Chick failing to thrive

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Mortos, Jul 23, 2010.

  1. Mortos

    Mortos Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 23, 2010
    Choctaw
    I have a sickly looking chick. It is one of 16 I bought of different breeds but all about the same age. This chick is very small and looks scruffy - feathers are matted, seems to have trouble opening one eye and is always drooping. If it makes it through the night, what can I do to give it a better chance? Separate it from the others and give it some special food or medicine? Any help would be appreciated.

    Steve
     
  2. justbugged

    justbugged Head of the Night Crew for WA State

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    Unfortunately there is probably nothing you can do for it. Some chicks just don't thrive. If they are hatchery birds then the stress that they have been under since hatching is tremendous. I would isolate it tonight keep it warm with access to food and water, but they rarely make it from what I have seen.
     
  3. Mortos

    Mortos Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 23, 2010
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    Thanks. It would be the one that my daughter named "Butter." We have had chicks before and we lost 2 of 12 in the first few weeks. I assumed we would lose a few and this one has never really looked healthy.
     
  4. justbugged

    justbugged Head of the Night Crew for WA State

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    That is fairly normal success rate on hatchery birds. There are videos on you tube that show what happens to chicks after they hatch, and before they reach the feed stores or our homes.
     
  5. Denninmi

    Denninmi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Actually, there is a lot you can do to try to save it. It may work, or it may not, but you will at least know that you've done all you can. Try this:

    1) Keep it very warm, about 95 degrees. Isolate it from the others if you think it may have a communicable disease or if its so weak the others are beating it up

    2) Give it an electrolyte solution like Pedialyte. You can make a substitute in a pinch by disolving a tablespoon of sugar or honey, an 8th of a teaspoon of salt (sea salt is good, but table salt is ok) and a tiny pinch of epsom salts in a quart of warm water.

    3) Give it antibiotics. Tetracycline and either penicilin or a cephalosporin.

    4) Force feed if necessary. You can make a slurry of boiled egg and chick starter with enough water to process in a blender or food processor - should be thin enough to go through the barrel of a syringe, but thick enough not to run -- consistency of toothpaste or pudding is about right.

    I've saved a number of weak birds with this approach, and never regretted doing it. They can recover and grow up to be perfectly normal and healthy.
     
  6. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hardboiled egg yolk is very heathly and nutritious. Offer some to the little guy and see how he does with extra TLC. Good luck!
     
  7. Mortos

    Mortos Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 23, 2010
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    He is still hanging in there with no special treatment. He is eating and drinking and runs around with the others but he is filthy looking. He looks like Pigpen from the Charlie Brown comics. Can I give him a bath or would that kill him? He seems to be doing ok other than his disheveled appearance.
     
  8. NYchickies

    NYchickies Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 21, 2010
    I'm totally new to this chick raising business, so I have no experience. But it seems like if it's eating, and drinking, and running around, and not being pecked at, that let nature run it's course. Maybe it just has personal hygiene issues? idunno
     
  9. Chocobroc

    Chocobroc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would leave him/her alone for now. I don't think its wise to give a chicken a bath at all, especially if there is something wrong (with the exception of cleaning pasty butt). Since he/she seems to be getting better just keep an eye on him/her. The bath may stress him/her out and he/she could make a turn for the worse. Maybe this will turn out to be sort of an 'ugly duckling' story... Special hugs to the filthy one [​IMG]
     
  10. Mortos

    Mortos Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 23, 2010
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    Thanks. I will post a picture of this ugly chickling. He/she is actually very cute in an ugly unkempt way. My daughter named him Butter the first day we got him because he was yellow and fluffly. Now he is dirty and crusty. I got a bunch of different breeds and he is one of the smaller ones but he is scrappy and mixes it up with the others. Hope he makes it, and learns some hygiene.
     

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