Ellywe still isn't doing well. Feeling very discouraged and need help.

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Tatuana, Feb 11, 2019 at 11:30 PM.

  1. Tatuana

    Tatuana Songster

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    I had another thread about Ellywe being a screamer. We have her stable medically-wise and are now going into behavior issues, I think. I hope it's okay to start another one to get a 'fresh pair of eyes' and since it's a bit more directed at behavior. I'm desperate here and trying to figure out what to do rather than get rid of her. I'm running out of things to do to help her. :( I'm trying not to stress her out, but she's clearly not happy with something. I just don't know WHAT. I've done things slowly to give her time to adapt so she's not overwhelmed.

    I'm sorry it seems so list like. I've been taking notes all day and copied and pasted them so I can go tend to her.


    Elllywe: She was posted from Texas to Utah to an IFA store. They were delayed one day. I picked her up on Friday with two of her cage mates. I'm having trouble remembering her exact breed, but I think she's a silver laced chicken.

    PROBLEMS

    * Eating. She WILL NOT eat out of their food dishes. The only way I can get her to eat is to spill food on the floor around her feet and let her figure it out. I've dipped her beak into the food dish several times, and she sees her siblings doing it (who have no problem figuring it out) she just doesn't get it. If I use a shallow dish the other chickens scratch at it and make a mess so she can't find it.

    * Drinking. She also WILL NOT drink from the water. At all. No dish will work. I've tried her bird feeder, a shallow dish, a ball water feeder. The only way I can get water into her is to hold her and feed her with a syringe. She understands the syringe means water, and will peck at it IF I'm holding her tight. She also just sticks her head straight up and opens her throat for me to pour it down. (I don't, but that seems like what she wants) I've dipped her beak into the water dish a LOT with no success. She clearly wants water, just doesn't want to work for it.
    Side question: How often should I be giving her water and how much? I just let her drink until she grumps, which she doesn't always do.

    * Falling into old habits from not eating/drinking. She's tiny, and whines a lot. She follows the other babies around crying, so I know she can move. But because she won't eat/drink she often just stands still with her eyes closed and peeps. For hours at a time if I don't tend to her. She WILL walk around if she's up to it, just to follow the other babies.

    * Her Crying. She cries. A lot. Obsessively. I learned that was from distress, which I've been addressing. The only way I've been able to settle her is to stick her in my incubator alone with food/water. Once she warms up and peeps herself out she goes to sleep. She'll peep LESS if I hold her, but still peeps. Once I put her in a warm incubator she'll still go on for 20 minutes.


    OTHER NOTES

    I haven't moved everyone to their bigger brooder yet so she doesn't stress out. Yesterday I changed their heating cave to one that easily fits the entire herd. I also put in a heat lamp for warmth. She tends to avoid those in favor of following the others around crying. Even when they snuggle her up she just cries with her eyes closed. She's been eating sugar water/water and chicken feed when I can poke it down her. She will take chick feed if she's in the incubator. While in the incubator she looks happy/warm, but the heat lamp/heating pad don't seem to be working. She seems attached to the larger chickens vs her cage mates.

    Her vent is clear, no signs of pasty butt. She does shiver a lot when I'm holding her, even if it's in her cage. She only stops shivering when she's in the incubator. Which she can't stay in forever....


    Please help me. I'm starting to get really frustrated, and feel like I can't help her. These are my first chickens. I don't know if she's just lonely, stressed, there's something medically wrong with her, or what.
     
  2. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    The heat lamp is your best bet for keeping the Brooder a consistent temperature. What your seeing is the chick learned you will come running when it Peeps. Stop feeding and watering it yourself and it will learn on its own. I recall you had it alone for a bit so it's bonded to you and not it's hatch mates. Separate yourself and only provide the feed and water. It might take a full day of your absence for it to stop the behaviour.
    Or it could have something wrong with it?
     
  3. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Crossing the Road

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    Can you please provide some photos of Ellywe, your brooder set-up, the heating cave, feed/water stations, etc. Load us up with photos.
    Bonus gold star points for a video of her - her actions, screaming, the whole 9 yards.
    Upload to youtube or vimeo and provide us a link.

    I have not read your other thread, I will try to take a look. I'm very sorry that she is not doing well and you are frustrated.
    I hope we can help you figure this out and come up with a solution.
    Sometimes, there may not be one. She may have something developmentally wrong and is failing. The shivering is concerning, but let's see if we can help you.
     
  4. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    This makes no sense to me. I just popped a newly hatched under my Hen in a Brooder box and definitely not super warm. Her Chicks were 4 days older than this one.
     
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  5. Stephine

    Stephine Songster

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    Hi! So sorry to hear she is not getting better. But she is walking around again?
    Ok, you’ve done the bigger brooder with heat lamp. Have you gotten the nutri drench and gotten some of that into her? The boost from that might help her.
    If she is eating off the ground, just keep offering feed on the ground for a few more days for her, until she has recovered enough to learn something new. Try dipping her beak in the water dish when she should actually be thirsty, so maybe a couple of hours after you last gave her water from a syringe. Give her a bit more time to figure it out. If she’s still not drinking, keep offering from the syringe for now. Beyond that, just leave her alone. It has only been a couple of days and she has gone through *a lot* of changes and handling. And there is only so much you can do. She might have some other issue that can not be fixed. If she is just lonely for you, she will get over it. Just make sure she can get warm (have you measured the temperature on the floor right under the lamp? just place her there a few times if she seems cold, so she learns where to warm up) and can eat and drink for a few days. Do give the nutri drench a few times (a drop on the side of the beak). If she doesn’t pull through with that, then there isn’t anything you can do. Some chicks get too stressed in shipping (too cold and running out of nutrients). Often you can help those by providing easily absorbed energy (nutri drench or sugar water) and extra minerals and vitamins (nutri drench or save a chick). If they are not doing well from a different reason there is nothing you can do.
    Don’t worry about “behavioral issues”. Get ear plugs if you need to.
    Still keeping my fingers crossed for you!
     
    ButtonquailGirl14 likes this.
  6. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    No..A heat lamp if hung properly will accommodate both ages...:th...
     
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  7. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Crossing the Road

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    :pop:pop:pop

     
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  8. Tatuana

    Tatuana Songster

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    That's what I'm thinking, but I'm at a loss for what to do.

    I called every animal store within an hour and nobody seems to have it. Which is weird! I've ordered some that should be here in a day, though.


    Both the heat lamp and under the heating cave are a toasty 92F currently. The thing is, the other babies don't seem to care about it. They sleep on the heat cave, or over on the other side by the food. She follows them around peeping with her eyes closed instead of staying warm. I'm sure temp is an issue, though. Even under the heat lamp she follows them around peeping.


    You're in luck! I happen to be a visual person. I take videos of EVERYTHING. And I do mean everything.

    The heat lamp isn't on in these videos because it was messing up the camera. The lamp is set up right below the heating cave by the block of wood. I've measured the temp to be sure everything was set right, though.

    https://vimeo.com/316845327 Here is the brooder they've been using. I don't dare switch to the large one yet because she seems so stressed. I'm trying to keep the changes as minimal as I can until we figure this out. You can see her by the food dish, and the heat cave covered in pink. It's not pretty, but it works. You can see she just doesn't move.

    https://vimeo.com/316844939 This is her eating. (She's the dark blob) that's about as active as she gets. It's a bit lethargic in movements. Tallia is in the corner showing off how she's learning to scratch. (After I stopped recording Angry Baby scooted around on his rear to scratch)

    https://vimeo.com/316845498 This is last night. They took apart the cave. Which is why the block is now on top.

    https://vimeo.com/316845801 Her favorite thing to do. Again last night. I had her out for about a minute to clean the cage. If I put my hand in near her she likes to run up and put her head like that. And burrow into my palm.

    This is how she spends her time. She just follows them around with that exact peep. It's the best I can get of her following everyone. She doesn't seem to WANT anything, just follows.


    I don't have video of my new brooder since I haven't switched them to it. Imagine a fridge box made out of chicken wire and 2x4 wood. That's what it is.


    I admit the brooder is... cheap. I have no shame in admitting I'm beyond dirt poor and am sourcing from whatever I can scavenge.



    EDIT: This is what we started with. https://youtu.be/AUupzRJfoMU So at least it's an improvement? She's also turning down the water I try to give her, so I assume she's getting it somewhere.

    I should also note that she IS pooping.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019 at 12:35 PM
  9. Tatuana

    Tatuana Songster

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    I think after a day of watching her (via nanny cam so I don't bother her) I figured out what's wrong. I think I have a two step problem. I'm not sure on chicken behavior, so correct me if I'm wrong.

    I THINK what's happening is she's lonely? Is it possible for chickens to want a mama like a human baby? My other ones were fine. Anyway, Ellywe is following the older babies around. I kind of had a light bulb moment when she climbed under Oogity Boogity and snuggled up. Oogity put up with it for about ten seconds, tucking her in, then ran off. She then went right back to crying and following them around.

    I think the second part is directly related to the first part. She's cold. But the older babies don't need it that warm, and are VERY active. They're all over, where her heat is only in one corner. So she follows them around, gets cold, and stops working. I don't think it would be wise to put the heat into more areas of the cage since they also like a cool area.

    Does that sound right for a chicken? If so, how do I help her? I can't find her a mother chicken to sit under. While she's under a chicken she still screams, just not as loud. If you look at the video above even when she's content she peeps that quick "pee-pee-peep" sound. I'm not sure if that's a distress peep, or just her.

    I DID see her at the food dish earlier. Or to be exact, I saw her stuck IN the food dish. She thought in order to eat you had to shove your entire upper body through the hole to eat. I've yet to see her at the water dish, but she's not thirsty.


    I did try to snuggle her earlier just to get a feel for how she's behaving. She was wrapped in a towel. She turned her back to the opening and shoved her head deep inside. Is that normal for a baby? She seems to want to burrow deep into the towel where it's a little heavy.
     
  10. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Crossing the Road

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    I would keep the some of the food on the floor for her. Try a coffee can lid, that may be easier to clean up. If she is not drinking well, then see if she will eat wet feed that will get some fluids into her.
    You have Poultry Nutri-Drench on the way? When you get that give her 1-2drops direct dose daily for a week.

    Yes, she is much smaller than the others, needs more heat and is wanting to snuggle. The others are outpacing her. Once she grows a bit more, hopefully she will get out of that. Do you have a stuffed animal or even a feather duster that she can snuggle against when she sleeps. Hang the feather duster sort of low so she can get under it.
     
    christwodog, micstrachan and Stephine like this.

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