Am I just delaying the inevitable?


In the Brooder
8 Years
Mar 1, 2011
My chicks came in the mail on Tuesday afternoon. My smallest chick has gained no weight, she is still 5/8 oz. I have been feeding her Exact by Kaytee. She doesn't eat or drink by herself and her eyes are watery. It has been this way since she arrived. She sleeps more than the other chicks but she can stand and she peeps. She isn't doing the screaming distress-y peep it's more like a calling peep. She likes to run up to me and bite at my face if I talk or peep at her. Since this is my first batch of chicks ever I would hate to lose her but am I just delaying her death or could she pull through?
Have you tried giving her sugarwater for more energy or poly-vi-sol without iron. Good luck sending lots of
If she is not loosing weight that is good. You may still loose her, but as long as you want to try I say keep at it! She may be eating when you are not around.

If her eyes are watery you may try Terramycin eye ointment. It is a lot to spend on one chick (about $13 at TSC) but it keeps in the fridge and is good to have on hand. We have had baby animals before (not chicks but the principle may be similar) who had eye infections, and failure to thrive. But once we got their eyes set right they grew like normal. Like I said, not chicks, but it stands to reason that an infection in a baby is pretty bad.

Have you tried feeding her yogurt?

I would probably separate her from the others, with just one friend. That will give her less competition for food and water and you won't risk making the others ill...

Good luck!
At first I was feeding her Sav-A-Chick with an eye dropper. It kinda seems like she has bad depth perception because when I feed her and she pecks angerly at the syringe, she goes too high. I'm not sure if that is normal or not. When she sees me she will run up to the glass and mush herself against it. I read she should be eating 10 to 12% of her weight which is .0625 or 2 CCs which seems way too little. I'm worried about giving her dairy or anything other than the Exact because I know it has good nutrition and she's very hard to feed.
I think it shows some spunk that she comes up to you. LIke other posters have said, isolate her with one friend, or even none if you think she is contagious. Maybe group activities tire her out. When they aren't thriving I think that it is okay to spoil them. Carry them around with you (maybe in a deep jacket or apron pocket, let her lay on your chest when you watch tv. They get warmed by your body and the pocket makes them feel safe and close to mama(you). You really can't go by charts and schedules of how much she should gain in a day or whatever., every chick is an individual. It's best to go by their actions.

You might want to put a little box inside her enclosure so she can go to her cave and feel secure. A mirror is good so she will think she isn't alone. A little stuffed toy to cuddle up with. A feather duster so she can hide under mama's wings. Will she eat anything off your finger? Like is you had yoqurt on it. Maybe just open her beak a tiny bit to slip some in. Once she tastes it she may decide she likes it. Or finely mash some egg yolk for her. Does she know how to drink and where the water is? Maybe she has some vision problem apart from, or because of her goopy eyes. The terramycin eye ointment should help her. Just don't let the tip touch her eye - you want to keep it sterile for other chicks, etc.

A friend is good but if she isn't feeling up to par and the friend is energetic, that will take a toil on her . Would she take a little gro gel, or sugar water? How old is she?

I always feel if thee is life, there is hope. The little stinkers that show attidude, pecking, etc. have a better chance of pulling thru than the quiet, sullen ones. Please keep us posted. Can you post pics. of her and maybe with a hatchmate, so we can see the size difference? She may just be a smaller, slower growing chick and not require as much food as you think or eating something on the sly, if she is in with the others. Please keep us informed. I am subscribing to this thread to hear how she does.
P.S. give her a name so she isn't a thing, but a distinct little chick. I think that goes with vibes that YES she will make it, she's somebody.
Hi! We had a tiny one like that, too. We wormed the whole lot of them and she picked up quickly after that. Just a thought. I wish you and her well!
I do spoil her a bit and hold her so she sleeps, otherwise she just kinda whines and gets stepped on. She's currently eating a little off a baby spoon of the Exact baby bird formula. I also have the save a chick electrolyte solution. I will go to the local feed store (an hour away) tomorrow to look for the eye stuff. I think a friend would be too much, they are already almost twice her size even though they are all silkies. She was shipped the 28th so between 4 and 5 days old.

I will post a pic asap.
Because I was asked for pics I took them ASAP. This is her after being fed. She did kinda well eating from the spoon. She is uninterested in drinking the water with or without Sav-A-Chick.

She's dirty from eating in this one. You can kinda see her crop bulging in this one. This is the first time I have ever had her eat this much.


Mirabelle with friend for comparison.

Mirabelle with another friend.

Thanks for any advice, it is really appreciated.

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