New chick lethargic and breathing heavily

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by greenchile, Mar 3, 2014.

  1. greenchile

    greenchile Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 24, 2014
    Albuquerque, NM
    I am new to raising chickens and don't know what the problem could be. I bought 4 chicks on Thursday, 2 RI Red and 2 Ameracauna. One of the Americauna today has started being very lethargic and is breathing heavily. The other three seem normal but this one just lays in one place with it head down, beak in the bedding, breathing heavily. When I reach in the brood tank, the other three run from me. This on does nothing. If I pick it up it chirps loudly, as if in pain or terrified. Any ideas what's going on?
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    What temperature is the brooder, and is there a cooler area for them to get away from the heat? Check the crop to see if it is full and hard. Check his bottom for pasty butt. Try giving some electrolytes by dipping it's beak into some. SaveAChick chicken electrolytes, Pedialyte, Gatorade, and homemade electrolytes may be used. It's possible that this chick was stressed in shipping to the store, or that it has has some internal problem. Here is a recipe for electrolytes (leave out the salt substitute if you don't have any, and you can make a quart instead of a gallon by dividing ingredients by 4):

    1/2 teaspoon salt substitute
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon table salt
    1 tablespoon sugar
    1 gallon water​
     
  3. greenchile

    greenchile Out Of The Brooder

    28
    1
    24
    Jan 24, 2014
    Albuquerque, NM
    The brooder is a plexi-glass box with a screen top. The box is 36 x 36 X 24 tall. I put a heat lamp in one corner about 2' above the litter. The food and water are on opposite sides/corner of the box from the heat lamp. The temperature in the middle of the box has been 89 - 91 degrees. I removed the cardboard boxes that I was using to hold some of the heat in the box so now it's about 87 degrees in the middle of the box. I have a space heater in the room the box is in to keep it warmer than the rest of the house. They like to sleep in about the middle of the box, not under the heat lamp and not right next to the food. All of their bottoms do not seem to be pasty. I've been checking those daily to make sure they were clean and dry. I give them fresh water every morning and every evening. For food they are getting Purina Start & Grow, non-medicated, along with 1:20 mixed in Chick Grit.

    For the electrolytes, do I just give it to them directly or mix it in their water? Do I use some sort of medicine dropper to get it in or just dip the beak into the electrolyte.

    Unfortunately, about 10 minutes after I posted my first message, I found that she had died. It was strange how she seemed perfectly fine yesterday and went downhill so fast. I don't have any sense for how hardy chicks are and what a typical mortality rate that I could expect.
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    28,998
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    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Sorry for your loss. The others may do fine. The electrolytes should be used in place of water, except for the SaveAChick which is a powder for the water. Just use this for a day or two, until you make sure that the others are still okay, then stop it.
     

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