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Sick chick, don't know what to do!

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I am new, both to this site and to keeping chickens.  I have 8 baby chicks, they are about a week and a half old.  One of them was pasted up pretty bad, and I removed the feces by soaking it off with a warm, wet washcloth.  Now this chick doesn't seem to want to eat or drink, and keeps closing her eyes while standing up, even with all the commotion of the other baby chicks.  I don't know what I should do, but I definitely want to do whatever I can to save this little one!  The chicks are inside our house.  They are housed in a large box, with a heatlamp on them.  They eat medicated food.  Everyone else seems fine except for her.  Can someone please help me?


Edited by Lunabreeze - 3/14/10 at 9:45pm
post #2 of 13

Sometimes they need just a little more time to rest, and a bit of help. If she is getting "run over" by the other chicks, take a piece of hardware cloth and make a corner of the brooder just for her, with her own food and water and a stuffed animal. Make sure she has part of the light over her area, so she can choose to be under the light, or not. I would tempt her to eat with crumbled cooked egg yolk, or crumble mixed with plain yogurt. ALso get some poly-vi-sol (without iron) dilute by half, and put one drop beside her beak until she slurps it in twice a day for a few days. I would not put anything, especially sugar, in the water as it can make pasty butt worse. (Okay well ORGANIC ACV 1 tab/gallon of water in non-metal waterer can help pasty butt). Keep us posted on her progress.

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

Wow, thanks so much for your help, I really appreciate it!  The other chicks do seem to be running her over a bit, so I will make a little space just for her, as you suggest.  My boyfriend made me promise that I wouldn't get upset if one or two of them died but now that one of them is sick, I'm already feeling really upset.  I am going to the store right now though for some supplies.  Thanks again!

post #4 of 13

hi, i also have a sick chick, we have 4   5week old silkie chicks that have been adopted by our 2 year old isa brown, and in the last few days one has been showing similar symptoms to yours. Very inactive especially in comparison to the other 3, and doesnt seam too interested in eating or drinking.

i rang our vet only an hour ago and asked whether it was worth bring her in, and they told me it would cost a regular $60 consult fee, plus any medication on top of that, if she was able to be saved at all. they suggested i keep her seperated from the others incase she has a contagious illness, and to keep her warm. she also said that ill have to syringe her a few drops of water every so often to make sure she stays hydrated.

ive had to go to work, so ive packed her up in a beer carton box with a towel, i have it lying on its side on my desk with the open end facing me, and a bowl of her usual chick crumble feed and a bowl of water. i dont have a syringe so im just using a spoon, and moving it up so that im dipping her beak into the water in the spoon.

hope your little one gets better!

post #5 of 13

hi, i just read on another forum that mites can cause chicks to show similar symptoms.
ive just tried to have a look at mine - shes not to happy about it and is struggeling and making it difficult, but i couldnt see anything either.

i know you said yours are inside at the moment, but mites may have been transfered from somewhere outside, on cats / dogs, maybe sghoes, im not really sure, but it may be worth a look just incase

post #6 of 13

Iordered 9 chicks fromIdeal,and  one was like that- just stood there, not eating or drinking. Three weeks later, she's fine,just notvery active

The irony of life! One day you are the windshield and then the next - the bug!!

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The irony of life! One day you are the windshield and then the next - the bug!!

Reply
post #7 of 13

The poly-vi-sol without iron is a really good idea.  Just a drop or two on the side of her beak, so she can carefully drink it in, is a good way to give it to her.  Do this for several days, and if it is an issue of having been run over and knocked away from the food and water, etc. this should perk her up. 
You should also keep an eye on her, sometimes pasty-butt recurs.   I have two barred rocks that had it repeatedly as chicks.  I cleaned them up repeatedly, and eventually they just grew out of it.

Married to DH for 21 years, DS 18,  mom of golden retrievers--Harley and Mia, and my 17 girls--Barred Rocks, a Buff Orpington, Rhode Island Reds, Easter Eggers, a Gold Laced Wyandotte, a Silver Laced Wyandotte, Delawares, Cuckoo Marans, a Black Australorp, and Twiggy---our Welsummer, who laid the prettiest eggs ever, but left for chickie heaven today, where they never, ever run out of raisins.
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Married to DH for 21 years, DS 18,  mom of golden retrievers--Harley and Mia, and my 17 girls--Barred Rocks, a Buff Orpington, Rhode Island Reds, Easter Eggers, a Gold Laced Wyandotte, a Silver Laced Wyandotte, Delawares, Cuckoo Marans, a Black Australorp, and Twiggy---our Welsummer, who laid the prettiest eggs ever, but left for chickie heaven today, where they never, ever run out of raisins.
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post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the help everyone, and for those who posted that their chicks are also sick, I hope both yours and mine get better. 

The store was out of the Poly-vis-ol without iron so I will see if I can find it somewhere else tomorrow.  I did get some nonflavored Pedialyte (hopefully the Pedialyte isn't too bad to give to her) and I used a syringe to put one little drop at a time on her beak and waited for her to tilt her head back and drink, then repeated until she wouldn't drink anymore.  I mashed up some of their food with some plain yogurt, she wouldn't eat any of it, but then again, the others didn't seem to want anything to do with it either!  I put some uncooked oats in the mash too because all but two seem to have varying degrees of pasty butt.  They are all barred rocks, so maybe they are just prone to it? 

Thanks again for the help everyone.  I don't know much about chickens yet (except I learned the term "pasty butt" today), but hopefully I'll be able to help others on here once I get some experience under my belt.

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

Well, the chick seems to be doing better now, although I don't think she's 100%.  I've been giving her a mixture of Pedialyte and Poly-Vis-Ol before I leave work and after I get home, and I've been giving all the chicks a crumble/oatmeal/yogurt mixture.  She seems to have more energy now and isn't sleeping all the time.  I haven't seen her drink any water and I haven't seen her actually ingest any food (although she will peck at it now).  Unfortunately, I just haven't had the time this week due to my work schedule to observe her for more than 15 minutes or so at a time, so she could be eating and drinking when I'm not watching.  I did see her poop once, which was encouraging.  She seems to be preening her feathers a lot more than the other chicks, which I find odd, but maybe she's just more fastidious.  Thanks to everyone for all your help, I'll be checking back in this weekend!

post #10 of 13

I am having the exact same problem.. in fact I sent this link to my boyfriend to read and he thought I had written it until I pointed out my eight chicks are only 4 days old instead of several weeks old!

I  have one rhode island red who is very lethargic. She will stand when she's startled, and she will drink but I haven't actually viewed her eating. My boyfriend noticed her pecking at food though. Other than pasting up, she's been healthy the past two days.

The advice in this thread is helpful, although I can't get to a store tonight to get the medications. Could I follow the advice about feeding oats and egg yolk even in chicks who are only 4 days old? They do have access to chick grit. All temperatures are fine. They have fresh water, although I've added 1 tablespoon of raw organic acv to their quart of water because it was recommended for pasty butt, which the affected chick has had.

I don't know if this matters, but she is somewhat smaller than the other chicks, including my other Rhode Island Red. Is your chick growing slower than the rest at all? Everything seems to be the same with our chicks, and hopefully this can get straightened out.

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