My first chick! Some questions...

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Sharoane, Sep 11, 2009.

  1. Sharoane

    Sharoane Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 11, 2009
    So my other half and I have been discussing raising a few chickens. We've got a small out building that would make a perfect coop for four chickens as-is and maybe six or more with an addition. Anyway, we saw a pair of free baby chicks on Craigslist and since we don't have a flock yet, we figured why not?

    Well, the woman who dropped them off had them in a small cardboard box for the two days she had them. I have no idea how old they were, but they are smaller than my fist (and I have little hands). The smaller of the two looked wobbly and kept closing its eyes, but the bigger one was lively, peeping and as soon as we put them in their temporary home (an aquarium with a heat lamp and thermometer) and fed/watered them, the bigger chick scratched around, ate, and drank. The other one just huddled there. After consulting this board and google, I tried handfeeding the little chick with moistened food. It ate a little bit, but looked even weaker after we were done and I found it dead this morning.

    So two questions: One, what might have been wrong with little chick? Eyes were clear, no sneezing, looked okay from the outside but deteriorated over a matter of a few hours from standing up peeping but keeping its eyes closed to dying during the night.

    Two: The chicks were hatched in the previous owner's back yard and she doesn't know how old they were--her daughter found them and brought them in (no idea why) and her dad said they had to go. Is there a way I can estimate age by size/appearance? No idea what kind of chicks these were, just that they are chickens.

    Thanks for any help!
     
  2. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

    With a pic we could guess the age by the amount of feathers.

    As to what was wrong with the chick? Its hard to say but it does not sound like anything you could have fixed in the time frame you had.
     
  3. Sharoane

    Sharoane Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 11, 2009
    I can post a picture as soon as I fish the camera out from under the bed. To give you an idea before that, the baby chicks both had down on their bodies but they had feathers on their wings and very stubby tails. I don't know what type of chicks we're talking about but Scratch, the one who seems very hale and hearty, is tan with brown stripes. The little chick was darker and had more pronounced markings. They remind me of the bantam chicks my uncle always had running around and I know those tend to be smaller.

    I do feel bad about the one who died but I don't think there was much we could do, either. It was too late in the evening to go to the vet and we probably had the poor thing for six hours before it passed away. Their temporary quarters were plenty warm enough (around 80 degrees in the warmest spot with a cooler end as they didn't seem to be brand-new) and there's clean water in a shallow dish and a bag of chicken starter that came with them. Scratch has what I hope is a healthy appetite. I have to wonder if they weren't eating enough, though. He was nonstop eating at first and now he's slowed down a bit, still scratching and pecking at his food but taking breaks to drink and relax.

    Do chicks get lonely? I'd assume they would since they naturally flock.
     
  4. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

    Stubby tail makes me think around a week old?

    If you have a feather duster you can put it in there an it wont be so lonely. A stuffed animal would work too.
     

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