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#10184 - 02/02/09 02:43 PM yolk belly
Uno Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/26/05
Posts: 1280
Loc: Canada
Deleted original post. Too long. Will try to be brief.

Have a chick, 3 days old, just not doing well. Not eating, drinking, running around or pooping. Its belly was oddly tight and distended, water balloonish. This large, tight belly made the chick walk very oddly when it did move at all.

I had one chick a while back that was doing poorly and I picked off its navel scab and out oozed unabsorbed yolk! So this time around I'm thinking, hmm, wonder if this is the same thing?

I had picked at this guy's scab a time or two but no yolk oozed out. So today, as the chick was obviously fading, I decided it was time to get that scab off. I pulled out a big long slimy chunk of yolk and memebrane. Major gross! Along with it came blood and there were veins in the yolk and it was hard to tell where the yolk ended and chick began. I was afraid I might pull its guts out, which I might have done! frown

The belly was instantly deflated, but the chick proceeded to bleed and bleed and bleed. Pressure on navel would not stop bleeding. I ran his sticky belly under running water, dried him off and set him under his little lamp...to die.

That was at 1:30 this afternoon and at 8:30 at ngiht he is still alive. First thing he did after I put him in the box was poop. Must have had such pressure on internal organs that nothing was working. A while later he drank and drank. But has shown no signs yet of scratching or pecking at food. He is very wobbly and off balance now that his gut is drained, his head is too heavy and he falls on his face. This happened with the other chick that had yolk belly.

He is still pretty huddled and miserable looking. Eyes closed a lot, which is a sign of pain, not sleep. I gave him a shot (drink) of Rescue Remedey, which has a brandy base. Took a shot myself.

Hope others with a poorly chick examine the stomach for signs of bloatishness (bad word) and consider that a yolk has passed its best before date and might be the problem.

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#10185 - 02/02/09 04:06 PM Re: yolk belly
Jrsygntbrdr1 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 06/12/05
Posts: 2601
Loc: Arkansas
I know it says broiler chicks...but it's just more common in them..perhaps yours could be going through this too?

http://enews.nieuwskiosk.nl/template/204/bDQgvgObIezbJ3L0UgxH3w==.htm

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#10186 - 02/02/09 04:22 PM Re: yolk belly
Uno Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/26/05
Posts: 1280
Loc: Canada
I don't think this is ascites (water belly?). These chicks are so young, just 2 or 3 days old, haven't hardly started growing. This yolk belly isn't something that comes on slow, I think it happens almost as they hatch. Their bodies should be using that yolk, but it doesn't, the yolk just sits there in a big lump, causing pain and interfering with gut processes. But thanks for the link, all ideas are helpful.

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#10187 - 02/02/09 05:45 PM Re: yolk belly
Uno Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/26/05
Posts: 1280
Loc: Canada
You know...one has to think that if you picked the navel off any chick under 3 days old, and pulled, you'd find yolk. It's the yolk that gives them 24(36?) hours of on-board food and water for shipping to our homes.

Perhaps what I pulled out of this chick was SUPPOSED to be there. And yet, he was failing, bloated, not pooping, couldn't move right. This is what happens when a good yolk goes bad.

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#10188 - 02/02/09 07:30 PM Re: yolk belly
Jrsygntbrdr1 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 06/12/05
Posts: 2601
Loc: Arkansas
If not...could you do a necropsy on him and see if there's something going on internally rather than being any fault of your own???

(which I HIGHLY doubt it's your fault!) Are these chicks from the same parents that had the same issues going on when they hatched?

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#10189 - 02/02/09 08:43 PM Re: yolk belly
Uno Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/26/05
Posts: 1280
Loc: Canada
Well, I don't think I could do a necropsy. Even if I could there'd have to be little signs saying, 'this went wrong', otherwise I have no idea what I'm looking at.

Not sure what you're asking about the parent birds, but my last chick that did this was from completely different rooster, and probably a different hen too.

I'm going to search as I'm sure someone had this problem a while ago and it's calle omphalitis. Why can't I remember that word?

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#10190 - 02/02/09 08:50 PM Re: yolk belly
Uno Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/26/05
Posts: 1280
Loc: Canada
Yup. Unabsorbed yolk. Yolk belly. Yellow belly. Omphalitis.

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#10191 - 02/03/09 01:50 AM Re: yolk belly
Foehn Offline
Administrator
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 1968
Loc: New Zealand
If he's still drinking, give him a little honeyed water for energy,(a very small dose for that age) and see if that perks him up enough to be interested in food.

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#10192 - 02/03/09 10:19 AM Re: yolk belly
Jocelyn Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/26/02
Posts: 1467
Loc: Canada
Uno, it's often a sign of infection in the yolk sack. If only one has it, put it down to bad luck. If several in a hatch have it, wash, bleach and paint the incubator. Now that the yolk sack has drained, he might be OK, as the infection probably drained out too.

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#10193 - 02/03/09 12:36 PM Re: yolk belly
Uno Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/26/05
Posts: 1280
Loc: Canada
Chick spent several hours lastnight huddled, miserable and eyes closed. This morning I expected a corpse. No! Little guy is zipping around, as well as he can considering his balance is still a bit wonky. He's drinking and making attempts at picking at some crumbles. He no longer has that closed eye, suffering look. Alert and bright....maybe a little socially stunted, but he'll catch up.

I really can't believe it. His ability to heal is amazing! Lets hope he continues to improve. If there was infection, it came out with the yolk. But there certainly didn't seem to be pus or anything stinky. Just a huge amount of thick, gooey yolk. Thanks all for your support and input. That's why we're here smile

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