Another Sick Chick Thread


7 Years
Sep 1, 2012
Womelsdorf, Pennsylvania
My Coop
My Coop
Hey all, sorry in advance if this has been answered already, but my searching has yielded no results and I think time is of the essence in this case.

I've got a little mix breed chick, about four days old. He/she is much smaller than the other chicks, and I noticed today that the little one is super lethargic. Doesn't want to eat or drink much (I haven't SEEN him/her drink or eat at all in the last hour or so), and won't (or can't) run from or react to my hand suddenly descending from the sky as much as the other babies do. If I pick him/her up and then put him/her back down, he/she scuttles off to the side of the tank with the brooder lamp hanging over it and just stands there and dozes off standing up. Haven't see much of him/her laying down, now that I think about it.

He/she had some weird, slightly yellow poo that looked rather grainy with some white stuff mixed in. It was all covering the poor thing's back end, but I've been cleaning up pasty-butts that some store-bought chicks had for the last few weeks and it looked nothing like those. I cleaned it up, of course, and there were also SUUUPER tiny little flecks of reddish brown stuff in it. I found a "poo chart" and there was nothing on it that looked like what he had. Super worried, and also really attached to this chick, so I definitely don't want to see him/her go.

Thoughts? Advice? Help? I put some rooster booster in the chick water, which really peps up the other babies, but s/he isn't drinking, so that won't do much good. I've heard sugar water? What ratio of sugar to water? I've got some lemon gatorade and I've had luck giving sick animals that for electrolytes and sugars, so maybe that with an eye dropper?

Quick update: Saw the little one trying to eat. It was just standing in the food dish, pushing food around, and dozing off. I grabbed him and got a little bit of 50/50 water/gatorade in a syringe and managed to get the little guy to drink some. After some coaxing s/he even took a few nips at the tip of the syringe to get more before growing alarmed at being out of the brooder so long. After I put him/her back in the brooder she scuttled off and pushed more food around. S/he also made a somewhat small, but rather normal looking chick poo (brown, tube-shaped, with a little tiny bit of white). I'm hoping s/he will be okay? I'll probably try again with some gatorade in a little bit.
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Move this question over to the emergency thread. You should get a quick response this time f night.

Electrolytes and Gatorade still need digested and if the chick is sick, its ability to digest helps is compromised. I use the following product which doesn't need digesting. Tractor Supply as the cheapest at 6.99 , 4 oz.bottle, plenty for your needs.

Bovidr Labs Poultry Nutri-Drench is an emergency nutritional supplement especially made for those times when stress ( like a young or sick chick) compromises a creatures ability to uptake nutrients or stabilize their metabolism. I love these Bovidr products and have used them for years on my birds and collies. It is wonderful for dealing with travel stress, new hatched chicks, broody hens, show birds. Any time a bird's environment or health causes challenges to it's well-being. Poultry Nutri-Drench can be bought on-line and at Tractor Supply or at several feed stores on online. It is very concentrated. Just put in their water for the 1st 2 weeks. .Also give 1 drop to each bird by mouth the first day. The neat thing about Bovidr Labs products is that they don't need digested. They are absorbed thru the mouth, tongue and throat, in addition to the stomach. This makes them the perfect help for creatures whose G.I. tract is compromised by stress or lack of well-being. like a younger or weaker chick. The $10.00 bottle, which is 4 oz., is plenty for your needs. The folks at Bovidr Labs are very knowledgeable and have all dosages, if you need help with that, right at hand. I don't work for Bovidr Labs or sell ther products, just a huge fan. Here is their website: They no longer make the 8 oz. bottle with the pump. They make the 4 oz. bottle with dropper and the qt. bottle which has a cap. For chicks, the Bovidr Lab science techs say one drop by mouth when you first get the bottle. Then 2 cc per gallon of water in the chicks water for the next 2 weeks. ( one will probably need the qt. bottle to supplement for 2 weeks, it depends on how many chicks one has). Bovidr said it does say 4 cc per gallon on the bottle, however, if the chicks won't drink that strong of solution, 2 cc per gallon works just fine. If one is using less than a gallon waterer, then change the PND/warer ratios accordingly. If the store is out of Poultry Nutri-Drench, according to the science techs at Bovidr Labs, you can use their Pet Nutri-Drops with the same usage and dosage above.
Best Regards,
Karen in western PA, USA
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Thanks for the info, Karen. I'll definitely be stopping at Tractor Supply when I get off of work. I just hope the little guy makes it until then and I'm counting on the gatorade to do the trick, I figure something is better than nothing at this point.

I saw him pushing the food around a little again, but not going for much. I tried making a mush to feed to him, but he still wasn't all that interested. He just cried to get back into the brooder. He stumbled to the water and got a few sips of his own at one point last night, but I haven't seen him do it again. This morning, I got him out of the brooder and offered more 50/50 water/gatorade, and he actually was pretty much attacking the tip of the syringe.

As another thought, has anyone ever fed chicks baby food (for people?). I have had success giving it to other animals and older chickens when they're sick, but never chicks. It was usually the vegetable or fruit varieties, too, but I have a "turkey, rice and vegetables" jar that my neighbor gave me since her son isn't eating the baby food anymore. Would this be a good supplement until I can get him to eat on his own?

Thanks a bunch. Really worried about this little guy. We had a rough hatch because of a temp spike a week in and lost over 50% of the chicks. I'm really bummed and don't want to lose more if I can help it. All of his clutchmates that made it are bouncing around and preening and being proper playful little things, even the one that's just about as tiny as he is.

You might be able to get a look at him on my chick cam: He usually loiters near the back, just in front of or behind the perch. He's white with small black specks (that you can't really see on the webcam unless he moves forward). He's got white wing feathers coming in and has a sort of bleary-eyed half-squinting look most of the time.
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So, update!

The little one has been doing much better. I forcefed him some egg yolk/gatorade goop stuff, which he honestly didn't like and didn't eat all that much of. I also found the Nutri-Drench at my local feed store and have been giving that to him by syringe for the last few days. I've also been putting a bit in the chick waterer. I've dropped off the number of times a day and now he's only getting it once at night.

I've noticed he's got more energy, he's been drinking and eating on his own, and he's been preening with much more care and dedication than he did before. He had a poopy butt that even daily cleanings wasn't fixing, but after the butt-bath last night he's actually got a nice fluffy rump! So that's good! The other chicks still run rings around (and over) him and he will probably be a little runt for the entirety of his life, but for now he looks like he's over and hump and well on his way to recovery.


Thanks again for your help, Karen!

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