1 out of the 10 chicks we bought is weaker than the rest.

katiesue

In the Brooder
7 Years
Oct 24, 2012
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We just bought 10 chicks from TSC last night to restart our small flock.
8 Americaunas (probably 1-3 days old) and 2 Tetra Tints (probably a week or so old)

They all seemed healthy at first, but then the 2 chocolate colored Americaunas caused us concern at bedtime as we weren't sure if they were eating and drinking like the rest of them. We watched for a while, and once we saw at least one of them eating, we relaxed a little. We set up a lamp above their box for warmth, and covered the box with a blanket for the night.

This morning, my sons had already removed the blanket by the time I came out to check on them. 9 were doing well, eating, drinking and running around exploring, while 1 chocolate Americauna... (the smallest of them all) just huddled alone, chirping loud, but not moving much. (she looks like a tiny chocolate truffle, so I call her Truffles) :) Others would run past and knock her down, and she would shakily get back up again. I noticed her "shivering" so thought I better do some research and remember how to raise chicks and check the temperature and all. I found that the first week they should be kept at 95 degrees, so I grabbed the thermometer to check their box. It was in the low 70's... depending on where in the box. So we added another light, and covered it with the blanket again, waited a few minutes, then checked again. It was low 80's. So I pulled out the space heater, and aimed it from a distance toward their box. Waited again, then checked the temp. By trial and error, I found the perfect distance for the heater to be from the box, to warm up the inside of the box to 95-97 degrees.

I noticed the chicks all huddled together around Truffles in the warmest corner of the box... (where the heater was aimed.) They napped for a short time, then 9 chicks would run around exploring, eating and drinking while Truffles remained still and huddled. After a time, she calls out loudly for her sisters. She obviously doesn't like to be alone. The sisters get their fill of exploring, then come back to huddle and nap... then go exploring again. Sometimes they peck quite a bit at Truffles, and sometimes they seem to crowd and push her out rather than huddle up to her, and she ends up at the far end of the box cheeping loudly because she's cold and alone again. She wouldn't walk back on her own to the warm spot, only cry that she's not there. So I would pick her up and place her back in the warm spot again, watching closely for pecking until they seem to all be asleep. Then we all get a break for a few minutes while all is quiet. We return to babysit the chicks again when we hear cheeping.

Worried that Truffles wasn't eating or drinking, we dropped some water droplets directly on her beak, and she swallowed it. After doing that several times, we placed food directly in front of her, and she began showing a slow, shakey interest. The others came around and crowded her out as they took all the food. So I tried removing her from them to feed her, but she lost interest without her sisters around. I placed her back with them, and she started trying to move around a little and eat... but she doesn't get much before she's just tired and huddles up to sleep again. This has been going on all day.

I read somewhere about a red heat lamp being the best for the chicks as it not only keeps them warm, but also decreases how much they peck on each other, so my husband went to the store to get one. He is on his way home with it now.

I read in one of the older threads here about putting molasses in the water to help perk them up a bit, and warnings against the use of vitamins. So.... would Molasses be a possible answer for Truffles right now? If so, how much of a mixture do I use? How do I mix it?

Is there anything else I need to know or do in caring for this weaker chick to help her survive through the night, and grow stronger and healthy over the next few days / weeks? I really want Truffles to make it! Thanks in advance.

Katie Sue
 

Granny Hatchet

Tastes like chicken
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Sep 26, 2013
146,712
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madison Indiana
you can give them warm sugar water a couple teaspoons in a quart water will do. they can all drink it. then moisten the feed with the same water and let it be sprinkled all over the place for a couple days. put it on the floor. if you want to try feeding her yourself what you do is , after she is calm pick some food up between your fingers and let it slowly fall in front of her face. use your nails of a pencil and tap at the food and water dish.
 

Granny Hatchet

Tastes like chicken
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Sep 26, 2013
146,712
234,337
2,037
madison Indiana
i hope it helps
fl.gif
 

MonkeyRoo

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 15, 2014
56
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38
Putting water on her beak I imagine would be a good call... that and making sure the temperature is correct (looks like you are working on this). We had one that started out like this from the batch we brought home over a month ago, ended up having to humanly put her down....though she started to develop a different symptom of seizures and dragging her little head between her legs while walking backwards. Don't give up though! It was good of you to catch this, I don't think our chicks have/had the same thing... Only sharing the story for awareness not dismay!! I have heard that adding molasses to the water is helpful, just a tiny bit though for such a little thing. I will keep your little Truffles in my prayers.
 

katiesue

In the Brooder
7 Years
Oct 24, 2012
38
0
22
Thanks so much to you both! I really appreciate it. We have the red heat lamp installed, and all the chicks seemed to love it! I did the sugar water, and they all are drinking that, too. We put some on Truffles' beak, and then she has taken a few sips on her own since then. I also added a flat dish of the moistened food... (we have pine shavings all over their floor, so I didn't see how to just spread it all over.) The chicks eat and sleep now on that moist food! LOL Truffles has made her way to that dish and taken a bite or 2, but then she's tired and just sleeps for a while. She has occasional bouts of energy that last about 0.5 seconds, where she RUNS across the box, then falls asleep on the other side like that took all her energy. We're still watching closely, are hopeful since she has taken some drinks and a bite or 2 of food on her own. Thanks for the prayers! I'm praying too!! :)

Katie Sue
 

katiesue

In the Brooder
7 Years
Oct 24, 2012
38
0
22
1:00am update:
My husband and I checked on the chicks a little while ago, and they were all sleeping together... not huddled like they're cold, but just together, some spread out, some laying on each other. Truffles was one of 3 sleeping on the moist food dish. She was all stretched out, looking like she was dead and trampled, except that we could see her breathing slowly. We watched, wondering if we dare disturb a peaceful and much needed sleep to be sure she's okay, or leave her be and hope she's okay. We decided to disturb her when one of the other chicks moved, and stepped on her outstretched leg. She lifted her head, but didn't make too much of a protest of being stepped on. I wondered if she was just too weak. So I picked her up. She stood wobbly in the palm of my hand.

I tried droplets of water again, just to be sure she's not dehydrated. She accepted the water, and drank quite a few drops from my finger. Afterward, I placed her back on the food dish, and she pecked at the food a little bit. All the chicks woke up then for a few minutes, getting drinks and a midnight snack, and Truffles even wobbly moved around a little bit between the water and food dishes. Though she didn't get her own drink. Now the chicks have all settled down again, and Truffles is sleeping beside the food dish stretched out beside one of her sisters.

I'm still quite concerned. I would feel better if she were more steady on her feet, and ate and drank more like the rest of them. But I still have hope. She did drink some, and she seems happy near her sisters. We also haven't seen any of them pecking at her face since the red lamp was placed. So that's a good thing.

I noticed that the water is quite warm now that the heat lamp is above it. (no more heater needed... that box is WARM!) Is it okay for the water to be so warm? Last time I checked the temp in there, it was 97 at the chick's level. (104 higher up, closer to the lamp) I went to check the temp just now, but I think the thermometer was placed somewhere by my 5 year old who is sleeping right now and can't be asked until morning. My guess is that they're still okay, since they aren't avoiding each other... some snuggled up together.

...oh...somebody just kicked Truffles in the head, and she jumped up and ran to the other side of the box. She's already asleep again, by herself this time. (so very cute)

I am going to bed now, but will set an alarm to check again in a couple hours....

Still hopeful... especially since she ran away from a kick in the head! LOL

Katie Sue
 

katiesue

In the Brooder
7 Years
Oct 24, 2012
38
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3:30 am update:
She's still alive! :) when I first got up and saw her, I thought she was dead again. She seems to like to do that to me! But I picked her up and she responded with her same usual wobbliness, and drank several droplets of water off my finger! I was so relieved! She pecked at her food again just a little bit while her sisters awoke for a snack as well. Then they all went back to bed. She's snuggled back with them this time. I'm trying to see if I can post a photo here.... :)

Okay, if that worked, she is the little brown chick in the middle... or top middle... of the pile! Lol.
 
Last edited:

katiesue

In the Brooder
7 Years
Oct 24, 2012
38
0
22
400
[/IMG]

Here's a photo of Truffles in my hand right after I picked her up at 3:30. So tiny and precious! :)

The other is an earlier photo of when she was wobbling next to the water bowl. They are sleeping now... I will do the same... until 5:30. ;-)
 

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