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I think my baby chick may be sick. Respiratory???

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by 3princesses, Jun 24, 2016.

  1. 3princesses

    3princesses Hatching

    Jun 24, 2016
    I am a first timer in owning chickens. I recently purchased 3 chicks and had them shipped to me. They have all been doing great until one seemed a little off yesterday evening.

    Two are just fine but the third seems a bit off suddenly. She is about 2 weeks old and she is a buff orpington. She was fine yesterday morning. When I checked on them again after work yesterday she seemed a bit off to me but I'm a newby at this.

    My suspicions arose yesterday evening when I went to pick her up. She normally tolerates it but might try and jump and fly from your hand normally. She didn't do this yesterday. She let me hold her without a fuss and was closing her eyes while in my hand, which hasn't been the usual behavior for her. I touched the tip of her beak and noticed that there was a clear stringy fluid/mucus. I didn't see any signs of this mucus on the outside of her beak or around her eyes or anything. I touched her beak again to be sure it wasn't just water and the mucus was there again. I also noticed that her feet are much cooler than my other two chicks. I would somewhat describe her behavior as lethargic - she stands in the corner of the pen by herself. She was laying down at night and snuggling up with the other two. I've seen her at the food and water but haven't first hand see her eat anything. I did see her take a couple tiny sips of water then she'd just go back to her corner. She also seems to be swallowing a lot. I held her and watched and she seems like she was "smacking her lips" (best way I can describe it at the moment) a lot or swallowing a lot. Her "peep" noises do sound different too, kinda like she has a cold.
    I haven't seen any coughing or sneezing like behavior. Since the three are together, I can't tell who's poo is who's but I haven't seen any poo that appears abnormal from what I've seen thus far. Their bedding is timothy hay. I am feeding them chick starter food (unmedicated). I change their water atleast once per day, most often twice. I have been alternating between clean (untreated) water and water which has both probiotic and electrolyte powder additives for chicks.I have been taking them outside once per day (when it's warm and sunny) and let them peck around in my yard. Only thing different about yesterday was that I bought them dried grubs from the feed store as a treat. They didn't seem interested in them but I saw them all eat a couple. I held her and felt her chest (impacted crop???) to see if I felt anything outwardly obvious and I didn't notice anything that seemed different from the other two.

    I was hoping maybe I was just over reacting last night but she seemed lethargic-ish this morning too. I could be reading into her behavior too much but she seems off and I'd like to try and get this nipped in the bud before anything gets too serious. I'm guessing something respiratory.

    Any ideas?!

  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Free Ranging Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    You need to start giving her the electrolyte water by dipping her beak into it or using a dropper a drop at a time over the next few hours, since she seems very weak. At what age were they shipped to you? Chicks really should not be shipped unless they have just hatched, and they have up to 3 days to live without food or water. Three chicks in a box would not be warm enough, and if they were older than newly hatched, they could have become dehydrated. Chicks need chick grit if they are pecking at grass, or foods other than chick starter. First get her hydrated, warm, and then offer her some chick feed thinned with a little water and a raw egg to eat. I hope she survives, and good luck.

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