3 day old chicken died - unstable on feet and then lethargic

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by finallyinATX, Feb 18, 2017.

  1. finallyinATX

    finallyinATX Just Hatched

    Feb 13, 2017
    Austin, TX
    I introduced a 2 day old Speckled Sussex to my 10 day old Barred Rock and Americauna. I noticed the new one was a bit unstable on her feet. Seemed to kinda tip over while standing or lose her balance when scratching or shaking her head. I saw her drink water and peck at the food. The older ones pecked at her abbot but i shooed them away and distracted them with some fresh dirt to dig into. Today, my husband saw the little one running after the two larger ones in a game of keep away, most likely. When I got home, all three were sleeping. I grabbed the little one to see if she wanted to sleep in my hand for awhile (it calmed her down when I first got her). I was surprised to see that she was already sleeping by the time I got to the couch. She stayed in my hand for about an hour. I noticed she had a little dried poop on her butt, I removed it with a warm cloth. I put her back in the cage and she just laid there unresponsive. Over the next 20 minutes, I dipped her beak in the water, and that would at least make her move her head. Then she started to, what looked like, gasp for air and jerk her head. She did this for 10 minutes or so. I tried a little sugar water but she couldn't drink it. I rubbed her head, she finally stop gasping, opened her eyes, and passed away.

    Cry fest.

    This is my first time owning chickens. Does this just happen? Could I have done something to prevent this? Do i need to completely clean out the brooder and throw away the food and water in case it's contagious?

    Sad night.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2017
  2. eggbert420

    eggbert420 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2017
    So sorry For your loss.
  3. MagicChicken

    MagicChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 8, 2012
    Tucson, AZ
    [​IMG] Hugs!!

    It's always sad when you lose one. You may not have done anything wrong. Sometimes it happens.

    I recently hatched 8 chicks. They all looked fine when they came out of the hatcher, but one kept giving a loud distress call. I couldn't find anything wrong with it. It walked ok, no poopy butt, looked normal, and was a normal weight when it hatched. It would walk around but it wasn't as active as the others. I couldn't get it interested in food. It was the only chick giving a distress call. I decided to give it one more day to come around before culling it. It didn't make it to the next day. The other chicks are fine and growing well. This is the first chick I've had that looked normal and died. It must have had some kind of internal problem.

    It's a good argument for not buying chicks until they are several days old.

    If you do get another chick or two, make sure you introduce them to your other chickens so they are used to each other before you coop them together. And maybe get older chicks that are closer in age/size to your existing birds. And when you do finally coop them together, put the new ones in at night (after dark) so they all wake up together in the morning. That can help reduce the inevitable squabbling while they work out the new pecking order.

    Good luck!

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