1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

New chicken maybe sick

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by abtowell, Sep 8, 2007.

  1. abtowell

    abtowell New Egg

    6
    0
    7
    Sep 8, 2007
    I bought 2 black Orpingtons for my daugther today. We got a third as a freebie. It's about 6-8 weeks old from the looks of it. Not sure as we live on the German border and we got them from a Dutch farmer who was very nice but bad English ( my Dutch is worse however). Anyhow the little one is practically featherless. It has flight feathers but it's down is almost gone. The other 2 are alot bigger. One is about 3 months and the other 4 months. The 4 month old is well feathered and obviously a hen. He said they are all hens and I am inclined to believe him as my daugther had picked a prettier bird in the for sale pen and he said commented that we had asked for pullets and that that one was a cockerel. Durn me if I could tell the difference. I think I will take pics tomorrow and post that question as well.

    Anyhow back to my chick. It is practically bald. It is sleeping in a small hutch as our coop is not quite finished. I lined it with sawdust and it seemed quite warm. It is going from 50 to about 65 most days here right now. Should I bring it inside? He had it outside with the other birds. Also when you pick it up an air bubble appears near it's neck under the skin. Is that OK? It dissapears when I put it down. I thought I'd ask. It may just be that I am creeped out by it's featherlessness. I mean it is an Orpington, it should be fluffy.

    So let me know, about the inside outside thing and whether or not it is sick because of it's lack of feathers or if that could just be normal.

    Thanks
    Alysha
    Mother to 6 kids, 1 Bouvier, 2 Cornish Rexes, and now 3 Black Orpingtons
     
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    My Blue Orpington cockerel, Suede, was practically bald except for the flight feathers. That was my indication that he was a HE. His black Orp brother was almost as bad. The pullet feathered out nicely. Not sure what to tell you about the air bubble, though. Here is a pic of Suede as a bald little boy, then as an semi-adult:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2007
  3. nccountrygirl

    nccountrygirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 31, 2007
    Sanford N.C.
    Welcome to BYC. I saw in your post where you are using sawdust in the coop, not a good idea, it can cause respiratory problems, its better to use wood shavings if you can get them or either straw. Good luck with your babies
     
  4. abtowell

    abtowell New Egg

    6
    0
    7
    Sep 8, 2007
    I said sawdust, I meant wood shavings. I got the dust free kind. I did read that. I am a little depressed that roosters are balder. My daugther is attached to the little one. I will post pics tomorrow. It's dark here now. Thanks for the help. I think it's more like 6 weeks. It a little bigger than the ones in your pic.

    Alysha
     
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Well, I found a slightly older picture for you-now, just look at that mangey-looking boy! He was just slow-feathering and grew up pretty nice, I think.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. abtowell

    abtowell New Egg

    6
    0
    7
    Sep 8, 2007
    That is what my chick looks like, almost exactly except the poor pathetic little thing has less neck down, if that's possible. I am sad it's probably a roo though. I don't think Dad is going to let us keep a roo. Yours grew up to be mighty handsome though. Maybe we can give him to our friends. They haven't bought a thing yet, still cleaning out the coop their house came with. It looks like in your pic your chick is still inside. How long did you keep him in after that shot. I am still contepmating bringing this one in due to the weather, although I am worried if I remove him the bigger hens won't accept him back. What do you think?
    Alysha
     
  7. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Well, that bunch was hatched Feb. 1 and I live in the mountains, so we were still pretty cold then. I honestly dont remember how long they were in the coop before I began allowing them outside. I think they must have been inside six weeks or so before the weather was warm enough, especially for the little bald Orp boys, LOL. If he has others to snuggle with, he should be fine.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2007
  8. abtowell

    abtowell New Egg

    6
    0
    7
    Sep 8, 2007
    Well he did have others. I have removed him and brought him inside. I think all 3 are confused since this is a new home for them. They got in a fight over the food dish and were pecking at him. I am worried because he is so much smaller. Plus he started looking like he was gasping for air. He would stick his neck up and open his beek and then go back to normal only to do it again 10 seconds later. He had some feed stuck to one of his nostrils. I cleared that but he's still doing it. It's 59 and drizzly today and the hens insist on being in the small house at the moment. The big one isn't finished so I can't say I blame them. Anyhow I am concerned since they aren't eating well yet either that they will attack him again if I leave him confined with them. He isn't eating or drinking that I have seen. He did have feed stuck to his face so I am hopeful he was before I saw him.

    Also I read in my book that cockerels crow at around 8 weeks. ONe of my other birds looks cockerel to me but the breeder said hen. It has no tail feathers as the other birds pucked them out. It does have a small almost non existent comba nd very small wattles and I didn't hear any crowing this morning. Do they normally crow by then or do I just be paitent?

    Also if anyone one knows what my chick is doing with that gaping beek breathing thing, please let me know.

    Alysha
     
  9. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Well, they don't always crow at 8 weeks. My Barred Rock boys sometimes crow at 4 weeks, but my Ameraucana boy crowed at 14 weeks.
    The gaping thing is usually just them trying to swallow something that didn't go down smoothly. In rare instances, it could be gapeworm, but only if they've been eating worms in the first place, basically. All my birds do it from time to time since they eat all sorts of things, including straw, that has a hard time going down.
     
  10. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    The first crows depend on the boy...My Leghorn Jerry crowed at 6 weeks.
    It won't also even sound like a crow. Jerry sounded like a rubber duckie being run over by a steam roller...
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by