Baby chick breathing heavy


In the Brooder
8 Years
Mar 9, 2011
Jacksonville, Fl.
My wife's coworker gave us 4 bantam "yardbirds" (mixed breed bantams). Since I'm new to this I'm unsure of exact age but they had some wing feathers but the rest of them were fuzz still. Now approximately 5 days later 3 of them have lots of feathers but the smallest one still looks the same. She's only about as big around as a ping pong ball. Yesterday it appeared that she wasn't as active as the others. Got home today, everyone screaming for food; they ate and now she's just kinda standing there breathing heavily. I actually heard her weazing some. Otherwise no sign of trauma at all. Noones picking on her either.
Received a small amount of medicated starter in a plastic bag when we picked them up.. Got them some medicated chick starter from FRM from the feedstore tonight. After work I remove the cagetop of their pen and set it outside so they can do a little freeranging in their 3 sq. ft. protected space for about an hour or so. Bedding is dried oak leaves.
Is she just not destined to make it?
Is she sick and should she be removed from the other chickens?
or is she just eating too much too fast? After dinner I think I was able to see their crops clearly in her sisters. (big bulge on the right shoulder with a bald spot?)
Ok, then it really doesn't sound like the classic case of coccidiosis (which doesn't involve wheezing either).

How are your brooder temperatures? They should be 90-95 degrees under the lamp for the first week of life (with the ability to get away from the heat) and decrease by 5 degrees for every week of life thereafter.

If they are overheated they may pant or be lethargic.
If they are cold they might be lethargic.
Have you seen any bloody poo?
Is anyone cheeping loudly?
Brooder temp? Brooder? Ummm; they live in a cage that my wife got a rabbit in at the swapmeet in feb. It's basically a catlitter pan with a birdcage like thing on top. During the day it's in the mid 70's here, at night we place a quilted flannel shirt in there so they can huddle under. Then place another flannel and a fleece jacket around the top of the cage. It hit 42 the other night and they seemed fine.
She cheeps just as much as the others and they were pretty loud tonight waiting for me to come home and feed them. Not sure what chicken poo is supposed to look like but haven't seen blood.
I did just check on her. Instead of standing around by herself she's now huddled up under her sisters and seems to be moving more. Now that I think about it; when I saw her being lethargic yesterday she had just gotten done freeranging. So she eats too much and gets lethargic? Hopefully?
how old are these chicks, like Chickens are sweet said they need heat. and should have food continuously and water.. you don't feed chickens 2 or 3 times a day especially baby chicks they need nourishment constantly to survive. oh and forgive my manners
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They're maybe 2-3 weeks old? The bigger ones have grown lots of feathers; still a touch fuzzy on their heads.
They ran out of food and had a light breakfast, but got more than they could eat in one shot when I got home. Didn't realize they needed constant food. Was thinking more about like my dogs, dinner's at 8 pm.
OK, constant food. Can't do much about the heat tonight. They did have a 150 watt red bulb at the feedstore. Should have the money for that by friday. Might have to kick them into the bathroom at night.
I've been reading the forum for months now and am realizing that there's a whole lot I didn't read yet.
you can use a regular light bulb till you get a red light.. start with a 60 watt, and put a thermometer in their with them so you can see how warm it is don't want to over heat them either. make it so they can get away from the light if too hot. it should be about 85* for them if they are 2to3 weeks old.. are you feeding them starter/grower? thats what they should be eating.. medicated S/G too. and should have water 24/7 too. make sure they can't into their water and get chilled. you can buy cheap waterers and feeders at tractor supply.. you can also buy large plastic totes or large card board box.. and use them for brooders because it will be a while yet before they can be outside.. you don't want to use a regular light buld indeffentiantly[sp] because they won't sleep right with a white light burning on them. when using these types of heat be sure to keep the bulbs away from the chicks so they won't touch them and get burned.. what are you using for bedding?
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What I would do is find a lamp and put the cage under it so that it gets some heat from the lamp.

You might need to use a couple of lamps. If you don't have lamps to use,

I recommend filling milk jugs with hot water and placing them in the cage until you can get them some other heat. They need heat desperately.

Two week olds need around 85 degrees, and three week olds need around 80 degrees. You can put food in a pie pan or other flat dish or anything. For a waterer, you can use a VERY shallow bowl- so shallow that if they lie down in it they won't drown- this is common.

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