11 Day old chick not growing and weak

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by new_at_chickens, Feb 17, 2009.

  1. new_at_chickens

    new_at_chickens Hatching

    Feb 17, 2009
    Hi all,

    I received a shipment of chicks from McMurray hatchery a week and a half ago. The birds were stuck in the mail for FOUR DAYS - poor things - more than a third died within 24 hours. The survivors were all incredibly stressed out - all had pasty butts for days.

    They are all doing well now except for one poor little Silver-laced Wyandotte. She is so incredibly small and weak - she always is laying down in a crouched position. She is eating and drinking well, oddly enough. She clumsily waddles over to the feeder and lies down to eat. Same with the waterer. All the other chicks are always stepping on her and over her and I feel so bad for the little thing.

    Anyone have any idea what could be wrong with her? Her feathers are coming in nicely - she's just too weak to stand and walk around. The others are all stretching their wings and trying to fly - she's just laying down sleeping a vast majority of the time (when she's not being stepped on or laid on by the others).

    Please help - she's such a little sweetheart and I want to give her the best chance at survival.

    Thanks so much for any suggestions!


    1) What type of bird , age and weight.
    Silver-laced Wyandotte, born 2/6/09, size of a newly hatched chick

    2) What is the behavior, exactly.
    Can't stand up for long, lays down on her legs, weak and tiny. She chirps loudly when she gets stepped on or pushed around.

    3) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma.

    4) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation.
    Perhaps stress from spending four days in transit? Also, I noticed a large piece of manure stuck to the bottom of her middle toe a few days ago. Once I removed it (it was dried on and pretty stuck) she immediately started walking around like she was fine. I thought that had remedied the problem, but upon checking on her a couple of hours later, the behavior was back.

    5) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all.
    She's eating an organic soy-free chick starter. A lot of it. And she is drinking well. I add quik chik to their water - which is basically an electrolyte and vitamin mix.

    6) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.

    7) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?
    None besides hand feeding her and watering her to make sure she is getting plenty to eat and drink. Although I've also noticed her eating and drinking on her own (she waddles over and lays down while she does).

    8 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet?
    I would like to be able to help her myself if possible.

    9) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.
    I can post if needed. She looks healthy, just small and having trouble standing.

    10) Describe the housing/bedding in use
    She and her broodmates are currently in my house occupying a spare room. The bedding is pine shavings.
  2. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

    Jul 8, 2007
    Woodville, MS
    I always recommend giving Poly-Vi-Sol (liquid baby vitamins). You can give her a couple of drops on the side of her beak.
  3. chickensioux

    chickensioux Songster

    Feb 12, 2009
    Western North Carolina
    Sometimes, no matter what you do, some little guys are just weak due to genetics or an affliction that you may never figure out. Sounds like you are doing everything you can. I personally cant think of anything else. I too have lost babies days later. I hope the little fella does ok. He may grow up to be your "special" baby. Best of luck and keep us posted.[​IMG]
  4. Chickie Mamma

    Chickie Mamma Farmer at Heart

    Apr 20, 2008
    Sherman, CT
    I feel for you.. [​IMG] We have a 3 day old chick that has had a rough life so far too. Fluid filled crop, and splayed leg. Its still pulling through. Are you using vitamins in the water? Sometimes they just need a little more vitamins. The Poly-vi-sol is a good idea, I think you have to use the one without iron though. I use the vitamins that turn the water yellow, came with a starter kit. When I gave my little guy the vitamin water yesterday, its legs look alot better today. I do whatever it takes also to make one survive. If its eating and drinking, thats a good sign. I wish you luck !! [​IMG]
  5. WA4-Hpoultrymom

    WA4-Hpoultrymom Never enough coops...

    Feb 5, 2009
    Monroe, WA
    My Coop
    Have you tried sugar water? McMurray has a section on chick care once you receive them, and a special section if they have had a rough trip. It tells you the exact proportion of sugar to add to the water in this case, and it's a bit more than normal...can't remember the exact proportions. It should be on your packing slip as well as on the web site. Hope she pulls through!
  6. Chickenfortress

    Chickenfortress Songster

    May 8, 2008
    Maybe a separate box for it and one other for company. That way it's only being trounced by one. And egg yolks. They love them, and they are good for them too.
  7. GoodyChickenShz

    GoodyChickenShz In the Brooder

    Apr 5, 2007
    The CA High Desert
    I highly recommend poly-visol infant vitamins too. My little chick couldn't stand up or eat or drink on her own and I fed her water mixed with poly-visol and dried milk with an eyedropper and she recovered enough to be able to eat and drink on her own within a week. Good luck!
  8. Do take the chick out of the main brooder. Put another one in with her/him that is about the same size. Chicks DO NOT like being alone.

    Keep the temp at 95 degrees and cover the separate brooder so the chicks can not get out.

    Do not use cedar shavings only pine. Cedar is detrimental to chicks.

    Put vitamins and electrolytes in the water and feed yogurt and yes scrambled eggs.

    Do us Poly Vi Sal with OUT iron.
  9. new_at_chickens

    new_at_chickens Hatching

    Feb 17, 2009
    Thanks for all the wonderful suggestions! I'm a bit worried about giving her more vitamins because she already gets quite a bit in her food and her water. I don't want to overdose her.

    Eggs are kind of twisted [​IMG] but I'll give it a shot. I've already tried to get her to eat some homemade yogurt, but she doesn't like it.

    I'll definitely separate her (and a friend) if she doesn't perk up by the end of the day (I'm at work now).

    I'll keep you posted.

  10. chickensioux

    chickensioux Songster

    Feb 12, 2009
    Western North Carolina
    Hi Melissa. Keep trying, you are doing an excellent job. She is loved. I know the egg thingy sounds "twisted" I have never done it either but since I found this forum, so many do this. If I have another that I am worried about I will try it. Some kids are puny, some dogs are puny, I guess little chickens can be puny as well. Best of luck!![​IMG]

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