Chicks recovering from Malnutrition (Pics added)

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by la-pro, May 18, 2011.

  1. la-pro

    la-pro Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm rather new at this chicken business and made the mistake of making my own feed for them and I ended up having malnourished chicks [​IMG]. I think I've overcome the worst of it, but wondering how to proceed now that they're better. They are both Golden Sex-Link pullets, and they're currently 6 weeks old.

    Chick 1 (Pippy) - Was a slow grower from the start, Has wing feathers and some feathers along her sides and on her neck, but still mostly down. She seemed to struggle with eating from the start, would peck at things but didn't seem to get them in her mouth all that often. At week 5 she presented as extremely lethargic and had trouble walking/ lifting her head. Also developed pasty butt. I started giving her scrambled eggs, plain yogurt, and purchased some organic grower feed (mostly mash with some cracked grain/corn). Now at 6 weeks she is full of energy again, but still seems to get cold sometimes, and still is mostly down. I gave her a bath to get the poop out of her down and it's kept clean on her own for a couple of days now.

    Chick 2 (Percy) - She's about 75% feathered, still has some down on her back and head. When Pippy presented with lethargy and weakness I checked her out and it seemed that she was skinny, her breast bone was sticking out quite a bit, but not as much as Pippy's.

    So, my questions are: Do you think grower feed supplemented with scrambled eggs and yogurt is okay for now? Or should I get some starter feed since they seemed to have a bad start due to my bad experiment? How do I know when they are recovered from the malnutrition? They seem much fuller and more energetic now, but I can still feel their breast bones. Should I be concerned that one is so much feathered than the other? The temp under their heat lamp is about 80 degrees and about 75 elsewhere in the brooder. I also have a pen for them to spend time in outside but they seem to get cold when the wind is blowing. Temps outside are ranging between 70-90 degrees here in SE Texas.

    Here's Percy: [​IMG]

    And here's Pippy: [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2011
  2. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    I think I would put them on a gamebird crumble, but I feed it to my chicks anyway. The gamebird feed is higher in protein and should help them with feather growth and weight gain. You can still offer the yogurt and egg as a treat. If it were me I would probably feed them some meat scraps as well, make sure grit is available. Chickens are pretty resilient, so don't beat yourself up. Give them some protein and a little extra love and they should be just fine. Good luck!
     
  3. GiddyMoon

    GiddyMoon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with the above.....the gamebird feed is a good choice. My chicks grew really fast and very strong on it. I am also using soaked alfalfa cubes as a green addition with is a good plant protein base. You could start raising mealworms and such for a good protein source as well.
     
  4. Erica

    Erica Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It sounds like the grower/egg or yoghurt diet will help them improve. You could also try a meat or game bird feed as it would have higher protein and you wouldn't have to keep making scrambled eggs.

    Can I ask what you were feeding them earlier? Sorry, I know you probably feel a bit upset about it, but it may act as a warning to others. (And I'm curious too because I use home mixes a lot...)

    In any case you're doing the right thing now, don't feel too bad — we all make mistakes of one sort or another. I've lost count of the number I've made over the years and certainly some have been fatal, like a batch of mouldy feed.

    [​IMG]

    Edit: I'm such a slow typist... By the time I hit 'submit' the suggestion had been made already... [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2011
  5. la-pro

    la-pro Out Of The Brooder

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    May 17, 2011
    The feed I started with was this:

    2 parts special crumbled cornbread made with eggs, cornmeal, and yogurt. (2 eggs, 1/2 cup cornmeal, enough yogurt to give it a good consistency for pouring)
    1/2 part steel cut oats
    1/2 part millet
    2 tbsp seeds (chia, flax, sesame)
    sprinkle of salt and kelp flakes

    I also gave them meal worms daily, and threw some chick grit into the brooder. I think the main problem with Pippy, is that she wasn't eating the grit, and she would just peck at the worms, rarely getting one down.

    Will it hurt to keep them both warm, around 80-85 degrees, for awhile till the smaller one gets more feathers in?
     
  6. la-pro

    la-pro Out Of The Brooder

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    May 17, 2011
    Updated with pictures. You'll notice how much smaller Pippy's beak is, she's smaller all over as well and has fewer feathers (head is all down still) How do they look for 6 week old chicks?
     
  7. Bengalcats1

    Bengalcats1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So glad they are on the mend but I'm just wondering Why you would choose to make your own food? Of all my animals my chickens are by far the least expensive to feed and the easiest, I can't imagine having to make a mixture for them, its bad enough cooking for my dogs....although I do make them goodies all the time in addition to their chicken food....just curious [​IMG]
     
  8. la-pro

    la-pro Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm allergic to soy and I thought it would be easier to make my own feed than find a soy-free version. I only have 2 chicks and the only soy-free feed I could find comes in 50 lb bags.
     
  9. Bengalcats1

    Bengalcats1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Yea that is a prob, those 50 lb bags.....I was able to get 20 lbs now but I don't know if it's soy free , I was first buying 5 lb bags but that got to be silly and I was going thru them to fast so now Im getting 20lbers
     
  10. Life is Good!

    Life is Good! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Get some Poly-vi-sol (without iron) infant vitamins from your local drugstore. Give two drops daily in their beaks (they'll swallow it down just fine, just put it in their beaks).
    You'll be surprised how fast they come around! Our 'runt' is so much stronger since we started the vitamins - I can hardly believe it's the same chick. Well worth the effort. (Bottle was $12.00 at Walgreens).
    Hope this helps!
     

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