I know, I know, it's my first post. I'm actually here all the time, just reading what other people have to say. Anyway, here's my issue; I just bought a random mix of chicks to start as pets, having just lost mine to neighborhood dogs (yes, I just bought a bigger, stronger coop for them) and all of them require a heat lamp except for the little Mille Fleur the woman pushed me to get. I was suspicious to begin with, because this chick does not seem to be in good shape. The woman didn't specify how old, but I'm guessing about 5-6 weeks old. She's missing the feathers on her back and around her vent down to her stomach, her wings drag a bit, as though she can't quite hold them up, and seems to have trouble similar to pasty-butt. Her vent seems to constantly be straining and her tail is always shaking. I'll dip her in some warm water and out will come some healthy-looking poo after a minute or so. Today, I went out to change the bedding in their outdoor brooder, then sat and watched them for a while. I'm handling my silkie chick when the Mille Fleur starts scrabbling around. I look over, and she's laying not-quite-on-her-side, the leg near the floor curled up and the other leg scrabbling as though she's trying to get up. I pick her up, thinking her foot is caught on something, and she continues to scrabble, confused as to why she can't stand up. Her folded up leg is moving normally now, but she still can't seem to pick herself up. After a minute or so, she's fine again. I place her on the ground to check, and she stands up and walks around like nothing happened. WTH? Does anyone have any ideas? I'm sure the missing feathers are from her being plucked at by other chickens from the brooder when I got her, but the constant vent straining worries me, and now this worries me even further. Edit: Also, after looking around at mille fleur pictures and remembering what my own pullets looked like at 5-6 weeks, I'm thinking that this girl is actually only 2 weeks old. This alarms me, since the woman I bought her from told me she was old enough to be out of the heat lamp, and didn't have one over her.