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Healthy Days Old Chicks that stop eating

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Scram85, Jun 19, 2016.

  1. Scram85

    Scram85 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 24, 2013
    Moses Lake
    Have any of you had any problems with seemingly healthy chicks that won't eat? I have had this happen a couple of times when I get chicks shipped. They are chirping and running around. I make sure they drink the special water. All drink the water, some eat but by the next day some are droopy and not wanting water or food. It is like they have no energy. Any thoughts or advice on how to combat this problem would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
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    Are you sprinkling feed around on the floor of the brooder around the feeder? I put down paper towels under the feeder area and sprinkle feed all around on the floor around the feeder and I leave food down for several days until they all understand where the food is kept. It can take them a few days to eat out of feeders. I like to tap my fingers at the food like I am eating it and that helps to get them started.

    Also, make sure your feed is not spoiled or old. Birds know when food is bad and won't eat it.

    Make sure they are not eating the bedding instead of food, filling up on it instead of chick starter.

    With shipped chicks, I ALWAYS dip everybody's beaks in the water first thing and withhold food for 15 to 20 mins or so. They are very stressed and dehydrated and if they eat first, it leads to constipation, pasty butt and possible death of they can't pass a hard stool. So always make sure shipped chicks are well hydrated before feeding them. And dip beaks later in the day too, just in case they forget where the water is. (some birds are slow to learn)

    If your brooder is too hot or cold, this will stop them from eating. Chicks can't tolerate drafts so use something with a solid floor and solid walls. Never cover the top of the brooder with anything but a screen or wire for good heat and oxygen exchange. Being too hot or not enough oxygen will always stop the eating and of course lead to death.

    Keep the heat off to one side, food and water on the others. This allows for them to regulate their temps and find a cool spot on one side or one underneath the heat. Since chicks can't regulate their internal temps yet, they need places to cool off. Use a thermometer you know is extremely accurate and lay it down on the floor beneath the heat source. Start chicks out at 90 degrees and lower the temp by 5 degrees every 7 days. Keep them in a room with constant temps and no wind.

    Good luck with your babies! :)
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Oh and always give chicks at least 1/2 square foot per chick. This ensures your brooder is big enough to give them places to stay warm, cool off, won't over crowd the food and water or have to compete with others for space. Over crowding is a killer too.
     
  4. Scram85

    Scram85 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 24, 2013
    Moses Lake
    I have had luck (following the above format) with shipped chicks in the past as well as ones that I have hatched. I am thinking that the particular breed that I have bought the last two times is a bit more fragile than other breeds. These ones seem healthy and that is what is taking me by surprise. They are eating and drinking in a temperature controlled draft free brooder room.
     

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