Lethargic chick won’t eat

axg17

In the Brooder
Jul 21, 2021
32
15
26
Hi everyone, I have a chick who is 1 week old today and she has not been eating. She is very lethargic and closes her eyes if we leave her alone, though she perks up if we touch her or if she finds herself falling. She has Spraddled Legs, which we have put a bandage on her for, so she is a little unbalanced and falls over every few steps, which could also be contributing to her lethargy.
She drinks water when we give it to her, though she does not go for it herself, and she does not eat. We have mixed her seeds with water which we manage to feed her sometimes, though she does not open her beak enough (so she clearly does not want to eat it). However, she is pooping which is good- they are sometimes watery, but this must be a sign that she is eating at least a little. She is also growing, but not as much as my other chick (who is eating a lot).
We have had her around the room, because we needed to tend to her to calm her down and help with her balance, but now she is mainly under the heat lamp which seems to have helped her. We have not been keeping her with the other chick as he pecks her which causes her distress, and stands on her when she loses her balance and falls over.
I have ordered some probiotics and poultry nutri drench, but they are not due to come for at least 3 days as I live in the UK. Is there anything anyone can recommend?
 

axg17

In the Brooder
Jul 21, 2021
32
15
26
I can’t get her to eat scrambled eggs, but I have given her some egg yolk using a syringe. She is sleeping now and is very gently chirping in her sleep, but does not seem disturbed or uncomfortable- is this chirping something I should be concerned about or is it normal?
 

axg17

In the Brooder
Jul 21, 2021
32
15
26
I have just noticed that she seems to be doing this when my other chick chirps, but when he stops she stops as well- is this disturbing her sleep or should she be alright?
 

Swbertrand1

Crowing
Apr 21, 2018
1,130
1,550
271
Wilmington, NC
Gentle chirping is a good sign and normal. We interpret it as a sign of contentment in our birds. As for feeding

We mix a moist mash of Starter Feed, Yogurt (any flavor though we seem to use "mixed berries" most of the time), and some Vitamin/Electrolyte water (Sav-A-Chic products are good for this) all mixed together. You can add Scrambled Egg to it if you'd like, but their feed is going to give them what they need, while the Yogurt helps aid digestion and maintain healthy bacteria in the belly. To get the extra vitamins, Nutri-Drench will work too; so will Poly-Vi-Sol (liquid baby vitamins that you can get at CVS/Walgreens/etc). Use a few drops of either in the mash.

Once you've got all the ingredients in a small bowl, mix it all up until it's just on the dry side of runny. Add more feed if it's too wet, more liquid if too dry, and so on. Mix only as much as you're going to try to feed at any one time as bacteria can grow quickly in wet feed. Feed the chick as many times per day as it will eat too. They experience explosive growth in their first weeks and months of life, and the MUST have the nutrients for the growth.

How to hand feed a chick can be found in the link below, but there are others out there. You can feed off the end of a syringe, use a small blunt portion of a popsicle stick, a small plastic spoon, whatever works for you to present the mix to the chick. We've even gently opened the mouth of a chick to put a little food in to get them started in extreme cases. I hope this helps. Good luck!

https://video.search.yahoo.com/sear...ea1183547d73fdbf6c355bdbdd26e8cd&action=click
 

axg17

In the Brooder
Jul 21, 2021
32
15
26
Hi everyone, it is now a day later. She has had a little more wet seed than normal (still no luck with the egg) but I have an issue. This morning she had a good amount of water and a little bubble of water was in her mouth, and she lifted her head up as if struggling to swallow. I googled it and came to the conclusion that she had just had too much too fast. After a couple minutes she was alright. Today she has been eating seed mixed with water, and has eaten more than she usually has. Just now I gave her only two drops of water and she had bubbles again- I thought she was having trouble swallowing as she had not had too much water, so I checked her crop. It feels slightly dough-y on one side, but in the middle and other side it feels completely normal. After this, she pooped and it was normal, just a little watery. I’m worried she might have an impacted crop, but I don’t know what she possibly could have eaten to cause a blockage- she only eats seeds and water when given to her and she has had egg yolk twice over the last week- she does not eat by herself. Is it possible that she has an impacted crop? In which case, should I give her some vegetable oil? I am just worried that she will have trouble swallowing it if I give her some, as it is thicker than the water she had difficulty with. Or is it more likely that her crop is just filled a little as she has had more food today than usual? Any advice is appreciated I am very worried about her.
 

axg17

In the Brooder
Jul 21, 2021
32
15
26
Gentle chirping is a good sign and normal. We interpret it as a sign of contentment in our birds. As for feeding

We mix a moist mash of Starter Feed, Yogurt (any flavor though we seem to use "mixed berries" most of the time), and some Vitamin/Electrolyte water (Sav-A-Chic products are good for this) all mixed together. You can add Scrambled Egg to it if you'd like, but their feed is going to give them what they need, while the Yogurt helps aid digestion and maintain healthy bacteria in the belly. To get the extra vitamins, Nutri-Drench will work too; so will Poly-Vi-Sol (liquid baby vitamins that you can get at CVS/Walgreens/etc). Use a few drops of either in the mash.

Once you've got all the ingredients in a small bowl, mix it all up until it's just on the dry side of runny. Add more feed if it's too wet, more liquid if too dry, and so on. Mix only as much as you're going to try to feed at any one time as bacteria can grow quickly in wet feed. Feed the chick as many times per day as it will eat too. They experience explosive growth in their first weeks and months of life, and the MUST have the nutrients for the growth.

How to hand feed a chick can be found in the link below, but there are others out there. You can feed off the end of a syringe, use a small blunt portion of a popsicle stick, a small plastic spoon, whatever works for you to present the mix to the chick. We've even gently opened the mouth of a chick to put a little food in to get them started in extreme cases. I hope this helps. Good luck!

https://video.search.yahoo.com/sear...ea1183547d73fdbf6c355bdbdd26e8cd&action=click
Hi, thank you!.This morning she had a good amount of water and a little bubble of water was in her mouth, and she lifted her head up as if struggling to swallow. I googled it and came to the conclusion that she had just had too much too fast. After a couple minutes she was alright. Today she has been eating seed mixed with water, and has eaten more than she usually has. Just now I gave her only two drops of water and she had bubbles again- I thought she was having trouble swallowing as she had not had too much water, so I checked her crop. It feels slightly dough-y on one side, but in the middle and other side it feels completely normal. After this, she pooped and it was normal, just a little watery. I’m worried she might have an impacted crop, but I don’t know what she possibly could have eaten to cause a blockage- she only eats seeds and water when given to her and she has had egg yolk twice over the last week- she does not eat by herself. Is it possible that she has an impacted crop? i have not yet tried the seed and yogurt mix you mentioned because I read that it is best not to feed her until it’s treated. In which case, should I give her some vegetable oil? I am just worried that she will have trouble swallowing it if I give her some, as it is thicker than the water she had difficulty with. Or is it more likely that her crop is just filled a little as she has had more food today than usual? Any advice is appreciated I am very worried about her
 

Swbertrand1

Crowing
Apr 21, 2018
1,130
1,550
271
Wilmington, NC
Hi, thank you!.This morning she had a good amount of water and a little bubble of water was in her mouth, and she lifted her head up as if struggling to swallow. I googled it and came to the conclusion that she had just had too much too fast. After a couple minutes she was alright. Today she has been eating seed mixed with water, and has eaten more than she usually has. Just now I gave her only two drops of water and she had bubbles again- I thought she was having trouble swallowing as she had not had too much water, so I checked her crop. It feels slightly dough-y on one side, but in the middle and other side it feels completely normal. After this, she pooped and it was normal, just a little watery. I’m worried she might have an impacted crop, but I don’t know what she possibly could have eaten to cause a blockage- she only eats seeds and water when given to her and she has had egg yolk twice over the last week- she does not eat by herself. Is it possible that she has an impacted crop? i have not yet tried the seed and yogurt mix you mentioned because I read that it is best not to feed her until it’s treated. In which case, should I give her some vegetable oil? I am just worried that she will have trouble swallowing it if I give her some, as it is thicker than the water she had difficulty with. Or is it more likely that her crop is just filled a little as she has had more food today than usual? Any advice is appreciated I am very worried about her

One of the things that needs to be monitored here is how the crop is behaving. In the evening, just before their bedtime, a chick's crop should be mostly full. It will feel a little firm, but can be "squished". Think of a dough ball like you're baking cookies or firmer - that sort of consistency, and you should be able to feel it through her crop skin. That crop should be empty or nearly empty by morning. If it's not, then you're likely dealing with an impacted crop.

Since this has been going on a few days, try to sniff and smell around her mouth. If it smells foul (like rotting food), then she might also be dealing with sour crop from not being able to pass the food through her digestive tract. In either case, below is a link to a good step-by-step walkthrough on how to deal with the impacted crop. There's a second video that shows how to give her liquids - sounds like if she's gurgling that you might not be hitting the right spot. In any case, if you're "watering" her with a syringe or eye-dropper, be SURE you're in the right spot to administer the liquids. If you're unsure, DO NOT PROCEED AND PUSH THE PLUNGER OR SQUEEZE THE DROPPER! Remove the syringe/dropper from the mouth, and start again. You do not want to aspirate the chick.

Back to the crop: It's VERY important that you check her crop first thing in the morning. Again, it should be empty or nearly empty. During the day, give her some water with a bit of mineral oil and massage the crop to try to break up the blockage and get things moving.

Here's the first video on impacted crop and solutions:
https://thegreenestacre.com/impacted-crop-signs-and-how-to-treat/

Here's a better video than the first on administering liquids. Forgive me for the video a few posts back as I missed that you're dealing with a week-old chick, which requires a bit more finesse since they're so little. Pay special attention to the anatomy of the chicken mouth in the last photo before the comments, but read the page:
https://bitchinchickens.com/2020/02/06/how-to-safely-give-oral-medications/
 

axg17

In the Brooder
Jul 21, 2021
32
15
26
One of the things that needs to be monitored here is how the crop is behaving. In the evening, just before their bedtime, a chick's crop should be mostly full. It will feel a little firm, but can be "squished". Think of a dough ball like you're baking cookies or firmer - that sort of consistency, and you should be able to feel it through her crop skin. That crop should be empty or nearly empty by morning. If it's not, then you're likely dealing with an impacted crop.

Since this has been going on a few days, try to sniff and smell around her mouth. If it smells foul (like rotting food), then she might also be dealing with sour crop from not being able to pass the food through her digestive tract. In either case, below is a link to a good step-by-step walkthrough on how to deal with the impacted crop. There's a second video that shows how to give her liquids - sounds like if she's gurgling that you might not be hitting the right spot. In any case, if you're "watering" her with a syringe or eye-dropper, be SURE you're in the right spot to administer the liquids. If you're unsure, DO NOT PROCEED AND PUSH THE PLUNGER OR SQUEEZE THE DROPPER! Remove the syringe/dropper from the mouth, and start again. You do not want to aspirate the chick.

Back to the crop: It's VERY important that you check her crop first thing in the morning. Again, it should be empty or nearly empty. During the day, give her some water with a bit of mineral oil and massage the crop to try to break up the blockage and get things moving.

Here's the first video on impacted crop and solutions:
https://thegreenestacre.com/impacted-crop-signs-and-how-to-treat/

Here's a better video than the first on administering liquids. Forgive me for the video a few posts back as I missed that you're dealing with a week-old chick, which requires a bit more finesse since they're so little. Pay special attention to the anatomy of the chicken mouth in the last photo before the comments, but read the page:
https://bitchinchickens.com/2020/02/06/how-to-safely-give-oral-medications/
Thank you so much for all your help! When giving her liquids we have just been letting a drop at a time go and she is opening her beak herself, or we gently raise the water to her beak and she dips it in briefly, rather than us putting the syringe in her beak. We have given her vegetable oil and massaged her crop twice today, and will carry on throughout the day tomorrow as it says on the link you attached. Last night before she slept it was dough-y and it was still like that this morning, but we had fed her during the night. Tomorrow I will check her crop in the morning.

She doesnt eat much, so we tend to give her water a couple of times during the night- would you recommend not doing this so that the crop can empty?

Also, she is pooping around 4 times a day, so can she still have an impacted/sour crop? Or would she not be able to poop if she had this?
 

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