15 day old Araucana chicks- diarhea is starting to spread

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by tammir, Feb 15, 2012.

  1. tammir

    tammir Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 15, 2012
    Hi everyone, I am brand new on here and to the world of chickens. On Saturday I brought home 4 chicks that were hatched on 1/31. They are all active and appear to be eating and drinking well. At first one chick had diarhea that I noticed on late Sunday and on Monday evening a second chick had started with the diarhea as well. I've been feeding them medicated chick crumbles, which they were not on according to the woman I purchased them from- she had them on feed for much older chicks, and I've been told it could be something as simple as them adapting to the new food or perhaps drinking too much water.
    I have a blue & gold macaw and know from him that birds mask illness very well as a defense mechanism. I don't know if I should be overly concerned as at has only been a few days, or if I should be doing something else as it has spread from just one chick to two chicks. I am cleaning their cage and water and food dishes with a mild household disenfectant and wiping it all down with clear water prior to putting fresh pine bedding down. ( the bedding is being changed twice a day and the water 2-3 times a day to try to keep it clean). I've read I shouldn't put medicine in the water if they are on a medicated feed so I'm at a loss. Any suggestions? Should I switch them to regular chick crumbles and then get a medicated supplement to put in their water?
  2. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 6, 2011
    Pacific North West

    but first Welcome to the BYC [​IMG]

    There are many causes for a sticky tushy and usually its feeding them food they have trouble or this bird has trouble digesting. No big deal even if its a bit discomforting. It will require a bit of patients on your part and a warm, (not Hot!!) rag or wash cloth. and a bit of soaking and gentle wiping of and around the vent area just to see if it was raw. Then I would carefully put some Neosporin around the vent and this should stop the sticking but does not solve the problem. You need to go back to basic foods and not a lot of treats or odd treats but basic ones. Here is a list of foods they may or may not like but are on the to do list; REMEMBER TO MUCH OF ANYTHING IS NOT EXACTLY GOOD. BALANCED IS THE THE KEY!!!!

    You are on the right tract with "Medicated Chick Feed" and they will stay on that food for 23 to 25 weeks. Here is a treat chart notice I said Treat. There are four food groups and you should be feeding them all four. Balance is the key to it all. Proteins, Carbs, Dairy and Veggies are the trick, Balance

    Food Treat Chart From the BYC


    General Opinions

    Raw and applesauce

    Apple seeds contain cyanide, but not in sufficient quantities to kill.


    Raw or cooked

    Okay to feed, but not a favorite.

    Without the peel

    High in potassium, a good treat.

    Well-cooked only, never dry

    Also, green beans.

    Greens also.


    All kinds

    A treat, especially strawberries.

    All kinds - good use for stale bread or rolls

    Feed starches in moderation.
    Broccoli & Cauliflower


    Tuck into a suet cage and they will pick at it all day.
    Cabbage & Brussels Sprouts

    Whole head -

    Hang a whole cabbage from their coop ceiling in winter so they have something to play with and greens to eat.

    Raw and cooked

    They like carrot foliage too.
    Cat food * (see bottom of page)

    Wet and dry

    Feed in strict moderation, perhaps only during molting * (see bottom of page)

    Cheerios, etc.

    Avoid highly sugared cereal such as Cocopuffs, etc.

    Including cottage cheese

    Feed in moderation, fatty but a good source of protein and calcium
    Cooked Chicken


    They may like it and it won’t kill them, but it just seems so wrong.

    On cob and canned, raw and cooked

    Crickets (alive)

    Can be bought at bait or pet-supply stores.

    Great treat – provides protein and it’s fun to watch the chickens catch them.

    Let mature for yummy seeds and flesh.

    Hard cooked and scrambled are a good source of protein, and a favorite treat.

    Feed cooked eggs only because you don’t want your chickens to start eating their own raw eggs.


    Fish / Seafood

    Cooked only.


    Make sure they haven't been treated with pesticides, such as florist flowers might be.

    Marigolds, nasturtiums, pansies, etc.

    Pears, peaches, cherries, apples


    Bulgur, flax, Niger, wheat berries, etc.


    Seedless only.
    For chicks, cutting them in half makes it easier for them to swallow.

    Great fun - the cause of many entertaining "chicken keep-a-way" games.



    Only feed your chickens that which is still considered edible by humans, don't feed anything spoiled, moldy, oily, salty or unidentifiable.

    Lettuce / Kale

    Any leafy greens, spinach collards, chickweed included.

    A big treat, depending on how much other greenery they have access to.
    (see photo after the chart)

    Available at pet supply stores or on the internet, although shipping is expensive!

    A huge (!) favorite treat, probably the most foolproof treat on the books.
    Meat scraps of any kind.

    Not too fatty.

    In moderation, a good source of protein

    Cantaloupe, etc.

    Both seeds and flesh are good chicken treats.

    Raw or cooked

    Cooked is nutritionally better.
    Pasta / Macaroni

    Cooked spaghetti, etc.

    A favorite treat, fun to watch them eat it, but not much nutrition.

    Peas and pea tendrils and flowers

    Peppers (bell)




    Seeds are a big treat.

    Popped, no butter, no salt.

    Potatoes / Sweet Potatoes/Yams

    Cooked only - avoid green parts of peels!

    Starchy, not much nutrition
    Pumpkins / Winter Squash

    Raw or cooked

    Both seeds and flesh are a nutritious treat.



    Cooked only

    Pilaf mixes are okay too, plain white rice has little nutrition.

    Scratch is cracked corn with grains (such as wheat, oats and rye) mixed in.

    Scratch is a treat for cold weather, not a complete feed. Toss it on the ground and let them scratch for it for something to do.

    Wheat and oat sprouts are great!

    Good for greens in mid-winter.
    Summer Squash

    Yellow squash and zucchini

    Yellow squash not a huge favorite, but okay to feed.
    Sunflower Seeds

    Sunflower seeds with the shell still on is fine to feed, as well as with the shell off.

    A good treat, helps hens lay eggs and grow healthy feathers.

    Raw and cooked.



    Not a huge favorite

    Served cold, it can keep chickens cool and hydrated during hot summers.

    Seeds and flesh are both okay to feed.

    Plain or flavored

    A big favorite and good for their digestive systems. Plain is better.
    The most favorite chicken treat of all – mealworms
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2012
  3. tammir

    tammir Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 15, 2012
    Thanks for the response! Fortunately their vents are all clear and show no signs of irritation. They all seem to be doing a fairly good job of keeping themselves and each other preened. I'm afraid to introduce any treats to them since they are so young - should I offer them something so 'exoctic' while they are obviously having an issue with their current diet?? I don't mean to be a pain, I'd just hate to lose any of them, not to mention my 5 y/o would be heartbroken!
  4. tammir

    tammir Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 15, 2012
    My last 2 chicks are starting with the diarhea this morning as well. Last night when I got home their cage smelled much better than what it had the past couple of days so I was hopeful that this was passing and all of the babies would come through with flying colors. This morning the last two have come down with it as well. The temperature seems to be ok for them - sometimes I'll find them huddled by the light when they're sleeping but otherwise they are either paired off or wandering around the rest of their space without any signs of being too hot or too cold. (I have them inside the house until they get their feathers in and the last of the cold temps at night pass - I'm in coastal NC so winter is relatively mild.)

    IS there a disease that could explain this that I need to treat aggressively? Should I just continue to leave them on the medicated chick crumbles or switch to regular crumbles and get something to add to their water? While the response I got earlier was very informative, it doesn't answer my question as to what action I need to take- if any. Can chicks die from diarhea? They all seem to have a good activity level, a couple of them are even starting to jump higher this morning than what they've been capable of before. I'm just new at this and don't know how resilient chicks can be at 2 weeks of age.
  5. cashdl

    cashdl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 25, 2008
    I would put organic apple cidar vinegar in their water. Just a 1/2 teaspoon if you are using a chick waterer. It seems to aid with alot of things including digestion.

  6. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 6, 2011
    Pacific North West
    No treats regular food and fresh water with organic apple cider vinegar and vita sol liquid vitamins.
  7. PtldChick

    PtldChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2011
    Portland, OR
    If the first two got it and now it's passed, then likely the same will happen with the second two. They may be adjusting to the new feed. I would stick with it and not change anything other than maybe the suggestions about ACV in the water.

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