How to correctly give chicks fluids/medicines with an eyedropper

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Winsor Woods, Aug 22, 2009.

  1. Winsor Woods

    Winsor Woods Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 14, 2009
    Cascade Range in WA
    Hey all,

    I've had some sneezing chicks lately. Their noses weren't runny and I've used Vetrx, probiotics, electrolytes, and wheat germ oil. This has helped dramatically too. I think they had a virus and just needed some extra TLC to help kick it. Almost no sneezing now.

    Anyways, one of the vitamin supplements I got came in a bottle with an eyedropper cap and gave instructions for use either in their drinking water or "for fast results", directly to the chicks mouth using the eye-dropper. Well my inexperience must be readily apparent to these chicks cause the direct mouth with the eyedropper thing isn't working for me. I'm so afraid that I'm hurting these little guys when I open their beaks. They scream bloody murder so loud that it startles me. Do they always scream like that when you open their beaks or is my technique off?

    Second question is that when I finally got the beak open and was able to get a drop or two of the liquid vitamin in there, they wouldn't want to swallow. One exhaled and I saw bubble in the mouth and I freaked cause I though it went into his lungs. I was hoping that just by dropping the liquid into their beak that they'd know with tube to send it down. Anyways, they'd just stuggle and eventually shake their heads and all the vitamins would splatter everywhere and I'd be left with an agitated and untreated chick who is now reluctant for me to pick them up.

    So what was I doing wrong? I figured I might as well learn this skill for the future in case I need to do it and get it right the first time.

    Dan
     
  2. texasgal

    texasgal Brood with an Attitude

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    I don't know the answer, but will be interested to see how it is answered..
     
  3. Bonnie148

    Bonnie148 New Egg

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    Jan 21, 2009
    I'm not sure, either, but maybe you are opening their beaks too wide, and it hurts. When I have had to get liquid into a sick chick or a dehydrated one, I usually just get a drop on the end of my finger and touch it to the side of their beak in the slit between upper and lower parts, and it's just drawn in by surface tension. It's a slow process, but the chick can probably control its swallowing better than if a dozen drops get squirted in all at once. I know it's scary when bubbles start coming out of their nostrils!
     
  4. Winsor Woods

    Winsor Woods Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 14, 2009
    Cascade Range in WA
    Just bumping this thread....

    As far as opening their beaks too far, I don't think so. I've seen them open much further on their own. Basically I just get my index finger between their top and bottom beak parts and try to hold onto their lower jaw. That's when they just start screaming like I'm killing them or something.

    Dan
     
  5. dixiechick

    dixiechick Chillin' With My Peeps

    thought I would share....I gave water to my sick hen by mouth and eyedropper, and she apirated and died. Not meant to scare you...just sharing what could happen with inexperience (like me).
     
  6. Winsor Woods

    Winsor Woods Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 14, 2009
    Cascade Range in WA
    Yeah that's what I want to avoid. I've read so many times on threads here at BYC about giving this or that via eye-dropper straight into the mouth. Yet I can't seem to find any descriptions of how to do this properly. Any experienced people out there care to educate us? Pretty Please?

    Dan
     
  7. ShaggysGirl

    ShaggysGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm new to chickens but I used to breed parrots. To make sure stuff goes into the crop and not the wind pipe point the dropped/syringe to the chicks right. So if it is facing you you'd hold the chick with your left hand and with your right hand point the dropper to your left which is the chicks right.
    You can also just drop it into the mouth and they will swallow it on their own most times. be sure to let it get a breath if you can giving a lot of liquids at one time.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2009
  8. Winsor Woods

    Winsor Woods Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 14, 2009
    Cascade Range in WA
    Quote:Thanks for the reply Shaggy'sGirl,

    I'm wondering if the vitamins don't taste good then. Cause when I did get a drop in their mouth, the liquid just sat there and they didn't swallow. finally they just shook their head and all the vitamins went everywhere!

    Maybe I should just use a crop-tube to put the vitamins and stuff in. But it would still be good to know how to open their beaks for a VetRX swab. Is it normal that they scream when you open their beaks? Is it somethey they get used to or will calm down after a bit? I'm just a scardy-cat and think I'm hurting the poor little things. Maybe they're just playing me cause I'm trying to be super gentle?

    Dan
     
  9. ShaggysGirl

    ShaggysGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine fuss like crazy when I open their beaks too. Just try to be gentle.
    I am dealing with sour crop right now on a 12 day old [​IMG] getting ready to tube the chick in a few minuets to flush the crop. I have some Medistatin coming in two days. Hoping it makes it in time.
     
  10. SilkieTime

    SilkieTime Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2009
    Joelton Tn.
    I have three that I've been giving Poly-vi-sol twice a day 2 or three drops. I don't open there mouth. Put on glasses. Just a half inch of vitamin and slowly one droop at a time till I know they got it. It just goes in buy its self. You can see them take it in. Hold them a little on there side and take your time. The more times you do it the better you will get. Good luck!
     

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