1 week old chick is TINY, not really growing, and sluggish - help?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by eggfooyoung, Apr 2, 2017.

  1. eggfooyoung

    eggfooyoung Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 29, 2017
    Raleigh, NC
    Hi all - I'm a newbie to all things chicks and chickens, so please be gentle with me, I'm doing my best and have no frame of reference to base anything on.

    Got 6 chicks on Friday. One came from a local farm, the others from a place that orders from a hatchery. The single chick seemed lethargic when I got her home and in the brooder. When I got the rest in the brooder that afternoon, the singleton from that morning perked right up. Seemed to be totally fine all day y'day as well. Today I had them outside in the sun for an hour or so and they all did well. Tonight the one singleton chick seems to be lethargic again, though only slightly. She is slow, not hopping around like the rest, seems to stand there motionless for short lengths of time. No mouth breathing, no droopy wings. She also drinks a little and eats a little on her own. We are using the heating pad method in the brooder which seems to be working well. I'm also cleaning everything out daily.

    When I got the 5 hatchery chicks, the woman told me I don't want to use medicated chick starter, which I'd already purchased (Manna Pro). So I bought her natural chick starter that is unmedicated. She also gave me one packet of electrolyte powder (Sav-a-Chick) and said to mix it into a gallon of water and use that for them, and that I'd only need to give it to them until the one gallon of it ran out. I asked if I should put anything else in the water and she said no, but I'd already bought Nutri-Dench earlier in the day. I didn't add it to the water, I just gave them the electrolyte and her company brand chick starter.

    Now I'm reading that some people use nutri-Dench on lethargic chicks, and that they will also use medicated chick starter as well. I just changed out my food to the medicated one and added 2oz of the Nutri-Dench to the gallon jug I had the electrolytes in (it was still half full) and filled the rest with water - and I refilled their water with that mixture instead of the straight electrolytes.

    Is there anything else I can do for this baby? It's like she isn't growing, because I've noticed a change in the others already, but while her wing feathers have grown, the size of her has not. There's another tiny one in there as well who was slightly lethargic, but she seems to be doing better and is definitely better than this one little one. And why are they so small? (one is a Cream Legbar, the other small one is a Blue Ameraucana). Here's a pic of them from Friday, and another from today. I'll add a link to a video of them eating from my Instagram account so you can see them in action and see just how tiny this one is. The one I'm referencing is the Cream Legbar chick, which is brown with stripes on its back. If anyone has any advice for me, I'd be very appreciative!

    This is a pic from Friday. The chick in question is the teeny tiny one on the bottom right, who was 5 days old in this pic. The other questionable chick is the one just above her to the right, hatched on 3/22. I was told ALL (other than the tiny one) were hatched on 3/22 but when I questioned it and asked why a few were larger than the others, she gave me the "well they're close to that date but are probably a little older" kind of casual answer (she doesn't hatch them herself but I'd like to think that was something she'd know the answer to).

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    Here's a pic from just now. Can you see how the others are growing but she hasn't? You can also see her wing feathers have grown well, but it's like her little body stays the same size:

    [​IMG]


    And here's a video from yesterday if you care to click on it and take a look, from my Instagram account:

    Baby chicks eating, size comparison

    Help?
     
  2. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

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    You did right so far . you switched to the medicated food . that's good mannapro is a good brand . drop the electrolytes completely and put the Nutri drench in their water at the rate of 1/2 teaspoon per quart of water.
    okay now the little one ,...give her one drop only by mouth of Nutridrench repeat every 8 to 10 hours until perky .this little one maybe a bantam regardless of what anyone told you .
    Or it may be younger than the others, or its digestive system may be more immature. these are all things the Nutridrench will help deal with.
    Yes , you can give the other chicks a drop of Nutri drench if you want. If it won't hurt them a bit and they would probably like it.
    Best,
    Karen
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2017
  3. eggfooyoung

    eggfooyoung Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 29, 2017
    Raleigh, NC
    Hi Karen,

    Thanks so much - just gave both the little ones a drop of Nutridench, which proved to be difficult at best. In fact, I'm not sure they actually got a measured drop, as all attempted drops rolled off their beaks and they just drank the residual off. I'm hoping to see any kind of improvement in the morning. As I said, she isn't horrible (at least I don't think she is, I have no frame of reference other than seeing the other 4 who are extremely perky), but she's noticeably different from the rest, with her other itty bitty friend in second place. The rest though are great. Will update in the morning. Thanks again!
     
  4. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    I'm sorry you are having to deal with this sort of thing after you went through such anguish getting started on this endeavor. Usually, raising chicks is a fun, easy, joyful experience. It appears you have had the bad luck of getting a "failure-to-thrive" chick right off the bat. It's due to no ones' fault. It happens.

    What this means is that your Cream Legbar possibly has under-developed organs and they aren't adequate for the job of processing nutrients and so it doesn't grow. The tip-off is the size of the chick in comparison to the others, as well as the development of its wings compared to its body length. I had just such a Cream Legbar the first time I bought one. By the time it was six days old, it resembled a house fly more than a baby chick, with its wings overtaking the rest of its body. It finally got so weak and had so many other problems I euthanized it to stop its suffering.

    This isn't to say this chick can't make it, mind you. With the Nutri-drench, it has a shot. You might also want to feed it some special foods that are easier to digest than chick food, such as minced boiled egg and crumbled tofu. You can put a few drops of Nutri-drench on them.

    A couple of other points. When you take your chicks out for a bit of sun, make sure they also have a bit of shade. Remember, they can't regulate their body temp yet, and too much heat is as bad as too much cool. They always need a choice of warm and cool space until they get all their feathers. But being in the sun had nothing to do with your chick's problems.

    And a minor point about medicated vs non-medicated feed. The only difference in the two is amprolium in the medicated, which is a vitamin B blocker against the possibility of a coccidiosis contamination. Usually, the danger to hatchery chicks of getting cocci is almost nil, so it matters little which you feed them. Go ahead and use up both. There isn't a cut-off where chicks can no longer eat chick starter. They can eat it no matter how old they get, so no need to waste it.
     
  5. eggfooyoung

    eggfooyoung Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 29, 2017
    Raleigh, NC
    This morning all of the chicks seem to be doing the same as they were last night. I was thinking of feeding them all some egg yolk or scrambled egg, as I've seen that mentioned over and over and over again. I'll be giving the two littlest ones some more Nutridense in a few hours, as I only gave it to them around 1am and it's 8 now. Hoping they perk up! Will take any additional suggestions anyone has to help them along! Thanks!
     

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