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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 28934
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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I have a 3 week old Gold Wyandotte who today started with

Customer Question

I have a 3 week old Gold Wyandotte who today started with ruffled feathers, slight clicking while breathing (with ear to chick), and decreased appetite.
All chicks were fine last night. Paper towel substrate in brooder- changed 4-5 times a day. On chicken starter feed. Water and electrolyte solution available.
Chickens abdomen is enlarged. Not discolored as compared to the others. slightly soft. Vent and nares are clean and dry. Stool is normal to slightly dry but passing with ease.
Chick is now separated. USed syringe to encourage water/electrolyte intake and monitor. Have not offered wet diet and ignored dry diet.
We are new chick parents and the nearest vet who sees them cannot do so until next week. I would like to try to do what I can to help her. Thanks!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. We don't have many avian vets on this site. Ruffling (fluffing) of feathers conserves body heat but is a nonspecific symptom of illness as is inappetence. An enlarged abdomen is a symptom seen in mature chickens from various disorders but unusual in a chick. It's significance is unclear to me. Her clicking indicates fluid in her airways. It's the sound of that fluid moving back and forth as air passes through.

Practically speaking we need to treat for what we can treat - a bacterial infection. You have two choices of over the counter antibiotics found in your local feed store. Tylosin in the form of Tylan-50 can be injected intramuscularly at a dose of 20-30 mg/lb once daily for 5 days or the injectable solution can be given directly into the chick's beak. You'll also need a tuberculin syringe to give the very small dose needed for a chick. Tetracycline in the form of Duramycin-10 can be added to its drinking water for a minimum of 10 days. I prefer the tylosin which can be dosed more accurately and thus attain more sustained blood levels.

Please bring the chick inside and treat as shown here:

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?