HELP!!! Lethargic 8 week old chick!!


In the Brooder
7 Years
May 9, 2012
Wasilla, AK
I came home from work and checked on the girls, and one was on the floor of the coop, head down, lethargic... not moving or peeping. I picked her up, made a gallon of fresh water with Save-a-chick and Probiotics mixed in... dipped her beak in it several times to get her to drink. She seemed to drink a little, but then head down, almost floppy necked. I am freaking out here... these are my first chicks and I just don't know what I did wrong. I feel TERRIBLE and NEED HELP!!! What else should I be doing?!? What would cause this?? She was fine this morning when I let them into their enclosed, fully covered pen area. The other chicks are all acting fine. PLEASE HELP!!
I'm sorry that your chick is sick.

Calm down and let's see what we can do. First, make sure that she is in a safe, warm, quiet place. Next, if she won't drink on her own, use a syringe and drip the water into her beak, towards the front, under her tongue. Just drops at a time, you don't want to drown her.

Take a close look, does she have any discharges, heavy breathing, sneezing, coughing?

If no to the above, I am thinking that this might be coccidiosis but I'm not sure if that is a problem in AK. If it is, I would get Corid as soon as you can and start putting it into everyones' water. With her, I would dose her with the syringe, every 4 hours, about the same amount that you would expect her to drink on her own.
Try feeding her some scrambled egg or egg yolk. Mixing it with yogurt would be good also. If that isn't possible, moisten some starter feed and add the yogurt. Give her some on her beak or put it directly into her beak with a small spoon or your finger.
Thank you!
I have her in a box, warming light... quiet place. Have been feeding her treated water with a dropper every 15 minutes. Her breathing seems normal, no wheezing or nasal/eye discharge. I don't know what "Corid" is but I can't get anything tonight as the feed store is closed - I wouldn't have made it back in time if I would have left as soon as I found her about 2 hours ago. I live outside of town and with holiday traffic, the roads are crazy!

I am just so upset! She is my favorite one and the ONLY one that will let me pet her. She is super sweet and was up and running around like the others this morning. I just don't understand how this could hit her so hard and so fast. I feel like a complete failure as a chicken owner. :(
Chickens are strange creatures. Since they are prey animals, they will keep running until they are so sick that they have to stop. It is hard sometimes to notice the subtle changes that happen when they aren't feeling well until they are down. Don't be so hard on yourself. You are just learning and it sounds like you really love your chicks.

Corid is a medicine that treats coccidia. It can be found at most feedstores and at Tractor Supply. You put it in their drinking water for 5 - 7 days. If it is coccidia, she will seem tremendously better after just a couple doses.

Keep her warm, but not hot, and comfortable. Keep up with the hydration and try and get some food into her. Hopefully, she will be fine until you can get meds for her. This is a crazy weekend for traffic, everywhere!!!

I don't think you need to feed her water so don't want to overdo. Just give her the same amount of water that she would normally drink on her own.
Thanks for your help/advice... you were the only person who responded to me! My sick girl is about 90% better after a LONG Friday night being up every few hours to check on her. Saturday morning she was sitting up, head up & eyes open in her little box I put her in. 30 minutes later she was sitting up on the edge of the box! So back out to the coop with the rest, and she did eat. I went to our local feed store and they suggested Rooster Booster B-12, which I bought and gave her about 1cc with a syringe, then another later and I also added some to the water. She definitely perked up after that! Sunday she was back up with the rest of the girls, pecking and scratching around in the pen. She still is not roosting with the others, but stays on the floor to sleep. I am thinking she is still a little weak from her illness (whatever that was) and will hopefully be back up to 100% soon.
I have been reading reading reading trying to figure out what happened to her, but nothing fits. I am just glad she made it through that first night and I am hopeful that she is making a full recovery! Thanks again, Jenn
Good to hear about your girl! I had the same issue with the BR i posted about.

My challenge now is to get her to gain weight and re introduce her, as she gets pecked alot since I split them.

On a food note I found that small amounts of whole grain bread/toast made my bird go crazy and really start to forage around, also reduced her shavings intake.
What did you do, Jenn907?

Did you use the Corid? What was it? I am in the same situation right now. Please help!! It is my barred-rock and she is my favorite too!
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What did you do, Jenn907?

Did you use the Corid? What was it? I am in the same situation right now. Please help!! It is my barred-rock and she is my favorite too!

This thread is more then 2 years old so you may not get a lot of responses. You might try posting a new thread in this section with additional info about your bird. If you have a young bird that is lethargic/not eating etc. it would be wise to treat with Corid asap in case it's coccidiosis. Otherwise start a thread with all the info about your bird you can think of, age, any and all symptoms, what it's eating, when this started, what the poop looks like etc.

Corid is a medication that starves the cocci protozoa so that it's numbers do not overgrow and overwhelm the chicken before it has had time to develop resistance. It can be found at most feed stores or Tractor Supply, usually in the cattle dept.

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