baby chick not doing well


11 Years
Mar 14, 2008
I am an amateur at this and would love some help. About a year ago we had a bantam chicken walk up to our house--very odd considering our urban area--she is still here and is now our pet--softie. I told the kids if she was still around in the spring we could get her a friend. We bought one baby australorp from the local feed store this week. She was doing great for 2 days and is now very lethargic and I am thinking isn't going to make it. We are very bummed and I wonder what we did wrong. We made a great brooder and are diligent at keeping it at 95 deg. Is it a bad idea to just buy one chick? Do they do better in 2's or more? Any ideas for me? I am basically leaving the chick alone, she is still hanging in there. She takes water from my finger a bit but not eating. I am also worried about a sick chick and my young children--any problems with them getting sick? I am amazed how attached I have gotten in 2 days. Thanks in advance!
Some chicks do fail to thrive. I personally think it is best to buy chicks in groups of three in case you lose one. Chicks and adult chickens are social animals and thrive on living together with a defined pecking order that they figure out as they age. As chicks, competition for food encourages them to eat and pecking in it encourages others to peck at it.

What are the chick's symptoms besides being lethargic? What kind of shavings are you using? Cedar can be deadly to them so pine is the best way to go. Have you tried taping on the feed like a mother hen would? A lone chick does need quite a bit of attention to encourage it to eat and stay lively. What are it's poo's like? I would go and get a second pair of chicks to keep this one company and it may be able to recover. But it needs to eat. If you have childrens vitamins or at least sugar water, some of that may help give it a boost.
Try putting a stuffed animal, mirror (it's reflection is another chick-instantly), or clean feather duster in there for company.

Welcome to BYC and good luck!
Thank you all for the advice. The chick didn't make it so we will try again. I am encouraged reading the information that we did things right. I used pine shavings, did try sugar water, put a stuffed animal in the cage and was using Manna Pro chick starter. She was eating great for 2 days. I will try again with 2 chicks this time and work like crazy on keeping them stress free and hearty. Wish me luck and thanks!
Thank you Cheryl. Do you mean snuggle with people? I picked the first one up often and let her settle in but was thinking maybe that wasn't a good idea and I should leave them alone to just get strong for the first week. What do you think?

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