Physical Examination of the Chick

Key Points

  • In neonates, the exam should be performed in a warm room with pre-warmed hands.
  • Pectoral muscle mass is a poor indicator of body condition in young birds. Instead assess body condition by palpating bony prominences like the back, elbows, toes, and wings.
  • Skin in the normal chick is generally beige-pink in color, warm, and soft. Dehydrated chicks have red, dry, tacky skin.
  • Pediatric exams should include an evaluation of behavior like the feeding response.

Pediatrics is one of the most fascinating and rewarding fields of avian medicine. The key to hand raising healthy psittacine chicks is a strong preventive medicine program based on sound husbandry practices. Physical examination is an important part of preventive health care . . .

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Clubb SL. Psittacine pediatric husbandry and medicine. In: Altman RB, Clubb SL, Dorrestein GM, Quesenberry K (eds). Avian Medicine and Surgery. WB Saunders; Philadelphia, PA. 1997. Pp. 73-95.

Flammer K, Clubb SL. Neonatology. In: Ritchie BW, Harrison GJ, Harrison LR , (eds). Avian Medicine: Principles and Application. Wingers Publishing; Lake Worth, FL. 1994. Pp. 748-804.

Rivera S. Avicultural and pediatric medicine. Proc Annu Conf Am Board Vet Practitioners 2005.

To cite this page:

Rivera S. Physical examination of the chick. May 6, 2008. LafeberVet Web site. Available at