chick smaller than others - sick?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Rosa's birds, Jul 30, 2010.

  1. Rosa's birds

    Rosa's birds Hatching

    Jul 29, 2010
    Seattle, WA
    Hi All,

    I'm new to this group and new to chickens. We just hatched our first chicks 3 weeks ago. We hatched Giant Cochins and Buff Orpingtons. I have 7 Orpingtons, and they all started out more or less the same size. In the last few days, one of the Orpingtons is now noticeably smaller than the others (Peachy, as named by my son). She happens to be the friendliest/most likes to be held for a long time chick. She has stopped feathering out - or at least has slowed way down compared to the others. She is a bit timid around the others, but I haven't noticed anyone pecking at her or obviously excluding her from food or water. She's pooping and drinking, but I am barely seeing her eat. I should mention she is drinking a lot compared to the others. She always seems to be hanging around the waterer and drinking from it. I've seen her eat once in the last couple days, but not for very long. I don't sit in there and watch her all day (the brooder is in a spare bedroom), but I poke my head in and watch for a few minutes here and there and then observe when we are in there holding them. Peachy is also hanging out a lot under the heater, whereas the others are farther away, but she also has fewer feathers. I took them outside yesterday, and she seemed to be acting fine. She was right in there with the rest of the flock pecking at the ground and scratching. But something about her doesn't seem quite right to me. She seems like she might be getting a little wobbly, and she seems to be getting very skittish when another chick comes near her. After observing this skittish behavior tonight, I finally separated her from the others. She is in the warmer part of the brooder with a screen between her an the others. (She has also escaped from the brooder twice today. She gets out, presumably, through the holes for the feeding troughs. The second time I found her cheeping loudly and shivering.) Speaking of shivering, she seems to be doing that on and off.

    I've searched and searched on line and can't really find anything to do. I've been putting vitamins in their water anyway due to another, unrelated (I think) problem I had with 2 other Orpingtons right after they hatched - but they seem to have fully recovered. I tried giving her scrambled egg earlier today, but she wouldn't eat any. I just made some more and when it cools down I'll give it to her in the brooder, since she is separate now.

    If anyone has any ideas for me, I'd really appreciate it. Does it sound like she is sick? I'd really like to do whatever I can for her.


  2. Sportsterjeep

    Sportsterjeep Creekside Acres Farm

    Jun 1, 2010
    Mill Hall PA
    If she won't eat anything for you try this. Beat up a raw egg and add about 2 tablespoons of real honey to it. Feed her with an eye dropper or syringe. I also prefer to dose vitamins individually rather than in the water, that's just me. I use pediatric vitamins without iron from wally world and give it to them 3 times a day. At three weeks old, I'd give her about 2 drops each time. The honey egg mix should perk her up in a day or two. If it doesn't there may be something more to it, possibly failure to thrive, genetic defect, etc.
  3. justbugged

    justbugged Head of the Night Crew for WA State

    Jan 27, 2009
    Some chicks just don't thrive. There may not be anything you can do. It's been my experience that you maybe doing everything right and a chick will still die. It just happens.
  4. midget_farms

    midget_farms Songster

    Apr 15, 2008
    Dunlap Illinois
    every now & again you will get a runt. If she is healthy - she will eventually catch up to the others. If she isn't she will die. Just natures way.

    I had a aracauna that I was convinced was a different type of bird all together because of the size difference when they were a month old. Cant tell which one she was now.

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