Help my sick chick

Question

Help my sick chick: I have a chick that's a few weeks old, but it still only has a few feathers and I think its growth is stunted. Also, its legs are swollen and it has a swollen bald spot on its neck.

We have had this chick separate from the others for a week and know it isn't a burn. What is wrong with my chick and how can I help it?

Answer
Really not sure what this could be. The bald raised spot may just be where other chicks were picking on this one. They know when there is something wrong and instinctively want a sick chick to get away from them.

Failure to thrive, grow and produce feathers are definite signs that this chick isn’t getting adequate nutrition. Others may have been keeping it from feed.

The unseen causes could be genetic, disease or digestive problems. If disease, medicated chick start may help.

If digestive problems, enzymes and good digestive bacteria will help. You can purchase Probiotics at the feed store or give live culture yogurt for good digestive bacteria.

Fresh fruits like apple and grapes, or the fresh juice of these, provide enzymes that help break down feed for better absorption, plus can boost energy level and appetite.

Sometimes, with such a young chicken, this early stunting of growth will not be something it can recover from and go on to live a healthy life.

At this stage major organs and the immune system need to be growing and establishing good general health. The visible signs of its failure to thrive are possibly less serious than what is going on internally.

Swollen legs can be a sign of heart, liver or kidney dysfunction or failure. This little one is having a very rough start. Problems in incubation can lead to this or brooder temps being too warm or too cool.

Sometimes genetic factors combine in one chick out of a brood that make it weak and less able to thrive under normal circumstances. As sad as this can be, sometimes the best thing to do is let nature take its course, and realize that the strong will survive, and some just aren’t strong enough to survive.

The loss of the weakest chick in a brood is not uncommon. The weakest chick in a brood can threaten the survival of the others and it’s the nature of chickens to force the sick and weak out for their own survival.

In natural settings the weak would just get left behind, being unable to keep up. In a brooder, they have no where to go until removed.

There is the possibility of contagious disease, so it’s good you separated this one. If you don’t see any of these signs in other chicks, I wouldn’t be too concerned.

A thorough cleaning and disinfecting of the brooder would be a good idea, just incase something might be spread through the droppings and contact with this one sick chick before you removed it.

Without costly testing and medical intervention you may never know why this happened. Hope this information is helpful.

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by: Anonymous

The chick has grown some, and gained more feathers. It eats medicated food and drinks it's water. The bald spot seems to have swollen. The chick acts normal, and doesn't seem to be bothered by this. It's legs seem to have remained slightly swollen and discolored.

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