. What should I do? And does anyone know what this is?

Answer
It would be hard to know the cause of this without testing the mucous. I would highly suggest contacting the supplier and arranging a replacement.

Something is seriously wrong with her and makes her outlook for a good healthy life dobutful. It may simply be that her crop was filled with sour material that was creating abnormal gasses and causing this bubble.

Releasing the gas may have relieved the pressure allowing her to release that mucous. I would be concerned for a possible blockage or incomplete digestive tract.

I know of no specific disease that would cause this, but for her to have such a serious digestive problem, so early in life, may mean her digestive system won’t or can’t function normally.

It’s not unusual for a few chicks out of the large numbers produced to be “defective” and fail to thrive.

If you want to try to save her I would suggest offering water mixed with 1 tbsp of raw apple cider vinegar per cup, to aid digestion until she is normal.

Soaking her feed with this mix may make things easier for her. Separating her would be the wisest thing to do, just incase there is something contagious.

Daily offering her a table spoon of live culture yogurt, chopped dark leafy greens and grated apple along with her soaked feed may help her establish a good digestive system, if her little body will cooperate.

The supplier of these chicks may just give you another one and allow you to try to save this one. If you return her she will most likely die or be killed.

It’s possible she swallowed some of the litter used in the brooder she came from and that’s cogging up her system. Offering a couple drops of mineral or vegetable oil may help clean her out. Hope she makes it.

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