Hi! I am a new chicken mom. I hope this isn't repetitive but I couldn't find the answer to my question exactly. I got our first chicks on Wed 12/2. We ordered six chicks and upon opening the box two were obviously not doing well. I thought one was dead already but it wasn't.
When I got them home I put them into the brooder and after a couple of hours under the heat lamp they really perked right up. The two "runts" however still didn't seem quite right. Sometimes when I checked on them they all seemed to be up and about and doing well, but then other times the two runts would just be lying there while the other four were running around eating, drinking, etc. Slowly but surely the two runts just really did not seem to be doing well and this morning the worst of the two runts died and the second one looks to be on her way out too.
After losing two nights of sleep and doing nothing but reading everything I possibly can it seems to me it's just failure to thrive for whatever reason. However I just want to be sure they don't have a disease of some kind and are infecting/have infected the four that are thriving. I have seen no bloody poop so I don't think it's coccidiosis. Although these sick chicks have some of those symptoms (lethargy, poor appetite) The things I've read about failure to thrive said that absorbing the yolk after being hatched is what allows them to live for three days and then because they have whatever wrong with them, they don't eat...aren't getting nutrients...the yolk is used up and then they die. That seems logical to me especially since it's been three days and that one died this morning.
So...in this long-winded question all I really need to know is how do you know if they have a disease or if it's just failure to thrive? Thank you so much. I love BYC!