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chick with distended abdomen-please help

Posted by claraserena 4 (My Page) on
Mon, Jun 29, 09 at 15:10

I have a 1 week old chick with a very distended abdomen. At a couple of days it I saw some dried poop on her vent and gently got it off and cleaned her with warm water cloth. Today her abdomen is very swollen. I Just gave her a few drops of olive oil orally and used a tiny pet nursing bottle to put olive oil into her vent. I also held a cloth with warm water against her and gently massaged her abdomen.
She is the "only child" of a broodythey are in a pen on the grass. I had noticed a few days ago that she was not eating as much or as active as other chicks but attributed that to the only child thing.
Is there anything else that I can do? She looks bad. Please help.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: chick with distended abdomen-please help

Hi claraserena, sorry to hear about your little chickie. It sounds like Ascites - as far as I know there is no cure for this.(sorry). I am not a vet by any means, I would take her to your vet and have her checked out.
Does she seem to be panting or around her comb area is the skin a bluish color or can you tell?

I had a chick once that had the same kind of symptoms as you are talking about, the vet said that is what it was. He said it was not a disease and could not be passed on to the rest of the flock. I had her euthenized because I did not want her to suffer.

I know that is not what you wanted to hear-I could be way off base- and I hope that I am-just going by past experience-Again I would take her to a vet and have her checked out.
I am not a vet, just one chicken lovin' person that cares.
Can you give us more details and/or a picture?

RE: chick with distended abdomen-please help

I do not think there is anything you can do. I hope I am wrong. It sounds like the chick did not properly and completely finish development in the egg. A certain percentage have that as a problem. probably as high as 2% or maybe more. They die in the first few weeks.

Big chicken operations and Breeders measure this. They try to keep it as small as possible but it happens in all birds. I suggest you get a new chick to replace this one. The chick has a value of $1 to $2 or maybe even $5.

If you want to raise baby chicks you will have to accept this as a fact of life.

It is sort of the same with human beings. Some babies are born with problems. But a human is worth paying doctors thousands of dollars to save the life. With a chick people go buy a new healthy chick. Medical science is not going to try to find out how to save a one dollar chick.

Actually big chick operations the chicks are much lower priced then a dollar.

Some hatcheries are hatching out more than a million chicks. The cost per chick is very low.

RE: chick with distended abdomen-please help

Since they are on grass, in case this is a digestive blockage that can be helped, in addition to what you are doing, you can also handfeed her a mixture of applesauce, olive oil and plain yogurt with active cultures--the applesauce for nutrition & energy and to help get things moving again, the olive oil for 'slip' and the yogurt for calcium (which working muscles need) and to help restore the 'good' bacteria in her gut. It certainly can't hurt.

How is her crop--is it constantly full or does it empty by morning? If it always seems full, feel it--does it feel solid, or squishy, like it's full of water? Is she drinking a lot, eating less, having weird poops? If you suspect a crop blockage, massage her crop after giving her the applesauce mixture, too. Make sure she has water to drink at all times.

What breed is she? Ascites is most common in broiler chicks...

Velvet ~:>

RE: chick with distended abdomen-please help

Geez Velvet I did not even think about the grass-I'm sorry claraserana.

Thank you velvet. Mine was a broiler chicken-so I did not even stop to think :(

RE: chick with distended abdomen-please help

Thank you to all of you.
Here's an update. She is a mix of standard breeds--probably Buff Orphington and Columbian Wyandotte.
This morning I gave her more olive oil. It's very hard to get anything in her mouth. I will try the applesauce/yogurt. I see her eat and drink a little.
She gets around but the size of her abdomen makes her slow. She follows the mom around but just not very energetically. She mostly seems to want mom to set down so she can get under her(it's cool here).
My thought is that she was born with some problem--maybe something with the egg sack.
I felt her crop this morning and it feels empty. Is that normal? There is baby grit in the pen as well as sand and, of course, dirt.

RE: chick with distended abdomen-please help

Hi, I'm new here, having just discovered this site, but I have raised chickens myself in the past. (Turkeys are my favourite, but they get into too much trouble for my husband. LOL)

Sounds like it might be a yolk sac infection. Not good, unfortunately. The classic symptoms are dejection, closed eyes, loss of appetite diarrhoea, vent pasting, and a swollen abdomen. It's quite common, but sadly there's not much you can do about it once it happens.

Good luck with the chick. Hopefully I'm wrong.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Poultry Site

RE: chick with distended abdomen-please help

The chick is fine!. The swelling went down gradually--it became a small lump and then nothing. Her vent had been off center because of the swelling and is now fine. She's a little small but is feathering out normally and acts normal.
Thanks to all of you!

RE: chick with distended abdomen-please help

Yay, great to hear! Good job, claraserena! :) I'd continue to keep an eye on her in case it reoccurs, though.

I do love happy endings!

Velvet ~:>

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