Lethargic Day Old RIR - What can I do to help?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by MegC, Dec 28, 2016.

  1. MegC

    MegC Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 10, 2016
    South Carolina
    Hi-
    I'm looking for some advice. I just brought home my chicks yesterday, and all but one seem to be very active - eating, drinking, and pooping. One of the little RIRs is acting very lethargic, won't move, won't eat or drink, and looks kind of like she's panting. The other chicks are going out of their way to run over and peck this one. I tried mashing up the yolk from a hard boiled egg and mixing with chick starter like I read in a forum here, but this little chick wouldn't eat it. She's been acting this way and hasn't wanted to open her eyes much since last night. What can I do to help this little chick survive?

    This is my first time raising baby chicks, so I'm unsure of what to do. Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2016
  2. FoodFreedomNow

    FoodFreedomNow Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'd try to get some fluids, preferably with electrolytes in it, into the chick ASAP. You may need to feed her with a dropper (carefully, to avoid aspiration). Panting suggests she may be too hot - is the brooder temperature right? The other thing I'd do is check and make sure her vent isn't pasted shut, as that can be fatal if not treated quickly.

    Tagging @casportpony for additional input. Hope your chick feels better soon.
     
  3. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    You most likely have a 'failure-to-thrive" baby. Be prepared. It may not make it. Genetic defects are probably preventing it from absorbing nutrients. It won't eat because it's weak.

    Get some Poultry Nitri-drench. Give it a straight shot with the dropper along side its beak. Try to get some inside its mouth without making it aspirate.

    Crumbled tofu with the Nutri-drench sprinkled over it may encourage it to eat. Or try finely minced boiled egg white. Put sugar in a bit of tepid water, along with enough nutri-drench to make it look like weak tea. Try to get it to drink that.

    Your goal is to strengthen and hydrate it so it will start eating. If you can get it over this hurdle, there may be a chance for it.
     
  4. MegC

    MegC Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 10, 2016
    South Carolina
    Update: It pooped with what looked like blood in it. I had to wipe it off because it was stuck to it's feathers. I'm going to go to TSC to get nutri-drench and some medicated feed for my other chicks. Should I separate this sickly one? Do my other chicks really need the medicated feed? Thanks for all the advice!
     
  5. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    A struggling chick, unless it has a contagious illness or is being mercilessly attacked by the others, is better off left with its mates. It is more likely to be encouraged to eat by the other chicks than if it were all alone.

    What was the source for your chicks? If it was a reputable hatchery, there's little likelihood of this chick having coccidiosis, which would account for blood in the poop. More likely it's constipated and straining to go, and there may be irritation producing a little trace of blood. If that's the case, try to get some mineral oil down it.

    If you got these chicks from a private breeder of questionable reputation, it very well could be infested with the cocci parasite. If that was your source, you would do well to play it safe and pick up some Corid and treat the entire bunch of chicks.
     
  6. MegC

    MegC Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 10, 2016
    South Carolina
    I purchased these chicks from Meyer Hatchery, which had mostly positive reviews. Last night, I added electrolyte mix to the water and mixed in a little honey and tried to feed this little chick with a syringe. She didn't seem to be doing very well and was very wobbly and would just flop over. I prepared myself to find her dead this morning. Today she actually seems to be a little better. She drank without the syringe, just from me dipping her beak in the water, and pecked at some food and another chick's toes. She's still very sleepy/lethargic, wobbly on her feet, and won't walk around the cage on her own. She prefers to stay under the heating pad. Does it sound like there is a chance for this chick? She also seems to be a lot smaller than the others.
     
  7. FoodFreedomNow

    FoodFreedomNow Chillin' With My Peeps

    There's always a chance, IMO. It may just take some time for her to recover from whatever ails her...and, realistically, it's still possible she may still succumb. All we can do is try our best - sometimes, the problems can just be too much for them.

    She sounds like she's perked up quite a bit! A weak chick may have extra difficulty regulating its body temperature, so that could be why she's staying under the heating pad. I hope she continues to get stronger. [​IMG]
     
  8. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Poultry Nutri-drench would give this chick a much better chance than plain electrolytes. It gets absorbed right into the blood stream and could make a huge difference. Well worth the $$ spent on the bottle.
     
  9. MegC

    MegC Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 10, 2016
    South Carolina
    The feed stores near me have all been out of poultry nutri-drench! I ended up purchasing a electrolyte formula made by Ideal that was recommended to me. I'll have to find some to buy on Amazon or somewhere online. My little chick is still alive this morning. Since they're a few days old now, she's now obviously smaller than the rest. [​IMG]
     
  10. FoodFreedomNow

    FoodFreedomNow Chillin' With My Peeps

    It's great that she's still hanging in there...any improvement in eating/drinking/activity level? Try not to worry too much about her size - she could catch up with the others, or she may always remain smaller and still have a good quality of life.

    Keep up the good work! [​IMG]
     

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