Breathing fast, sleepy, a little smaller than others

mmmarta

Songster
May 21, 2020
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78
106
Hello, I have a Silkie, 2.5 week old, mail order, that has me a little worried:
-he eats less than the other chicks - spends time sleeping away from other chicks, when others are scratching or eating
-he is breathing faster than normal, compared to other chicks in the flock (all same age)
-he is growing more slowly
-his poop is a little runny

Otherwise he acts normal, tries to fly, looks up when hearing sounds, scratches from time to time.
He has been like this for a while, maybe from the start, but at least for a week. I think he also likes to eat pieces of paper towel.

I've been leaving him alone, he eats what the others eat, when he does. I am adding probiotic and vitamins to water every few days. The first week they were getting vitamins.

I tried feeding them hard boiled egg yolk a week ago, but they did not seem to know what to do with it.

The bedding is pine shavings, they are in a brooder at home.

Can it be his personality?
Still, the panting (breathing twice as fast as others chicks) makes me worried.
 

HeatherKellyB

🐓Chronic Rambler🦆
Premium Feather Member
May 31, 2019
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Moore County, NC
How is your little chick doing tonight? Does he have access to paper towels daily? Any chance you've weighed any of them? What are they eating? Have you made any changes to their feed? Do they have chick grit available on the side? Any other treats?
 

mmmarta

Songster
May 21, 2020
57
78
106
Thank you for the reply! He is hanging in there.

I removed the paper towels now (no access in the last two days). No change to feed (Purina medicated feed).

We gave them a tray of construction sand to bath in, I saw the chicks eating some kernels. Should they get grit from a store?

No treats. Should I try boiled egg yolk again?

I didn't weigh them. Cannot catch them anymore.

He seems to be growing, slowly, but the heavy breathing and lack of interest in food is worrysome.
 

HeatherKellyB

🐓Chronic Rambler🦆
Premium Feather Member
May 31, 2019
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Moore County, NC
@Wyorp Rock @azygous @Eggcessive @EggSighted4Life @aart @Kiki
Tagging a few members that are very knowledgeable and helpful. It'd probably be a good idea to take a picture of this chick's poop and post here as there is a lot that can be figured out through their poop. I wish I could be more helpful but my knowledge isn't anywhere near many members here. Best of luck with your flock
 

Eggcessive

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Premium Feather Member
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Coccidiosis could be a problem at this age. Corid is the treatment for that. Symptoms are runny spdroppings, lethargy, not eating, and sitting puffed up. Be careful with sand, since if it was eating paper towel, it could eat the sand as well. I would tsk it aside a couple of times a day and feed it some wet chick feed, a little cooked egg yolk (might take a couple of trys,) and get it drinking some water. A chick vitamin or human B complex crushed and dissolved in water is good. Hold off on B vitamins if treating with Corid.
 

mmmarta

Songster
May 21, 2020
57
78
106
Thank you, Momplus.

I took a few pics of the bird, and of the poop I found.
It looks that I cannot attach a video, but I have one of him laying there while others are next to him pecking and going crazy over the food.

He is the gray one.
 

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azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
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Colorado Rockies
Sounds like this chick is failure-to-thrive. The symptoms could indicate underdeveloped organs, including heart and lungs. Small size also points to a digestive system that is inefficient, not metabolizing calories and nutrients in a manner to produce normal growth.

Feeding high protein foods like boiled egg and tofu is what I usually recommend. Chicks don't know what to do with big chunks of food. You need to put the food through a food processor or finely chop them in a blender so they are finely minced. Then your chicks will be more likely to eat them.
 

mmmarta

Songster
May 21, 2020
57
78
106
Coccidiosis could be a problem at this age. Corid is the treatment for that. Symptoms are runny spdroppings, lethargy, not eating, and sitting puffed up. Be careful with sand, since if it was eating paper towel, it could eat the sand as well. I would tsk it aside a couple of times a day and feed it some wet chick feed, a little cooked egg yolk (might take a couple of trys,) and get it drinking some water. A chick vitamin or human B complex crushed and dissolved in water is good. Hold off on B vitamins if treating with Corid.

Oh no . I hoped I protected them with the medicated food.

Can Corid be harmful to him, if he does not have Coccidiosis? Can others catch it from him?

Will eating sand harm them? I thought it is like grit :( I took the box out.
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
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Sand won't harm chicks unless that's all they eat. Occasionally, chickens will obsess over a non-nutritional substance like sand or shavings or even metallic objects to the exclusion of food. It's called pica, and people can have it, as well as dogs and cats. As long as your chick is eating food, it won't likely have any adverse consequences from eating sand.

I brood my new chicks from day one on sand. They seem to obsess over it at first, but they are instinctively eating it to supply their gizzards. Once they have an adequate supply ingested, they back off from eating it. It's never been a problem with any of the numerous chicks I've brooded on sand.

It's completely safe to treat for coccidiosis. It will not harm your chick if it doesn't have it. Corid is like a reverse vitamin. It blocks the uptake of thiamine to deprive the coccidia of its source of energy for its life cycle in the intestines. That's why you need to withhold vitamins until treatment is completed.

Medicated feed is a very low dose of a coccidiostat like Corid. It's only meant to encourage chicks to become resistant to coccidia. Under a heavy exposure, it won't protect them.

For the limited length of time the chick is being deprived of the B vitamin, it won't hurt it. I would treat all the chicks out of convenience but also because if one has coccidiosis, they all could be vulnerable.
 

mmmarta

Songster
May 21, 2020
57
78
106
Feeding high protein foods like boiled egg and tofu is what I usually recommend. Chicks don't know what to do with big chunks of food. You need to put the food through a food processor or finely chop them in a blender so they are finely minced. Then your chicks will be more likely to eat them.
Thank you for the advice! If he is underdeveloped, is it possible to nurture him to live? I already had a tiny chick die on me, he seemed severely underdeveloped..

I minced the boiled egg yolk yesterday, like you suggested, and they went nuts for it! It was funny to watch :) Thank you!

I will try to feed egg to him separately, to have better control on the amount. How much is he allowed to eat per day or week? And is full egg ok, or is yolk better?

Thank you!
 

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