Lethargic chick also breathing heavy

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by EmilyOstertag, Mar 6, 2017.

  1. EmilyOstertag

    EmilyOstertag Just Hatched

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    Mar 6, 2017
    Hello,

    We got five chicks today from Southern States, each a different breed--so they were in different brooders. Our Welsummer is not doing so good, or at least I think she looks a little under the weather despite looking healthy at the store. We just got them home and all set up about 3 or 4 hours ago, and while all the others are settling in, eating, running around and drinking water she is extremely lethargic, lying around and breathing with her beak open. I have not seen her attempt to eat or drink, but she has walked over to the dispensers and looks interested. Overall she looks pretty sad. Also, her wings are drooped down and away from her body while her head seems to sag with weakness. She had a pasty butt when we got home, but I was sure to clean that off and apply a small dap of antibiotic ointment to it. After reading about Coccidiosis, I made her a mixture of water, electrolytes, vitamins, sugar and apple cider vinegar, which I gave her with a Q-Tip. Her must've gotten at least a few drops.

    One thing she is managing to do quite vigorously is preen her bottom/vent area, as it is a little wet/ointment covered. That small bit of spunk is giving me some hope. Their brooder temperature has stayed at a pretty constant 93 degrees Fahrenheit since I put the thermometer in there, which seems to be suiting the others just fine.

    I don't know what else to do for her! Please help. I would feel so bad about separating her and lack another suitable area... although I could come up with one if need be. I've also thought about giving her some egg yolk from one of our adult chicken's fresh eggs. Would this help, since she does not seem to be eating?

    Thank you!
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2017
  2. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    Is the entire space 93F or is it a large enough container for them to move out of the heat? Because panting and holding wings out is overheating.
     
  3. Ducks4us

    Ducks4us Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Agree sounds like its way to hot.
     
  4. Shezadandy

    Shezadandy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    x3 on needing a good cool area outside the heat. Babies with broody hens to raise them don't spend anywhere near as much time under there as we'd think. They just go back for quick warmings and then off to the chickie races again.

    Poultry Nutri-drench can be a good 'pick-me-up' for a lethargic chick.
     
  5. EmilyOstertag

    EmilyOstertag Just Hatched

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    To all of you,

    The chicks are in a 50 gallon container, which is about 2 feet wide by 5 feet long. They have a standard heat lamp hanging about 2 1/2 to 3 feet above them. I am checking now to see what the temp is on the outskirts of the container--I had the thermometer right where the light hits.

    I will make sure they have a cool spot as well as a warm spot. Thank you for the advice and also for the product suggestion! :)
     
  6. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    I switched over to the mama heating pad with this batch. I've always been an outdoors brooding advocate but to see them with a MHP rather than a lamp has been enlightening. They really don't warm up for long or often after the first couple days. Mine currently range 5-10 days old and are outside in 30 degree weather running around like it's nothing! And when it's 70 and sunny? They hardly go near the pad.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2017
  7. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    You only have 5 chicks. Do you have a lower wattage bulb? I know they're harder to find in red but you don't need anywhere near 250W. Better white light than cooked peeps. I only used 175W with ambient temps in the teens outside.
     
  8. EmilyOstertag

    EmilyOstertag Just Hatched

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    debid,

    I do have a 250W bulb :/ Just bought a new one today becuase the red wore off of our old one. These comments are all very enlightening. I had no idea chicks didn't need to be under a super warm light and could be so hardy without a lamp. I have moved the lamp farther away from them and the temp. is steadily dropping. What temperatures should I be looking for in their warm spot and in their cool spot?

    Also, the mama heating pad is something I have never heard of before, but would love to try! I am trying to make it a cooler place for them with a warm spot for them to choose to be in. :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2017
  9. EmilyOstertag

    EmilyOstertag Just Hatched

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    Thank you all for your help! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2017
  10. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    Frankly, I've never used a thermometer to gauge it. If they sleep in the light circle next to each other but not climbing up on each other trying to get higher, it's perfect. If they aren't sleeping in the light circle, it's too warm. If you have to raise the lamp 3', the circle is diffused to the point you're heating most of your space and they'll struggle to find a difference between warmer and cooler. BTW, I switched to the Mhp because it was so difficult to keep from overheating the brooder even with the 100W bulb I used in warmer weather. The pad only draws 50W but because they can touch it directly, it's plenty. Even outside!
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2017

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