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Listless chick questions

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by itsmatt, May 20, 2008.

  1. itsmatt

    itsmatt Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 19, 2007
    Day Two with our chicks and one of the Buff Orpingtons, nicknamed PB, has been struggling with a pasty backside and seems listless much of the time. I've wiped down her backside with a warm wet paper towel and applied petroleum jelly three times now. She does wobble around a bunch - though they all have done that a bit - but isn't nearly as active as the other five.

    I have questions:

    1 - Should I be concerned for the health of the other chicks? They all seem to be active and alert while PB seems to rock back and forth a lot and has her eyes closed more than the others.

    2 - Should I move her into her own box?

    3 - Am I not doing anything I should be doing?

    I realize that chicks die sometimes and I frankly won't be surprised if this one doesn't make it, but I'm doing what I can to attend to her needs. Just looking for some practical advice and thoughts from others with more experience.

    Have a good day,
    Matt
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2008
  2. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

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    Mar 20, 2008
    NW Kentucky
    Have you tried putting a little sugar or liquid baby vitamins (polyvisol I think it is) in the water?

    If not, I would try that and see if she perks up a bit. A boiled egg mashed up or her starter feed in a bit of water to make like a paste/soup. You are doing everything you can.

    I would not be too worried about the other chicks as she is the only one suffering from this and she just may not be thriving and it is simple as that. Her pasty butt is most likely caused from the stress of shipping and so forth. It usually only lasts a couple of days. Just kep an eye on her and the others.

    Good luck with the babies.
     
  3. LilBizzy

    LilBizzy Chicken Storyteller

    May 20, 2008
    Maryland
    Wow, you just described my lil Pnut. We've had her for 4 days now, and she's shaky on her feet, wobbly, and had a pasty butt ( I think)yesterday. I just posted my first question about her, so hopefuly we'll get some knowledgeble suggestions. My lil Pnut seems to be doing a bit better today, but Im still worried we'll lose her. I don't think she's ill, just tiny. I hope your PB and my Pnut will both thrive. Makes me sad to see the little one seem so lost.
     
  4. itsmatt

    itsmatt Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 19, 2007
    Quote:I moved PB into her own box and while it isn't ideal, at least she isn't getting run over by the others now. I don't have the best setup for her but there is a light bulb next to the box and some water and food. Mostly she just sits there breathing hard. She's quite sad looking and very weak. I'm hoping the isolation allows her to rest a bit. I suspect only time will tell. My children are learning another life lesson through this, similar to the one they learned when our lab died and while I'm not happy about the situation, it is a teachable moment about life and death and struggle to survive.

    I hope your chick continues to improve. Thanks for the reply!

    Matt
     
  5. LilBizzy

    LilBizzy Chicken Storyteller

    May 20, 2008
    Maryland
    Is she breathing hard, like panting? I'm no expert by no means, but if shes panting, maybe she's too warm. You might want to make sure she has 1 corner where she can get away from the heat if she needs to. Have you tried dipping the tip of her beak in the water? I had to do that with Pnut. Then I mixed water with food to make a very wet mush( which she fell into face first,and ended up getting her eye glued shut, poor thing) You didn't say if she was eating or drinking. I put the foodmush on the tip of my finger and pretty much put some in Pnuts mouth ( which she promptly spit out, just like a human baby LOL).
    Ugh, I know kids have to learn about life and death, but with a pet, or something so cute and fuzzy... wish none of us had to go thru it.
     
  6. CodyChristine

    CodyChristine Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 11, 2008
    Belle Plaine, MN
    I hope your little chick gets better. I don't want to worry you but my little Buff that was 3 days old last week had the exact same symptoms - listless, getting run over by the others, just standing there, panting, a little pasty. On Day 4 I found she had passed during the night. I think she was just failure to thrive as she wasn't growing like the others were. I never moved her out of the regular brooder so maybe you doing so will help yours get better. Keep us posted.
     
  7. itsmatt

    itsmatt Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 19, 2007
    Well, the chick died last evening. Compared to the others, she was smaller and definitely looked less healthy. Her breathing was labored and wasn't drinking, even when I tried to get her to drink by hand.

    On the bright site, the remaining five are thriving and amusing the kids with their goofy ways. They spent 15 minutes inspecting a small hole in the box that I made while adding a little roost (a dowel) to the corner of the box. Quite fun to watch.

    Thanks for the comments and such to all.

    Matt
     
  8. basicliving

    basicliving Keepin' the sunny side up

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    Mar 20, 2008
    Shenandoah Valley, VA
    I'm so sorry you lost her. I've lost two of my 27 so far, and am down to 25.

    I just wanted to add that I've set up a little Chick Intensive Care Unit, which is just a small cardboard box in the brooder where I'm putting the weaker chicks. I give them sugar water by hand (in a syringe or straw) and leave down started food mixed with sugar water and a little bowl of sugar water. I had 2 very weak ones that bounced back and I put them back with the others this morning. But I have a very tiny one that's been in there for 2 days. She's doing better, but still wobbly on her legs. She's also had pasty butt, and it's a chore keeping it clean. It seems better this morning. She may not make it either, but I'm doing all I can for her.

    Good luck with the remaining chicks! They are so fun to watch - I find it hard to leave them!

    Penny
     
  9. Bird Hearder

    Bird Hearder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 10, 2008
    Salisbury, Md.
    Lilbizzy's other half here.

    We lost our little Pnut today. I came home from work to find her tiny little body. although it did seem as tho all the other chicks were huddled up with her as if to keep her warm or just knowing something was wrong. So I burried her next to the coop.
     
  10. CodyChristine

    CodyChristine Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 11, 2008
    Belle Plaine, MN
    I'm sorry for both of your losses. [​IMG] It's no fun to lose a cute little chickie but I hated to see mine suffering. When I see how the others are thriving, I know it was for the best.
     

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