4 week old chick struggling to stand, don't think it's splayed leg?


Feb 18, 2020
As the title says, I'm not sure what the issue is here. It looks like it's still a couple days old compared to the other two that hatched with it that are double the size.

It struggles to stand, so probably barely eating, and barely drinking. They're on medicated chick starter, and I have electrolytes and probiotics in their water, but I'm suspect about whether or not it's actually able to stand long enough to do either. It spends a lot of time laying down in front of the heat lamp -- which I had to switch to because it was shivering with just the heat plate. I don't believe it's splay legged, because when it walks, it's fine, it just seems like it can't hold its own body weight up and then essentially falls back into a sit.

I tried to find selenium at my local TSC store for the past week, but it has been out so I ordered it online but it still won't ship until the end of this week.

I do believe there must be some correlation as this chick also needed help getting out of the egg. Barely pipped, couldn't zip.

I really don't want to lose this one, is there anything else I can do to try to help?


Crossing the Road
Dec 11, 2009
Colorado Rockies
It sounds as if this chick could be FTT. Failure to thrive. This is caused, in part, by a digestive system that's too inefficient to generate the calories needed to sustain body heat and growth and energy. These chicks fall behind quickly without extra feedings.

First, you need to revive it by elevating its glucose. Give it some warm sugar water immediately. Syringe it into its beak since it may be too weak to drink enough to do any good.

Then give it some vitamin E 400iu in some soft boiled egg. It contains enough selenium to get the E absorbed. Selenium alone is not what this chick needs. Selenium in large amounts is very toxic.

Offer high protein, easily digested foods such as cooked egg, crumbled tofu or strained baby food. If you are near a pet supply, they sell baby bird formula which is good when dealing with a chick such as yours.

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