3 day old chick alert and calling but not eating or drinking

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by veloxy, Mar 25, 2014.

  1. veloxy

    veloxy New Egg

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    Mar 25, 2014
    Hi Everyone:

    First post here!

    I was wondering if I could get some help. I have a 3 day old buff orpington chick that is not eating or drinking. She is alert and active, but is cheeping (distress cheep) constantly. I've dipped her beak, and I've 'pecked' the feed with my finger. She is curious but doesn't do anything on her own; she also is curious about what the other chicks are doing (when eating/drinking) but doesn't imitate them or try it on her own. I've given her a few pieces of chick starter via tweezers, to her great dismay, and fed her drops of water with Save-a-chick - she swallows normally. In short - looks healthy and alert, and acts normal except for the not eating/drinking thing

    I've seen this twice before (alert, seemingly healthy chick that fails to self-feed/drink and eventually fades away). Despite quite a bit of effort, I've never been able to turn one around. I have saved plenty that have the will to eat but not the strength, and the weak and droopy chicks that just need a jump-start...this is something else. Has anyone else seen this? Has anyone successfully pulled a chick out of this? Any suggestions? Right now she's still otherwise healthy and I'd like to keep her from that final downward slide!

    Thanks everyone.

    Doni

    Oh: this was a shipped chick. In the two instances I've seen this previously, one was shipped and one I hatched myself.
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    Welcome to BYC. By day 2 most chicks are ready to eat. I like to put paper towel down on the floor for a few days, and sprinkle crumbles on it as well as have the feeder available, since they love to peck at things. Be sure and check her for pasty butt. Good luck.
     
  3. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

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    Welcome to BYC!

    I've also seen this and the only time I've been able to save them is when I have given them Baytril and/or tube fed pedialyte, then pedialyte and baby bird food. What does the chick's umbilicus look like?

    -Kathy
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2014
  4. Farmer Viola

    Farmer Viola Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I try to encourage them to eat by moving the food around with my fingernail, or picking it up and dropping it in front of their face. Also, having another chick with the sick one to eat and do the "food here" chirp will help a lot. it's a specific sound they make that tells the other one to eat!

    sometimes even crumbles are too big for their tiny beaks at first. try crumbling up oatmeal and see if she likes that. if she does, you can use a coffee grinder to grind up feed finer and see if she will try that..
     
  5. veloxy

    veloxy New Egg

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    Mar 25, 2014
    Thanks Kathy and Viola:

    Umbilicus is normal; also meant to mention that there are no pasting-up issues. I'll give the Baytril a roll, perhaps. Where did you purchase it - local feed store? Where did you find a tube feeder that small? I've done tube feeding on an adult chicken, but obviously that's way too big.

    Viola: I've done the moving/pecking at food with the finger, clucking, etc...her response is the same as when she watches the other chicks eat: she is interested but doesn't follow through with any pecking or attempts at self feeding. The size/type of food doesn't seem to be the problem - it's the understanding 'how' to feed/water herself that is in the way!
     
  6. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

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    A vet might have the right sized tube, I'd recommend a size 8 or 10 french. Baytril you'd have to order or get from a vet. Can you weigh the chick?

    -Kathy
     
  7. veloxy

    veloxy New Egg

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    No luck with Baytril - I won't be able to get it in time ): I can weigh her if need be, but not easily. I'm using a pedialtye/chick starter gruel and she's taking it, so fingers crossed!
     
  8. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

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    Fingers crossed for you!

    -Kathy
     
  9. jjaazzy

    jjaazzy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What happened to your little chick... I'm in the same boat with a little silkie. I am on day 2 and I got to turn this little one around.
     
  10. veloxy

    veloxy New Egg

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    I think she's going to make it! I mixed pedialyte, a tiny amount of save-a-chick and chick starter into a gruel just loose enough to be sucked up into a 1 cc syringe, and fed it to her. The first time, I had to *gently* insert the syringe into her beak ABOVE THE TONGUE (to help avoid feeding into the lungs) and then, ever so slowly gave her a drop's worth, let her swallow, and so forth until she'd had a good meal (at least half a cc to start; increasing to a full cc once she was getting the hang of it). I did this every 3-4 hours. After the first time or two, I could just hold the eyedropper in front of her, gently depress the plunger, and she would slurp it up from the end. After about 2 days of this, I noticed that she was finally starting to eat on her own, in little bits.

    It also helped to separate her from the larger group of chicks; I put her in a different brooder with 2 of the more calm/gentle chicks. They were there to keep her company and show her how to eat, but not so rambunctious as to dissuade her. She is now in a brooder with about 20 other chicks and holding her own. Still comes running in hopes of a free snack every time I put my hand in the brooder tho :)

    Good luck! Is yours still alert, or are you at the droopy phase?
     

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