Help! Weak baby chick with closed eyes!


Jan 7, 2016
This is going to be long, I'm just trying to not leave anything out.

I ordered baby chicks from Meyers for the first time and so far, things haven't been good. I've ordered from My Pet Chicken twice before and had received strong chicks both times with no deaths.

I did order more this time, though. My first order with MPC was 5 and the second was 12.

The order I placed with Meyers was for 26. 9 Welsummers, 9 Australorps (+ 1 male), 5 Blue Americaunas (+1 male), and the meal maker chick. The order shipped on the 4th and arrived on the 6th. One Welsummer was DOA. Later that evening, one Australorp died. I live in South Georgia, near the Florida line, so while it is somewhat cold, it's not terribly chilly. They were on a screened-in porch in a sturdy wooden box we'd built for them. We had a sweeter heater + a brinsea heater that sits on the ground. They were running around exploring so they weren't huddled together like they were cold. So, it was a big surprise when we found the Australorp dead.

We were checking to make sure the rest of them were all okay and noticed one of the Blue Americaunas was standing strangely with its wings out. We took that one with all the others that looked somewhat weak (all of the Americaunas, 1 Australorp, 2 Welsummers) with the brinsea heater and put them in the bathroom in a box and turned the heat on. The ones that were more hardy went in a bigger box in the living room with the other lamp on them - they were doing fine and running around.

The weaker ones were doing okay - just staying huddled under the lamp and not moving much. The one with its wings out couldn't stand up on her own any longer, so we took her out and held her in a warmed (not wet) washcloth and tried to give her some water with electrolytes. She wouldn't drink and kept her eyes closed. She also wouldn't peep at all or try to move. Her feet were extremely pale, but the color came back after a bit. She also ended up throwing up and it was foamy, and she did poop once but it was tiny (white with some black and hard).

Later that night (about midnight), she was doing much better. She was peeping whenever we talked to her, drinking water eagerly and able to hold herself up some. We gave her some Nutridrench, plain water, and water with electrolytes. She wouldn't eat any food even if it was mashed up and still wasn't able to walk around. Her eyes remained closed most of the time, only opening for a couple of seconds when we talked to her and she peeped in response, and when we gave her Nutridrench because she doesn't like the way it tastes. She did poop again and it was a LOT with some solid black pieces and white foam, but it was mostly blackish water.

We put her under the heat lamp with the others when she was able to hold herself up and went to bed.

This morning, we got up at 7 and checked on her. She was laying on her side but obviously breathing and peeping. We got her up, held her, and she started peeping like crazy and drinking more water, but her eyes were still closed. We put her back under the lamp once she was a little stronger because we had to leave for work, but when we went to check on her right before we left, she was on her side again. I taped together a bit of cardboard and paper towels to make like a seat that will hold her in place (not strapping her in, just propping her upright) while we're gone so she won't get stepped on.

I'm not sure what is wrong with her or what to do. She's trying really hard to fight and make it. She'll stretch her body up to meet our hands when we try to pet her and she responds to us when we talk. But she can't stand for long or hold her eyes open.

Has anyone dealt with this before or have any advice on what else to do? She's getting better, but I don't know how long she can go without eating.

I'm at work now and don't get off until 6, so I won't be able to post pictures until then.


Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Jul 16, 2015
Some chicks will arrive and be low on blood sugar, they need to eat and drink but are too weak or confused to do so. I not familiar with what is in nutri drench but I always add brown sugar to my chicks water at a teaspoon per quart to give them some quick energy to get fired up. At this point it sounds like you are doing all you can, if they don't get going quickly they often don't make it so hopefully your little chick will hang in there, it's also possible it's not formed correctly internally. I am a fan of My Pet Chicken too. Good luck and sorry you are having troubles.


Jan 7, 2016
I'll try some brown sugar in water tonight when I get home. Thank you for replying!!

I'm researching what exactly it could be and I'm wondering if it's Coccidiosis?

I had two girls from my first batch that got sick with it once they were older. We lost one before we knew what it was and the second had some of the same stuff going on with this chick:
> unable to stand
> closed eyes
> droopy wings
> foamy vomit
> foamy poop

I gave her some of the medicine for it that you mix in water that I got at the feed store. We still have some left, so I think I'll give her that tonight and see if it's the cause. I know it brought my older girl back VERY fast and she looked like she was dying.

Would it be okay to put some extra in the water for the others just in case it is Coccidiosis?

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