Chick is breathing fast and seems lethargic

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by NewchickieLTJ, May 19, 2019.

  1. NewchickieLTJ

    NewchickieLTJ Chirping

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    May 12, 2019
    One of my 3 day old chicks, doesn’t seem to have the energy of my other chicks and when I watch her breathe while she’s sleeping she seems to breathe at a faster rate. Is there anything I can do? They have water with electrolytes, have food, and are in a large box with temp that ranges from 100 on one side to 80 on the other side. They walk all over the box and don’t seem to avoid any areas, and I often find them sleeping in the warmer section...they sleep all over, sometimes separately and sometimes next to each other. I have the light only pointing about half in the box, because otherwise it gets too hot. It’s about 30” high. I’m using a 250 watt red bulb, and am wondering if I need to downgrade to a 100 watt? I also have a radiant heat brooder I can use, and can ditch the bulb altogether. I just wasn’t sure how they’d do going from a light to a different set-up, since they’re all used to the light.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2019
  2. FlappyFeathers

    FlappyFeathers Crossing the Road

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    I'm not a big fan of heat lamps, so I would switch to the other source. Is it like a Brinsea or Premier heater plate or an upright flat panel? Your chicks will make the adjustment very easily. I'm a strong believer in letting chicks choose the amount of heat they need, and experience natural day/night cycles. You will just have to show them at first.

    I've raised 3 set of chicks with a heating pad cave and have had zero issues with them overheating... it's so much less stressful than trying to maintain a "certain" temperature, which I don't even believe in. My chicks went to the coop at 2 weeks with nighttime temps in the 30s and 40s F and slept quietly all night under the heat. But during the day, chicks were happy and active in ambient 40-50s, just ducking under the pad for a quick warmup occasionally. This is very similar to how a broody hen warms her chicks.

    Do you have any Poultry nutri-drench? Give a drop or two directly in your chick's beak to give a vitamin boost. Sometimes chicks just need a couple days to gain their bearings, but some are just weak and fail to thrive no matter what you do. Being in light 24/7 can also cause stress and chicks don't really have a feeding or sleep schedule and they'll drop over in exhaustion. You may see some improvement with a different heat source.
     
  3. NewchickieLTJ

    NewchickieLTJ Chirping

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    This is what I have! I think I’ll plug it in right now. I have some sav-a-chick powder in their water.
     

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  4. FlappyFeathers

    FlappyFeathers Crossing the Road

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    Perfect! You won't need the heat lamp at all and sav-a chick should hopefully do the trick!

    When chicks first experience darkness they'll probably start peeping really loud because it's different, you might need to herd them underneath so they can feel the warmth. My chicks continued to get loud every night, like little kids complaining about going to bed. But in a few minutes they'll settle down and start purring... it's the cutest sound! Then they should be almost silent all night long.
     
  5. FlappyFeathers

    FlappyFeathers Crossing the Road

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    Oh, it might be helpful to adjust the height of legs so that one side is lower (or higher) than the other so it sits at a slant. That way chicks can find their comfort zone somewhere in between. You can always level it out later on.
     
  6. NewchickieLTJ

    NewchickieLTJ Chirping

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    Well, I’ve put it in the box, and they’ve run over to the other end and are very unhappy that I’m disturbing them haha. I may have to get myself to bed, and get this set up in the morning so I can work the kinks out...I’m nervous to set it all up tonight and just run off to bed without seeing if the height is good for them etc.
     
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  7. FlappyFeathers

    FlappyFeathers Crossing the Road

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    Good idea. I'd want to watch their behavior for a while too, just to make sure they know where to go to get warm. One more night won't hurt. Best wishes!
     
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  8. NewchickieLTJ

    NewchickieLTJ Chirping

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    Thanks so much :)
     
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  9. FlappyFeathers

    FlappyFeathers Crossing the Road

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    Oh, I just thought of something. Chickies always freak out over anything new in their environment, even your hands. Before you add the heater plate, you could remove the chicks to a little box temporarily while you get the new heater set up. I had mine adjusted to about 3" high in front (lower in back) and make sure it gets nice and warmed up before adding the chicks back. They might be more accepting if they didn't just witness a big object swooping down at them like a predator, and it's already sitting there motionless and warm. It still might take them a while to like it, but I know they'll be happier in the long run. If you have your brooder next to a window, they might even learn to put themselves to bed when it starts getting dark outside.
     
  10. NewchickieLTJ

    NewchickieLTJ Chirping

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    Well, I took them out, cleaned out their box, and put them in with the brooder already heated up and on setting 1 on one side and 2 on the other side. They were scared of it at first and wouldn’t go near it, but 2 finally went under and then the 3rd reluctantly followed haha. They’ve been under it for about 20 minutes now, so I guess it’s a hit!
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2019
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