Crazy chick (encephalomalacia) disease

What is crazy chick disease

Crazy chick disease, also called Encephalomalacia disease, is one of the common chicken diseases of the nervous system.  Encephalomalacia as it is also called affects young chickens and caused by inadequate intake of vitamin E . It is marked by severe muscular incoordination, tremors, and encephalomalacia followed by paralysis and by renal congestion and failure. 

What causes crazy chick disease

Vitamin E deficiency in chickens affects the brain, causing degeneration, oedema and haemorrhage, especially in the small brain (cerebellum). The deficiency can be inherited if the mother had a vitamin E deficiency.

what are the symptoms of crazy chick diseases

Chicks suffering Encephalomalacia disease appear unable to walk properly. They walk as if they are drunk, staggering and falling this way and that. Sometimes they stand with their heads between their legs. The cerebellum shows gross swelling, with yellow or brown discolouration and pinpoint haemorrhages may be observed. Encephalomalacia can also be found in mature chickens.

Treatment and control

To treat crazy chick disease, adequate levels of vitamin E and selenium in the diet of chickens and their parent breeders are of prime importance. Treatment of affected birds with vitamin E preparations (alpha-tocopherol) is effective if the condition is not too far advanced.

Also give the chicks multivitamins and enhance their feed vitamins by adding pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, spinach, chard, dandelion or nettle.

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