Lethargic chick also breathing heavy

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' 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. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    It sounds like she may be suffering from shipping stress and dehydration. Do the best you can to get more water, sugar water or electrolytes into her. Use the q-tip to drip water onto her beak and allow her to take it in. Some people have success from them drinking from a spoon. Whatever you can do to get her hydrated. Once she is properly hydrated and stronger, then offer her some wet chick starter to see if she will eat.

    It sounds like your brooder temp is fine - FWIW just one spot or area of the brooder needs to be that temp - the rest needs to be cooler, check to see if there is enough room for them to get out from under the heat and cool down if necessary.
     
  3. EmilyOstertag

    EmilyOstertag Just Hatched

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    Mar 6, 2017
    This is great advice! :) Thank you for being so thorough!

    Others suggested that maybe the brooder is too hot and she might not have a spot to cool down. I have moved the thermometer to the outskirts to check for temp. and will move the light around to accommodate a cool spot.

    As far as hydrating her with a water, electrolyte solution, how many times a day will she need this and how much should I try to get her to take?

    Thanks again!
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2017
  4. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Try to get as much as you can into her. Chicks drink more than we think and become dehydrated quickly. I don't know the exact quantity, it will be a slow process if she won't drink on her own. You can also try holding a shallow dish of water under her beak and gently dip her beak in it to see if she will begin by herself.

    Depending on how much you get into her I'd try every 30mins for a while to see if she improves.
     

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