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KathyW

A Case Of The Wobblies ...

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I'd appreciate opinions:

 

One particularly fertile pair is raising 6 chicks from 6 eggs. They have just started leaving the nest. One of the chicks (#3 in order of hatching) is exhibiting some odd problems I suspect may be neurological.

 

He is well fed (always a full crop), is quite alert, and foraging on the floor of the breeding cage, but he does not stand upright on his legs. Instead he "waddles" and wobbles quite dramatically. His legs are quite strong in themselves - he can grip quite well! So much so I can lift him by his grip on my finger. So there is no leg muscle weakness.

 

His head will frequently sway like a drunkard ... but once it settles he's fine. He can clean, preen, nibble and scratch his head with his back legs - although sometimes he seems to deliberately fall on his side to scratch an itch. If I try to pick him up he is very likely to roll over on his back, kick the air with both feet and squark. But once picked up he calms down quite quickly.

 

No, there is no fermented seed in the cage, and their diet has not changed during nesting. None of his siblings or parents exhibit any symptoms so I do not believe it's dietary, environmental, illness or contagious. It looks like a serious lack of balance problem, but there's no sign of any cold or other illness.

 

My suspicion is that his parents may be too closely related. They paired off in a mixed aviary before I moved them into a breeding cage, and I have no reliable records of their parentage being aviary bred birds. They are both very fertile birds and good parents, so I'll split them up after this nest fully fledges with birds I'm sure are not related and let them have one more nest this season.

 

So has anyone had experience with this sort of issue? If my suspicion is correct and it's genetic / neurological, then there is probably not much that can be done for the little chap but to keep him from breeding. He may or may not cope in an aviary, but may be okay in a "small" cage. If he makes it through the next week without deteriorating, I may see if he'll tame down ...

 

Any thoughts?

KathyW.

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Sounds like you have "hit the nail on the head" in your assessment of the chick KathyW. I would keep a close eye open for signs of epilepsy and fitting. :blush:

Edited by **KAZ**
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I haven’t hand any experience with anything similar to what you describe, but I think your assumptions are probably right & your decisions not to let the pair breed again & the affected bird, are good.

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Try feeding him up with a little extra calcium, sugar and salt, as deficiencies in all of these can cause these problems. See if this works, you never know. He may just be a little bit worse at absorbing it than his brothers and sisters.

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