HELP! Week old chick gasping - lost

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by SpunkyBird, May 3, 2016.

  1. SpunkyBird

    SpunkyBird In the Brooder

    Mar 27, 2016
    OK. Not how I wanted to start my morning.

    Our first batch of 4 chicks were from an organic local farm and did soo well (now almost 6 weeks) so I feel like I'm in new territory. My hubby surprised me with 6 little "crested mix" babies from atwoods last wednesday. One chick was a little "off" but we have watched it closely: eating, drinking, pooing has been fine for all of them. By off I mean, it's just kind of been funny, walked backwards, and was a little more docile per se (preferred to just sit on us or in our hands rather than looking around).

    Three of them (including that one) had some pasty butt 4 nights ago but I got that taken care of easily and all seemed well.

    It has stayed smaller than the others but still seemed to be growing and getting a few feathers in. Clear eyes, chirping, generally active. All always excited for fresh food or water.

    These guys are out in our garage instead of in our office since we are painting the inside of our house. Last night was a little cold so I had adjusted the heat lamp an inch or so. I went to check on them early this morning. All but this same "off" chick were awake and happy and busy.

    The little one had itself on its side deep in the shavings (pine) and appeared to be silently gasping. At first glance I thought it was all ready gone. It was not panting (first chicks got TOO warm once). I scooped it up and just held it a little closer to the warmth. Offered water which it drank a bit and seemed to perk up slightly. But within the hour it wretched awfully and squirmed in my hand until it gave up and passed away. :(

    I'm heartbroken but I also really, really want help to figure out what this might be so I can give the others preventative or medication if need be.

    - on medicated feed, plenty of tepid water, all other chicks very active, 1-2 weeks old, haven't been in with or near our bigger chicks yet, no bloody poo that I can see, no mucus, eyes all clear

    Last edited: May 3, 2016

  2. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    A very good way to find out what made your chick die is to have a necropsy performed. Your nearest vet may be able to do it or at least give you the name of a lab that will.

    But it seems likely your little chick was a simple victim of "failure to thrive." It's a genetic flaw which prevents absorption of nutrients.

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