About 10 days ago, the Buff Orpington chick Elaine has named Olivia began, every few minutes, falling over and tumbling then arising again. Olivia, then age five weeks, also regularly kept her head tilted over and had a hunched stature.
Elaine and I tried various cures such as giving her electrolytes and apple vinegar in her water, as well as spraying her with something designed to kill mites and lice. We also placed diatomaceous earth in her brooder, as we had separated her from her flockmates. Nothing worked, and we expected her to die anyday because she was not eating or drinking well.
Then we read an article in Chickens Magazine (www.hobbyfarms.com/chickens-magazine/) where it talked about the benefits of adding probiotics to water to maintain digestive help. Elaine did so one morning, but we had low expectations.
When I arrived home that afternoon after a day of teaching high school English, I checked in Olivia's brooder and found it empty - and immediately decided that she had died during the day. Then I looked in the adjacent brooder where Olivia's three flockmates live and saw her there. What's more, she was walking about reasonably well, though she still took the occasional "tumble."
When Elaine arrived home, I asked her why she had moved Olivia, and she said she had not done so. The only thing we can figure is that our sick chick felt better, flew to the top of her brooder, then flew down among her flockmates.
We still don't know if Olivia is going to survive, but she is definitely better and is much more active than before. Below is a picture of Olivia in recovery mode.