New Panicked Mom to a Lethargic Chick

pattersonflock

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 13, 2014
17
0
22
We brought home our three, first-ever (for me), chicks 48 hours ago; they were 1 day old when we got them. Other than 2 pasty butts on morning 1, they seem to be doing well, no pasty butts today!

Except for one of them, Honey Boo Boo, who has been a little sleepier than the other two since we picked her out. However, she has been cheeping around, eating and drinking with the others. She always wants to be in between the other two. Last night we noticed she was sleeping noticeably more than the other two. Today she's been going between walking around and sleeping, but seems more lethargic and isn't eating much. After some research on here, I went and bought some Sav-A-Chick vitamins and enzyme mix. I mixed that together with a little sugar and and warm water got her to drink almost two droppers full with limited protest. I put her back in the brooder and she walked around and followed the other two cheeping like crazy. The other two were eating a ton and she just followed them and didn't eat for about an hour. (She will usually eat when they eat). I tried offering her some chick crumbles mixes with the sugar water/Sav-A-Chick mix but she was not interested.

She went back in and started dozing off (still cheeping). She did poop, and it was white. The rest of the poo in the brooder is pretty much brown.

Any other suggestions on what I can do to help her? Is she sick or just a sleepier chick? This is my first time with chicks and I'm freaking out that Honey might be sick. I guess I'll just keep trying to hydrate her if she wants it and keep an eye on her. My husband grew up with farm animals and keeps trying to prepare me that they don't always make it, but I'll be darned if I don't do everything I can for our little chickies!

Other info - brooder is a large cardboard box, pine shavings, using Bomgaars chick developer ground to a finer powder given some suggestions I read for the 1st week and pasty butt, a good 95 degrees under the heat lamp with some options for them to be cooler (which they don't take advantage of). The other two chicks are eating almost constantly when they're awake and drinking periodically.

Any thoughts or other suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Mrs. Pattersonflock
 

Eggcessive

Enabler
Premium member
9 Years
Apr 3, 2011
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southern Ohio
Dip her beak into the electrolyte water as often as you can, and sprinkle feed crumbles on the flooring on paper towel so that she will peck at it. Don't make all of your feed powdered because they need to learn how to eat it. I have never ground the feed before even with banties. Some chicks will respond to extra care, but some suffer too much stress in shipping. I hope your chick does okay.
 

pattersonflock

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 13, 2014
17
0
22
She just pooped and it was pretty much just liquid, so now I'm terrified I overdid it with the electrolyte water in the dropper. :( Agh! This is so hard. I just hope she pulls through. She just follows the other little ones around and tries to be next to them and closes her eyes.

Thank you for your suggestions, Eggcessive! I put some powder/crumble combo down on a paper towel. I'll wean them off the powder over the next couple days. The other two went crazy over it, she pecked at it a little.
 

pattersonflock

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 13, 2014
17
0
22
Should I isolate her? She seems to want to be with her friends so I'm hesitant to take her away but if she's sick I guess she should probably be on her own. She won't lay down even though the other two are laying down to sleep, she just stands and cheeps.
 

Eggcessive

Enabler
Premium member
9 Years
Apr 3, 2011
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Welcome to BYC by the way. Electrolyte water has sugar in it already, so don't add any more. It's good she is pooping even though it is fluid. You can probaly drop the heat temperature down to 90 unless they appear cold. Too much heat can cause problems also.
 

pattersonflock

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 13, 2014
17
0
22
Oh no! I didn't know that. I feel like I'm doing everything wrong!

I'll post about how she's doing. They seem to be setting down for the night, I hope maybe whatever is affecting her passes :(
 

pattersonflock

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 13, 2014
17
0
22
Any suggestions or perspective would be greatly appreciated:

Honey Boo Boo is doing about the same today, not better, but not worse. She's now 4 days old. She did eat with vigor for a short time yesterday and again today when I saw her at lunch. It is encouraging to see her do that, however, it is so much less time eating when compared to the other two chicks. Mostly they run around eating and she stands with her eyes closed cheeping and dozing off while standing. She has pooped a little and it was brown! Also a good sign?

Here's what I've done to try to help:

1. She seemed to be snuggling with the other two chicks a lot, so I figured she might be cold. The heating lamp seems to be losing some steam and it was cooler in there than I'd intended (going now to buy a better thermometer!!) so I lowered the heating lamp to warm it up (there's plenty of room in there that is cooler if they want to regulate away from the lamp).
2. Tried getting her to drink a little more water and electrolyte water from a dropper, but she's not very receptive to that
3. Mixed chick crumbles with water - no interest from any of them
4. Offered some ground up hard boiled egg and some mashed strawberries with grit sprinkled on top - again no interest

Should I separate her from the other two chicks? I can't tell if she's sick or just a little weaker than the others.
Should I try to get her to eat with more invasive means? She's not eating a lot and doesn't want to eat from my hand. Should I force her to eat from a syringe? How do you even do that?!


Do some chicks just eat less than others?

Thanks for any help or suggestions.

I know in the world of chickies it's pretty widely accepted that some make it and some don't, but I'm just trying to help her make it if I can!!
 

Eggcessive

Enabler
Premium member
9 Years
Apr 3, 2011
50,865
41,257
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southern Ohio
I would not force her to eat, but it is okay to dip her beak into the water some. Chicks can choke or aspirate and die easily, so that's why she needs to eat on her own. I wouldn't offer any other foods but eggs and chick feed, and no grit until they are 2 or 3 weeks old. She may or may not thrive--that is the nature of some chicks who are weak or who have suffered from stress in shipping. You sound as though you are doing everything right, and are very caring. Try offering the moist food and eggs a few times--my baby chicks never like anything the first time--then it's a feeding frenzy when one first is brave enough to taste it.
 

pattersonflock

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 13, 2014
17
0
22
Well, I'm sad to report that Honey Boo Boo passed away this morning. I found her barely breathing and held her until she was gone. Thank GOD my husband was there with me, as I was a mess!

It was so weird, yesterday I lowered the heat lamp to warm up their box, and she really seemed to turn a corner. All last night she was active and eating lot, laid down to sleep, just a totally different chick. It made finding her in such a state this morning a TOTAL shock. I wonder if she wasn't drinking any water, or if was too late to recover. I know sometimes they just don't make it. Luckily the other two are still doing just great. I'm very sad she died, but I think it is probably a good reality check for me that if we're going to have animals, there will be some that have short happy lives, and some that have long happy lives.

Thanks, Eggcessive for for responding even to a pretty non-emergent emergency post. :) For being new to this it helped a lot.
 

TeamBigfoot

Chirping
5 Years
Feb 23, 2014
44
5
52
I'm very sad she died, but I think it is probably a good reality check for me that if we're going to have animals, there will be some that have short happy lives, and some that have long happy lives.
could teach me a thing or two. Thank you for posting, and best of luck.
 
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