First Time with baby chicks and one is sick Help!!!!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by azelinkay, Mar 31, 2009.

  1. azelinkay

    azelinkay New Egg

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    Oct 27, 2008
    Hi, this is my first time with baby chicks, I got 30 RIR in the mail yesterday morning and now one is laying around sleeping and acting weak and sickly. All were fine last night. I have the temp right and they have medicated starter feed and fresh water. When I pick her up she does not fight and squirm like the others, she just sits there with her eyes closed. I have been watching the butts very closely and have been washing them when they get crusted. Her throat is big a little like she might have food in there? Please help I am afraid of loosing them all if it is a disease
     
  2. Chickenmaven

    Chickenmaven Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2009
    Michigan
    Sometimes you lose one ot two and it doesn't mean that they are all sick or anything. You can try feeding it boiled egg or give it baby vitamins(?) [​IMG]
     
  3. zmcdad

    zmcdad Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 14, 2008
    Corner, AL
    I, too, am raising my first batch of "bitties" as we call them in Alabama. I bought 21 RIR and Amercauna. I had 2 of the RIR die within the first two weeks, really within a day of each other. One just died; the other had the same symptoms you describe.

    This may sound harsh, but all the old timers have told me to expect between a 10 and 25% mortality rate. If you're doing everything right: heat (95 degrees first week, decrease by 5 each week thereafter until 70), water, feed, chick grit, etc. then don't sweat it. There are so many variables at play, it's hard to tell. I watch my other 19 closely until they reached 3 weeks of age and thankfully all are doing well now at 5.5 weeks.

    I wish I could tell you that the chick would make it, but I can't. It might rebound, but just prepare yourself in case the worst happens. I used the death of my chicks as a teachable moment for my 5 year old triplets, so try and find the positive if it does occur.


    Ben
     
  4. MandyH

    MandyH You'll shoot your eye out!

    Open its mouth and make sure there isn't a wood chip or something in it. (You didn't say what you were using in the brooder) Also, make a little sugar water and keep dipping its beak in every so often. Make sure not to dip beak too deep and get water in the nostrils. After you dip its beak, watch and make sure it is drinking the water. Other than that, you just have to watch and make sure it doesn't get trampled by the stronger ones, and hope for the best.
     
  5. azelinkay

    azelinkay New Egg

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    Oct 27, 2008
    Grit? I am not using grit, is that life threatning for them? what kind of grit?
     
  6. lisahaschickens

    lisahaschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    I agree - it's not fun to hear, but not all chicks are slated to make it to adulthood. It sounds like you are doing everything right and all that you can for the babies. Most of them will be just fine. However, you can expect some losses. The stress of shipping sometimes is too much for some, and also for some reason, sometimes their little immune systems don't kick in properly right away and they get overwhelmed with bacteria or something from their natural environment. Don't beat yourself up about it. You can try to hand feed it with sugar water (for energy) with vitamins and electrolytes added if you have them.

    Out of my 17 (I gave 10 from my shipment away), all were fine and alive on arrival. I went to bed the first night and in the morning one was just dead in the brooder next to the feeder and the others were standing on it while they were eating. Then later that day, another one started getting droopy and eventually couldn't stand up and would fall on it's face if I put it down. It could peep and would swallow water if I dipped its beak, but that was it... it got weaker and weaker and eventually it was my decision to cull it. It was no fun and not easy and I could easily have let it die on its own. Some people cull, some don't. Anyway, that was it. my other 15 are alive and well and growing like weeds at 7.5 weeks old now. Those two were probably never going to make it.

    So, enjoy your babies but don't worry too much if you lose a couple - it is normal and you are doing everything right!
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2009
  7. lisahaschickens

    lisahaschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    if your babies are eating only chick starter, they don't need grit at all.

    On the third day, some places recommend that you start sprinkling baby grit (very finely ground granite, usually) on their food like salt so they get used to it for when they need it. Once they start eating anything besides crumbles, then they do need grit. Until then, they don't need it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2009
  8. zmcdad

    zmcdad Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 14, 2008
    Corner, AL
    Quote:Chick grit is simply finely crushed stone, shell, etc. that they use to aid in the grinding of food in their crop/gizzard. A 5lb bag at Tractor Supply is $5 or so; your local feed store probably has some on hand as well.

    You would do well to get some and sprinkle on their food, much like "salting" it. After 3 weeks, you can offer it free choice in a separate dish. In a pinch, you could probably get some "grit" out in your yard if you have a particularly sandy/rocky area.

    Ben
     
  9. lisahaschickens

    lisahaschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    if you do get grit, make sure it is "baby grit" because the olarger sizes are too big for them when they are this young. And be sure to only sprinkle - you can feed free choice when they are older, but some little babies try to eat only grit instead of food and they fill up on it, which isn't good for them. Again, they don't need it now, but it's not a bad idea to start them on it soon.
     
  10. azelinkay

    azelinkay New Egg

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    Oct 27, 2008
    Thanks guys you have been a tremendous help and comfort. I have been so nervous about these babies!
     

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