Baby chick drinks but doesn't eat.

Jess2902

Hatching
Sep 12, 2021
4
5
9
Hi guys,
We've got a 2 day old baby chick that will take water, but not food. She just seems to have no instincts or interest.

In short, she doesn't seem weak, she's alert got a cherp on her when she wants to but doesn't want to do much else than cuddle with her pretend Mum.

I've gotten a bit attached and really hope we haven't just prolonged the inevitable.

How long until I worry more and start syring feeding?

our detailed story of "Fluffy Nuggets" below:

Mum hatched 3 eggs. Sadly one was visible not going to make it and passed. The other 2 seemed OK for the first couple of hours. However one chick was much more spritly and adventurous than the other. Mum was struggling to run after one while the other just wanted to sleep. She made her call and rejected the weaker baby.

I couldn't stand the idea of her being cold and rejected in her last few hours. So we brought her inside, made a makeshift incubator and tried to make her comfortable, not expecting her to make it through the night.

Well she has survived 2 nights now. We have her all set up under a heat lamp with a couple of stuffed toys and she seems very content.

Her sister is out with mum, scratching, eating, drinking and apart from her fluff and size you would think she is a fully grown chicken.

Our poor other baby though seems to not know how to chicken. She's not particularly weak, but unsteady on her feet. She can walk to me and has no issue climbing up my body to snuggle into my neck.

If I put her down the other side, She will walk from the cold side of the pen to under the heat lamp, call for her stuffed pretend Mum and snuggle in. However she will also try and snuggle the feeder, water drinker, wall, mirror too. She'll walk around to find warmth and comfort, but nothing else.

But she isn't exploring, isn't eating and just seems to cherp at the wall alot.

She will drink water independently if I bring it to her and raise it off the ground a little.

We've tried the sugar water trick, which she drank no probs. Tried offering egg yoke and "wetter" foods, no interest. I've also tried demonstring chook behaviour with her toys, she's well enough to stare at me like I'm a complete idiot.

She seems to be getting sleepier, not more energetic. Apart from her being a snuggle pot, lazy chick, I can't see any other issues. She so lovely and a little fighter. I really want to do everything I can to hope she makes it.

Tell me she's not a lost cause 😥
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
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Chicks don't need to eat for up to 3 days so she's not a lost cause yet. If you can get Poultry Nutri-Drench I'd get some of that and direct dose her with it if she'll not drink it on her own, to help pep her up and provide a vitamin boost.
 

Jess2902

Hatching
Sep 12, 2021
4
5
9
I would leave this chick with her mama.....let mama teach her 'how to chicken'.

Yeah, we've left Mama's "favourite" with her. She's doing really well!
We honestly didn't think the second chick would make it through the first night, if she perks up we will try to introduce her. But poor Mum was very stressed trying to chase an adventurous chick and tend to struggling chick, and by night fall made her choice.
 

Iluveggers

Crowing
Jun 27, 2021
1,581
4,867
486
NYS
Are you feeding cooked egg yolk or raw? I had one weak chick that wouldn’t eat, and I had to scramble up raw yolk and dip my pinky finger in. She would take little drops off of my finger only for 24 hours. Then she finally started to eat wetted chick feed mash. Good luck w your little one! ❤️
 

Jess2902

Hatching
Sep 12, 2021
4
5
9
Are you feeding cooked egg yolk or raw? I had one weak chick that wouldn’t eat, and I had to scramble up raw yolk and dip my pinky finger in. She would take little drops off of my finger only for 24 hours. Then she finally started to eat wetted chick feed mash. Good luck w your little one! ❤️

Oh this gives me hope! She will take "liquid food" exactly like you said off my finger or if I drop it at her beak. She's perked up a little, but definitely not acting like I'd expect a 3 day old too.

My fingers are crossed, but my feeling is that Mamma probs made the call for a reason. We'll stay hopeful and keep trying the best we can :)
 

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