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Tiny crying chick

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

I just got a dozen chicks from the feed store yesterday, including one that looked like the "runt", knowing that he probably wasn't okay but wanting to give him a loving home anyways. He has scissor beak, he's about half the size/length of the other chicks, his eyes don't fully open, and he hasn't stopped crying/peeping since I brought him home (even though the others quietly go about there business, so I know the temps and everything are good in the brooder). Can anyone tell what's wrong with him? I know he's a little special, but I want to make sure he's not in pain and make sure I'm doing everything I need to be doing

for him.
Edited by ChicksInTexas - 2/27/16 at 6:13pm
post #2 of 3

I am going to sound like the most heartless person in the world, but there is a very good reason that most of us leave unhealthy chicks in the bin.  It's wonderful that people feel the need to "do something" for a chick like that, but the bald truth is most of the time they die anyway. They most likely wouldn't survive if a hen was brooding them, either.  By the time you're done trying this, giving that a shot, and doing the other thing, the chick's ultimate fate is probably not going to change.  The only thing that will change is that he will suffer a little longer, and you'll be exhausted and beating yourself up for not saving him.


I know that is cold.  Two years ago I was the person who would have chosen the poor little runt and tried to be the one to give it a good life. I know better now, and I know it's better to give my attention and affection to chicks that will grow strong and healthy, rather than prolong the suffering of a chick that, if it survives, will most likely need extra special help just to live a halfway normal life.


That said, I did spend months taking care of little chick who froze his feet on a cold, -17 degree day. There wasn't much I didn't do for him, and he not only survived  but he thrived, only to have to be culled when he was 8 months old due to aggression issues.  Lots of folks on BYC followed Scout's adventure and were rooting for him as hard as I was.  Now I know that if I had it to do over again I think I'd skip the heroics.  So the ultimate choice is up to you.  

I'd start with getting some Nutri Drench into's a nutritional powder that you mix with water.  It's beneficial because it sends nutrition directly into the blood stream, rather than it having to be digested first. If you don't have any of that, you can try some sugar water.  Keep him very warm, quiet, and when he's up to taking chick food I'd moisten it and hand feed it to him.  Make sure he drinks.  That's about all you can do.  Good luck with him, and I apologize if I came across as hard hearted.

post #3 of 3

Put some electrolytes, such as SaveAChick in  the water and dip his beak into it. Also you may want to mix a small amount of his chick feed and some water to make it soupy. Then offer him some of it every so often since it may be hard for him to eat. Scissors beak chicks can get worse as they grow. Some trace minerals might make a difference in that. Some poultry vitamins such as Poultry Nutridrench and Poultry Cell contain minerals as well as vitamins and electrolytes. Try picking him up and holding him close to see if he stops peeping if he continues once he eats. Check his bottom for stuck on poop, and clean it with warm water if a problem.

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