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sick chicks

sarahsarah Junior Member
edited November 2006 in Poultry Health and Welfare
1 week old cuckoo maran chicks. No problems until today - growing well and feathering up nicely.
This morning one seemed a little quiet - preferring to sit and doze. This afternoon it seems paralised - neck on one side. Eyes are shut. No sign of blood in droppings, some crusting of faeces, but nothing obvious.
Any ideas?

The rest seem bright and are eating and drinking.


  • SandySandy Senior Member
    edited November 2006
    Its probably one of these.. certainly sounds like Botulism to me


    (a) Aflatoxins
    Aflatoxins are poisons produced by certain strains of the fungus Aspergillus flavus. Tropical conditions are ideal for the growth of fungi and contamination of feedstuffs is fairly common. These poisons affect the liver and the immune response to some diseases may also be reduced. e.g., thrush, coccidiosis.
    Ducks, geese and turkeys are very susceptible and it is a very difficult condition to diagnose as there are no specific clinical symptoms to show the presence of the poisons.
    By providing fresh food daily and removing any uneaten food the chance of this fungus growing is reduced.

    (b) Salt
    Salt poisoning, by ordinary kitchen salt, is usually found in birds fed on food scraps. The symptoms of it are increased drinking and diarrhoea. Salt poisoning usually affects young birds.

    (c) Ammonia
    The high humidity encountered in the Territory, particularly in the Top End, may result in high levels of ammonia being present in poultry sheds. This is easily detected by smell and, if not remedied, may lead to respiratory problems and sometimes severe conjunctivitis (ammonia burn).
    If the litter in the shed is kept dry and clean and the sheds are well ventilated ammonia should not be a problem.

    (d) Lead
    Symptoms of lead poisoning are loss of appetite, drowsiness, paralysis, convulsions, diarrhoea and sudden death. Check the area for old paint products, motor oils, old batteries and buckshot.

    (e) Plants
    The seeds, fruit or leaves of some plants are poisonous at all times or at a specific stage of growth. Poisons can be found in some garden plants and weeds including

    (f) Botulism (Limberneck)
    Botulism is caused by the toxins (poisons) produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, which may be found in animal carcasses, decaying plant matter, stagnant pools and spoiled foods.
    Birds affected by botulism show paralysis, loose feathers and extreme weakness.
    To control an outbreak contact with possible sources of toxin should be eliminated. In particular sick birds should be removed and all carcasses should be burned. Water fowl showing early symptoms may be treated by placing birds in clean, running water and feeding wet bran mash.

    (g) Pesticides
    When poultry are treated for parasites care must be taken to follow exactly the dose and instructions on the container because such treatments can be harmful to the birds if wrongly applied. Some chemicals used for treatment may appear in the eggs or meat of the birds and may persist for some time. In such cases a period must elapse after treatment before meat or eggs are used. This is the 'withholding period' which is indicated on the container and must be observed Birds should not be killed for eating during this period and all eggs laid should be discarded.
    When poultry are allowed free range, particularly in an orchard, they may be exposed to a variety of pesticides which are being used on the trees. Some of these pesticides are likely to be toxic to the birds or, even if not affecting the birds themselves, they may be taken up and concentrated in the meat or eggs. If the content in the meat or eggs is high, consumption of these products is dangerous and their sale is illegal. There is usually no information on the container of such pesticides about possible effects on poultry or necessary withholding periods and the only safe course is to exclude poultry from places where pesticides are used. Drift of pesticides to poultry holding areas must also be avoided.
  • SandySandy Senior Member
    edited November 2006

    When a chicken suffers from an intestinal disease or from food poisoning, you can hasten its recover by flushing its system with a laxative that absorbs toxins and removes them from the body.

    Although Epsom salts makes the best flush, chickens must be handled individually, since they don’t like the taste of the Epsom salts

    That is why I like to use a crop tube to do the job and do it properly…NEVER JUST POUR IT DOWN A CHICKENS THROAT… it will more than likely go into the lung and you will drown her

    When a number of birds are affected it is a good idea to use the Molasses flush in their drinking water, but if the birds are not drinking due to the illness then you may as well use the crop tube and use Epsom salts

    Only flush adult birds never chicks

    Epsom Salts = 1 teaspoon Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) in half cup water, put into crop using the crop tube, if you squirt it down the chickens throat you will more than likely squirt it into the air pipe and drown the bird

    Molasses flush = 1 pint molasses per 5 gallons water, given for no longer than 8 hours

    Picture of how to insert a crop tube and what a crop tube looks like

    Hope this helps
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