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Do I have a sick chick?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 


I got my chickens on May 9th. They were probably hatched on May 7th--so about 31/2 weeks today. All but one seem to be progressing normally with good feather growth. One of the Plymouth Barred Rocks seems to be very slow on feather growth. She sits on her hocks and doesn't roam as enthusiastically as the other chicks. When I went out to check on them a few minutes ago, the one that isn't doing so well--Janie--was acting like she had hiccups.


Because the weather is warm now, I started letting them out into their covered yard during the day. They have really gotten active grazing in addition to eating their normal chick starter. I put them up at night and they are still sleeping under a brooder lamp. 


Any suggestions on what I should do? For example, should I isolate her? Should I put her back in the coop and keep her there instead of letting her out during the day?



post #2 of 6

It's possible that since they've been grazing on grass, this chick has impacted crop. Feel the crops on all the chicks and compare to the chick acting sick. If it feels like a hard rock, you should try to get some olive or coconut oil into it. Try squeezing a bit into the side of the beak.


Once you get some oil into the chick, massage the crop very gently in a downward motion to loosen the contents and to help it move down and out of the crop. That should make her feel better pretty quickly.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Do you think I've been to early in letting them run around in their covered yard? They are surely enjoying it. I have a 250 watt bulb for them at night. And I don't let them out until temperatures rise to 65. We've been getting into the mid 70s during the day.
post #4 of 6

No. Chicks are chicks, if they weren't brooded by people, they'd be raised outside by a momma hen and she's not going to keep them under her until the temps are toasty warm before letting them explore.


Keep letting them enjoy their fun outside

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks a lot. I was able to put some coconut oil on her beak and I think she got some of it down. I also did a little more research that said not to give them access to long grass and their coop yard had long grass and long clover, which they seemed to love, but we used the weed eater to whack it down. Anyway, I do appreciate your quick response when I was panicking. I'm a first timer.
post #6 of 6

TLWR is right. Chicks are chicks. Let them be chicks. Even big chickens get their crops clogged with grass sometimes. It goes with the territory. Now you know what to watch for and what to do if it ever happens again.


Tender new grass isn't a problem unless the chicks pig out and it doesn't move through the crop. Usually it's the longer stemmed grasses that pose a big problem, but usually chickens avoid them.


By the way, 250 watts of heat is way too much at almost four weeks. You should be weening your chicks off heat by now. They shouldn't need heat at all during the day, and maybe just a small watt bulb to take the edge off the cool night temps. But have as the goal to take away the heat by the end of their fourth week.

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