Baby chick first aid

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by KiknChikn, Apr 15, 2008.

  1. KiknChikn

    KiknChikn Hatching

    Apr 15, 2008
    Hey y'all! This is my first post - glad to be here. I am starting to raise free-range, pasture fed broilers this summer, and have been keeping layers for about a year. Got my first 100 chicks, and so far seem very healthy - only lost two so far, fingers crossed, from shipping stress the very first day. The rest are about a week old.

    I have two chicks that are simply not performing like the rest, and really aren't growing. They are about 1//3 the size of the other chicks, and I think they are simply being out-competed for food, water, space, etc. I have separated them, and I'm fairly sure they should make a complete recovery b/c other than being small, they seem stressed, but no obvious health problems. They have been run over a lot I think (not due to crowding but just can't really get out of the way in time), and have had a pretty rough go of things.

    My question is what can i do to give these chicks the most help I can getting back on the road to recovery. Right now they are drinking some whole milk, they have a little fresh grass, obviously are under a heat lamp. I have mixed water with their mash, but they really aren't eating, only drinking the milk. I'm hoping to get them some beef liver to help them along the way, per advice from another farmer I know who does free range broilers as well. Any advice would be appreciated. I am so sad whenever I lose a chicken, and I know even though these chicks are being raised for meat, I want their time on this earth to be as happy, peaceful and healthy as I can make it. I can't abide by sick animals.

    Thanks in advance - elizabeth
  2. kstaven

    kstaven Crowing

    Jan 26, 2007
    BC, Washington Border
    Add some yogurt to their mix. It will help stabilize the digestive system.
  3. raindrop

    raindrop Songster

    Feb 10, 2008
    Western Oregon
    Add an electrolyte/vitamin supplement to their water, replace the milk with yogurt. They can't digest milk. Scramble egg and feed them a little egg. Really most of their calories should come from the starter.
    Are they Cornish X? What breed are you raising?
  4. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    Its been said that chickens are lactose intolerant, so not a good idea to give them milk.

    Check out some of the suppliments like aviacharge2000 and roosterbooster.
  5. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

    Mar 20, 2008
    NW Kentucky
    I would start by saying to stop the milk. Scramble an egg and sprinkle chick starter on it...if need be, put the chick starter in a coffee grinder and make it more powdery.

    Give them a good vitamin/electrolyte supplement.

    Yogurt...plain live culture with some starter sprinkled on top will help their digestion.

    My girls LOVE plain baked yam mashed up.

    Good luck with those chicks...[​IMG]
  6. kstaven

    kstaven Crowing

    Jan 26, 2007
    BC, Washington Border
    Chickens can have a problem with lactose, that is true. But if using "raw milk" the lactase is still intact which allows humans like myself who can't drink store bought PASTEURIZED milk to be able to drink it without problems. Thus the problem is not with milk in and of itself. It is a result of the pasteurization process. That is why old time farmers could regularly feed milk to chickens, etc, without issue. It was raw and unadulterated.
  7. goatkeepers

    goatkeepers Songster

    Mar 31, 2008
    Mooresville, NC
    I'm glad I read this. We raise dairy goats and I've been wanting to give my chicks a little fresh goat's milk. [​IMG]

    Good luck with your chicks!! Sounds like you got some great advice already.
  8. kstaven

    kstaven Crowing

    Jan 26, 2007
    BC, Washington Border
    All our extra whey from cheese making goes into mash feed for chickens. The difference in doing this for them in the winter and not is quite striking.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: