New Owner - Possible Issue with 5-6 Week Old Barred Rock Pullet

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by jmurf, Apr 13, 2017.

  1. jmurf

    jmurf Out Of The Brooder

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    I received 4, 5-6 week old chicks yesterday morning. 2 Easter Eggers and 2 Barred Rocks. I ordered from a hatchery and they were shipped USPS. When I put them in the temporary coop yesterday. They all were eating and seemed to be well. Yesterday afternoon they seemed to be well also, and the waterer level had dropped a good 3-4 inches, so I assume they were all drinking. Later in the evening both BRs appeared like they were ready to sleep, and did close their eyes as my daughter and I sat and watched them. The EEs seemed to have more energy than the BRs. This morning, I went in to the garage, and opened both doors to air it out. I cleaned the feeder, and refilled (Using Nutrena Starter-Grower). Both EEs were fluttering around the coop, scratching, eating, and drinking. One of the BRs was eating and drinking, but not as rambunctiously as the EEs. The other BR was puffed up and didn't move. I reached in to stroke it's back and it moved slightly. I moved it next to the feeder, and it would lower its head toward the dish, but not eat. 20 minutes later, I looked in prior to leaving for work, and the BR was still next to the feeder, puffed up, with eyes closed. I picked it up, it didn't resist at all. I looked her over, and noticed a small amount of white, I assume poop, on the feathers by her vent. It wasn't a lot, just a small amount along the edge of a few of the feathers.

    Do you think this BR is having issues. Could it be from 2 days of shipping in a box?
     
  2. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

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    A chick/chicken of any age that remains mostly inactive and puffed up is suffering from some kind of distress, so yes, I would say the BR has a problem. A little bit of poo on the feathers by a chick's vent isn't a problem and happens, but if it is actually obstructing (or even appears to be obstructing) their vent, it can be life threatening; it will prevent them from relieving themselves (typically referred to as "pasty butt" and fairly common in chicks that just went through the mail). A warm damp cloth or towel to soft and remove the poo is the easy fix.

    I'd strongly recommend separating the BR exhibiting the lethargy and lack of appetite. If it is a disease-related issue, it may prevent infection of the other chicks. If it's not disease-related it will still prevent the other chicks from potentially "messing" with it (bullying, potentially) and further stress. You may need to syringe feed and water it, because if it's not eating or drinking on its own, dehydration will be swift and their condition will very quickly degrade.

    Determining what is wrong with the chick, if you can, is paramount. I very strongly recommend getting onto the Emergencies/Disease/Injuries Forum and posting about the chick's condition. Be sure to look it over thoroughly, from beak to vent, note anything you even think is out of the ordinary (discharge from mouth, nose, eyes, etc.), evidence of parasites, etc. Hopefully you can figure it out the chick will be alright! https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/10/emergencies-diseases-injuries-and-cures
     
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  3. jmurf

    jmurf Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you for the response. I posted there also in hope of getting quick responses, but haven't received any responses yet. These chicks were vaccinated. Could it be shipping stress? What would be best to syringe feed? Water and it's starter food mixed, yogurt, etc?
     
  4. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

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    You can use a clean eye dropper or a syringe (minus the needle), such as https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/ideal-instruments-20cc-luer-lock-syringe?cm_vc=-10005

    Typically, I'll mix their food (assuming you're using chick crumbles) into enough water to make a slurry (mashing up the pieces as fine as they'll get) and then feeding that, possibly mixed with some poultry electrolytes. Baby food also works, in a pinch. Yogurt in small quantities is alright, but doesn't really pack the nutrients that they need as growing chicks, so would only using sparingly, if at all, outside of adults chickens.

    Vaccinations are usually only for one or two common diseases, like Marek's, but there are still plenty of others out there and if you've been around any other poultry at all, there is a potential exposure route. It may well just be shipping stress, which can be significant, especially if exposed to cold overnight temps without adequate heat or even too much heat if they happened to have been left in the sun somewhere en route. We recently dealt with a chick shipping nightmare that killed 4 of 7 chicks we were adding to our flock this year, so it's a real danger and can significantly weaken young birds.
     
  5. jmurf

    jmurf Out Of The Brooder

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    I went home at lunch to check on her, and found she had died.
     
  6. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

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    I am so sorry to hear that. [​IMG] [​IMG]


    Are the other three still active and fairing well?
     
  7. jmurf

    jmurf Out Of The Brooder

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    The EEs are running around full of energy. The other BR is moving around, but not nearly as much as the EEs. The other BR isn't puffed up, and I wouldn't say she's lethargic. She just doesn't seem to have the energy of the others. I moved her by the waterer, and used my finger to make the nipple drip. She was quick to chase the drops to the pine shavings with her head.
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Sorry you lost one.

    Were they shipped with 'green goo' for hydration?
    If they are not used to using nipples, some are slow to catch on.
    Might want to set down an open waterer every evening for at least a few days to make sure they are fully hydrated.
     
  9. WesleyBeal

    WesleyBeal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Might hit them up with a coccidiostat from your farm store, in case that's the issue.
     
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  10. jmurf

    jmurf Out Of The Brooder

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    The second BR chick started acting lethargic this afternoon. Separated and put open water and food. She's drinking so we'll see. With Cocci, doesn't it usually create blood in the poop before it kills them?
     

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