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Injured chick - looking for feedback

Northeast, PA(Zone 6b)

I found one of my 3wk old chicks unable to walk about a week ago. It could flap its wings but was clearly hurt. It would lay on its side with its legs out (like you see when they have Mareks disease). I'm pretty sure its an injury and not an infection. The flock has been isolated for years and no signs of disease in other chickens.

So I cleaned it up and found a wound on its back. I put antibiotic cream on the spot a couple days in a row. I think it also injured one of its legs. I put the chick in a box in the tack room of our barn. I read that they should have weight on the legs. I tried paper towel dish (hard to explain - used a small plastic box and a rubber band to hold the towels so bottom didn't touch bottom of the box so it was bowl shaped). Then someone shared a post about using panty hose to make a sling.

Well... its been 6 days. The chick chirps and seems quite happy most of the time. Its eating, drinking and pooping. It gets upset that it can't really move and flaps its wings hard. It can't sit or stand on its legs though. It grips my finger so has control of the toes in both legs. It can stretch them out and pull them back so has control of the legs.

How long do I keep up the nursing? Is this insane and just prolonging the inevitable?

What do you guys think?

Here's some photos

Thumbnail by Tammy Thumbnail by Tammy Thumbnail by Tammy
Richmond, TX

It sounds as if it is doing well with your current care. I'd be inclined to give it a while longer, since it seems fairly content.

Northeast, PA(Zone 6b)

thanks for the feedback.

Bridgewater, ME(Zone 3b)

Is it doing any better today? Can it stand on its own yet?

Northeast, PA(Zone 6b)

It seems healthy except it can not stand. It can grip with its feet and can extend its legs so its not paralysis. I just don't know how long to keep it in the sling. I guess I'll give it another week.

Bridgewater, ME(Zone 3b)

Have you gone to byc and asked there? There are lot more people on there to answer your question as to what might b wrong

Northeast, PA(Zone 6b)

I've browsed their forums but haven't posted. That's where I found the idea of using the pantyhose sling.

Magnolia, TX(Zone 8b)

If Mareks, or Range disease, then diet affects the deficiency as do meds and increased reduction of bacteria. Watch the other birds and maintain quarantine

Northeast, PA(Zone 6b)

I kept the chick in quarantine for 3wks. It was growing and seemed relatively healthy except could not balance/stand. I decided to euthanize as it grew, the sling could not stablize it sufficiently. It kept knocking over the water if placed close enough to drink.

I don't think its Mareks or other disease. I have confirmed we have a black snake poaching the chicks. I found one that looked like the snake tried to swallow but didn't completely. And another disappeared the same day I found the snake in their stall of the barn.

Very sad. I like the snakes to keep down the rodent population but will clearly have to revisit method of protecting the little ones from these snakes!

I appreciate all your help & advice.
Tam

Magnolia, TX(Zone 8b)

Add a lightbulb with yolk on it. Snakes never leave an area with food

Northeast, PA(Zone 6b)

You're thinking the snake will eat the lightbulb and die?

I really don't mind the snakes in the barn. They take care of any rodent issues before they become an issue.

Richmond, TX

I like my barn snakes too. They prefer eggs to chicks and have swallowed an occasional ceramic "decoy" egg. I thought it would be a death sentence, but they seem to be able to regurgitate it when it won't digest.

Magnolia, TX(Zone 8b)

Light bulbs crush. Many snakes get too big and then chickens go into leaving, not laying... in Texas a 7' rat snake doesn't care what he eats. Appetite changes from rat to chicken and no more chix. A passive removal for snakes drawn to the chix is light bulbs. Even clean in the nest abt the size of an egg will work. Protect your babies...

Richmond, TX

The rat snakes stealing our eggs are in the 5' to 6' range and still prefer eggs. They can stay.

Northeast, PA(Zone 6b)

We really don't lose many eggs to the snakes. I collect them several times a day. And we don't have chicks all that often and no more this year. Will revisit next year if we want chicks.

Thanks again. I know some of this kinda thing is very personal. I have my chickens for a hobby. I had rats a few years ago and would much prefer no rats and no chicks to rats & chicks.

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