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PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2010 10:14 am 
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Dapper Duck
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I need some help please! :help:
Just yesterday, I hatched 6 little chicks in my incubator. They were all fine for the first day, though some seemed a bit weak and unsteady on their feet but I just attributed that to them being tired from having just hatched. They could all stand up though.

However..today, all but two can no longer walk! They can't even stand up! It's not splayed legs, it's like their legs have just become half-paralysed overnight..It seems to be in different degrees of severity..one can walk and stand fine, two others can walk and stand up but only on one leg, two more can just lie there and the last is the worst, unable to stand or walk AT ALL and for some strange reason its feet seem to be quite swollen. :confused:

I'll post some pictures, here's a photo of the most normal chick's feet:
Image

And the worst one, you can see the difference between the two...
Image

Help please, what could have caused this, is there anything I can do or will these chicks have to be put to sleep? :(


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2010 10:18 am 
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Discerning Duck
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Poor little tykes. I'm not sure what could have caused it but maybe you could try some vitamins in their water and encourage them all to take a drink. You might need to dip their beaks in the water if they can't move to the water to drink. Maybe the health of the parent stock wasn't the best and it has led to the chickens being a bit malnourished and therefore weak? Im sure someone else will come along with a better suggestion than a guess. Good luck with them.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2010 10:22 am 
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Junior Champion Bird
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Do they all have swollen feet?.

What surface are they on?.

Have they been drinking clean fresh water?.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2010 10:26 am 
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Dapper Duck
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Haan wrote:
Do they all have swollen feet?.

What surface are they on?.

Have they been drinking clean fresh water?.



The ones that can walk, no. The ones that can't, yes, though that one I showed the picture of is the worst. Also, its toes are pink/red, when they were yellow like the others..

Newspaper, at the moment. I don't think there's a problem with using that as a substrate, as I just raised a few other chicks in that brooder just before these little guys hatched, and no problems with that lot.

They have access to clean fresh water, yes. As to whether they've been drinking..I don't know. I highly doubt most of them have as I don't think they've even been eating, they just lie there..


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2010 10:42 am 
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Site Administrator
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That foot is swollen with fluid (edema). That sometimes happens with slipped tendon when the circulation is compromised.

Feel the hock joints on the affected chicks. See if the hock is a little swollen and in some cases you may be able to hear or feel a slight click as you push the tendon back into place behind the joint. If you realign the tendon physically often the circulation will improve and the swelling will go down. The problem is that it usually doesn't stay there.

If this is what you have, it's caused by vitamin deficiency and in chicks of this age, it would be caused by a deficiency in the breeder diet so that the egg is of poorer quality.

Get hold of some vitamins - Berocca would do in an emergency and this is. Severe cases are not practically recoverable, but if you have a few give the vitamins for the benefit of the whole batch. Normally a Berocca tab is diluted in 200ml, but in this case I would dilute it in 100mL and I would trickle a few drops into the beak (not down the throat) of each chick and see if it will swallow it. I would do that every couple of hours for today and see if any change happens. At this stage you don't want to lose the last two that are still ok.

See if you can get some pictures of the hock joints and post them.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2010 10:56 am 
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Dapper Duck
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Here are some more photos of their legs, I hope this is what you are looking for? The first pic is of the one that is worst, the other two pics are of the next one along, the second-worst one..
Image
Image
Image

Where would I get that vitamin?

I did feel their leg joints, but I don't know if there was a tendon out of place or not.. :?


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2010 11:03 am 
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Golden Pekin
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Any pet shop will have bird vitamins - something like Soluvet Plus. Just ask at the pet shop. Produce stores will also sell bird vitamins. They often come in a powdered form that you mix up in water according to instructions on the container.

If you do not have these kinds of shops in your area then Berocca from a chemist will do until you can get some bird vitamins.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2010 3:15 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
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Swelling in multiple joints/limbs and multiple birds suggests a metabolic problem.

Ky306,
you know what you feed your birds, any possibility of vitamin deficiency in the parent stock?.
What exactly are they fed?. Are they given any supplements of any kind (including shell grit)?.

Until this is known, it could be premature to go on a vitamin splurge.
Ky306 wrote:
They have access to clean fresh water, yes. As to whether they've been drinking...I don't know. I highly doubt most of them have as I don't think they've even been eating, they just lie there.
This could be part of the problem.
I would use a product like Lectade (available from Vets), to provide required water and electrolytes, and personally water each bird.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2010 5:57 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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I see no reason not to put them on vitamins, it will do no harm and may do some good. Lectade is good too as if they are not eating they will get some energy from the glucose in it. But, of course, they must drink the water. You may need to eye dropper them water to be sure.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2010 10:26 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
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stella wrote:
I see no reason not to put them on vitamins, it will do no harm and may do some good.

stella,
Avians can be oversupplemented with vitamin and mineral mixtures, resulting in Nutrient Intoxication.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 7:48 am 
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If these chicks are only two days old and haven't been eating and drinking, they are certainly not suffering from overdosing with vitamins at this stage. I routinely put my new chicks on B vitamins for a few days with no adverse effects at all. It helps prevent leg problems. If I know there's a deficiency I put them on very high doses of B vitamins for a day or two and sometimes it can turn the milder ones around very quickly. B vitamins are water soluble and quickly excreted. It's very hard to overdose on them. It depends what the problem is and looking at pictures over the internet is a difficult way to work that out.

I thought that metabolic disorders were generally a result of rapid growth (eg broilers), high nutrient intake, high metabolic rate, or system failure to produce and transport something import like an enzyme. I do not know a lot about those things, however, as some issues affecting broilers rarely affect backyard chickens. Metabolic problems such as biotin deficiency can be treatment by giving B vitamins.

Ky306, the top picture seems to have the most swelling and the biggest hock joint. Could you feel any problem in the tendon? Is the tendon clicking out of alignment? If it isn't then a slipped tendon shouldn't be restricting circulation.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 10:47 am 
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Dapper Duck
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I took them to the vets, and they didn't even know what was wrong. But we figured that it is something genetic, the chicks must have a deficiency that caused their joints to not form properly so they keep popping out of place whenever the chick puts any of its body-weight on its legs.
So they were given a multivitamin injection and I'm giving them the vitamin in their water every day that you guys mentioned. No improvement so far, but I'll give it a week and if they're still like that I'll have to get them put to sleep..
And will make sure to mention this to the friend I got the eggs off, they musn't be feeding their hens properly. :/


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 11:21 am 
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Discerning Duck
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Don't forget not all vets have experience dealing with chickens and their problems. Sometimes its worth phoning around and making sure the vet you take your chooks to is very familiar with poultry and their potential problems.

Regarding your friend, have you spoken to them about their own hatching success and if they've had any similar problems? You said you had six eggs hatch, out of curiosity how many did you have incubating?

You certainly are doing everything you can for them, so if they don't improve you can't say you haven't given it your best shot. It would be very disappointing (and expensive) for you if they don't make it, so I have my fingers crossed for you.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 2:20 pm 
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Champion Bird
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Have been thinking. Could the newspaper have some sort of chemical that made they have a allergic reaction which made their feet swell? Is it too slippery and they fell and injured their feet? - probably not all. Seems funny that they could walk for a day then went bad. Every chick I have hatched with bad legs (have been about 12 I guess over 5 years) were bad at hatching. And most needed help to get out of the shell (I know I shouldn't have helped but s..t it is hard not to when you see a chick struggling) so I presume it also had bad legs in the shell and couldn't kick to get out.

Any different today?


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2010 4:19 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
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Ky306 wrote:
I took them to the vets, and they didn't even know what was wrong. But we figured that it is something genetic, the chicks must have a deficiency that caused their joints to not form properly so they keep popping out of place whenever the chick puts any of its body-weight on its legs.
So they were given a multivitamin injection and I'm giving them the vitamin in their water every day that you guys mentioned. No improvement so far, but I'll give it a week and if they're still like that I'll have to get them put to sleep.
And will make sure to mention this to the friend I got the eggs off, they musn't be feeding their hens properly. :/
Genetic problems and deficiency problems are two separate disease causes.

It's confusing that the Vet did not "even know what was wrong", yet was able to diagnose "joints to not form properly so they keep popping out of place".

It is premature so say that your "friend" "musn't be feeding their hens properly".

It would be wiser to seek answers to the questions asked previously.
ie. "What exactly are they fed?. Are they given any supplements of any kind (including shell grit)?."


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