New to raising and caring for pullets...I've got two that don't seem right

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by travelingtacks, Aug 16, 2018.

  1. travelingtacks

    travelingtacks Chirping

    Aug 10, 2013
    SE Arizona

    Good day fellow BYC flocks! I'm a long time member, having previously owned 1yr+ laying hens. Now, am with an all new flock of 6 female chicks; 2 Barred Rock, 2 RIR and 2 others that were labeled as Barred Rocks but certainly don't have the same colorings!

    Anyhoo, these chicks I'm told are 1-2 weeks old. Am feeding a blend diet of 1:3 mix Manna Pro-Chick Starter medicated 18% protein and Dumor Poultry Chick Starter w/out meds 24% protein. (This is what the local feed store recommended....having the medicated feed is advised due to my SE Arizona weather of hot (high 80-low 90's) and humid for the next few weeks due to monsoon rains. NO vaccines have been advised or given.
    Am also using sav-a-chick probiotic and electrolyte powder mix into their water. Switching between the probiotics and electrolytes 1 gallon at a time as they use it up.
    Housing is inside enclosed garage, using a stainless steel stock tank, approximately 4' long x 2.5' tall. Clamped brooder light with red bulb positioned at one end, food and water at the other. Pine shavings for bedding.

    All has been well the past few days with no signs of concerns or obvious issues. All birds actively eating, drinking, pooping, chirping and running around.
    But now, I've noticed a RIR who plops down and appears to be labored breathing. Wings slightly out to the sides, will get up and move with human encouragement, but would rather not walk around. Size; seems like it's bloated. Stomach is rather larger than the others. Chick is much heavier than the others and stomach feels firmly rounded. I've observed some drinking and some eating, again with human encouragement. Have also seen excretion, which was of normal green coloring, with shape and slightly watery. But not diarrhea. Oh, also noticed a particular sound this chick makes, seems to be consistent with breathing pattern. Sounds like a low ticking sound. Doesn't appear to be caused by the mouth or beak, as the chick is not opening the beak and this noise continues.
    Now another chick seems to be doing the same plop down behavior. However this one is still actively moving on its own as well as eating and drinking without human help.

    Any and all input is greatly appreciated! Thank you all in advance for your time and tips.
    Very best,
    D Tack

    PS Clearly Im new to these younger birds as I can't label them correctly! LOL, these are chicks, approximately 1-2 weeks old.
    Pullets are the adolescent birds and not fully grown, correct?
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2018
    007Sean, rjohns39, KikisGirls and 3 others like this.
  2. wamtazlady

    wamtazlady Crowing

    Jul 18, 2013
    Kalispell MT
    I'm thinking that the chicks are too hot. With temperatures that high they really don't need heat during the day. Might need some heat if it gets pretty chilly at night. However, during the day they should do fine without heat. Even if it did get chilly enough to need heat, they would also need a cooler place to hang out in when the heat lamp makes them too warm. In that case they'd need somewhere that is no more than about 70 degrees for the cool area.
    007Sean, rjohns39, KikisGirls and 3 others like this.
  3. BreanneRN

    BreanneRN Songster

    Jun 8, 2017
    Central CA
    Are the chicks breathing through their mouths, panting? About the ticking noise, does it occur with intake of breath? Check the crops in the morning and make sure they are emptying (you'll have to get up before they do to check this). Do they hold their wings out away from the body? How well ventilated is the garage? And how hot does it get midday in there?
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Can you post pictures of these chicks. It may be excessive heat, or you may have inadvertently purchased meat birds.
    007Sean, rjohns39, KikisGirls and 4 others like this.
  5. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    I'm thinking they sound like meat birds also. What color are they? I know you said you have some sent as barred rocks and they are NOT that coloring.
    007Sean, rjohns39, BlueBaby and 3 others like this.
  6. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Bird is the word!

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC! :frow

    I agree with the other posters. They are either over heating or you may have meat birds. Meaties are not ment to live long, their weight exceeds what their legs can carry.

    Definitely post in our Emergency section as well. I hope they are ok! :hugs
    007Sean, rjohns39, KikisGirls and 2 others like this.
  7. BlueBaby

    BlueBaby Crossing the Road

    Mar 21, 2016
    Maricopa, AZ. (near Phoenix)
    Hello, and welcome to BYC! I'm in Arizona too! How hot is it inside of your garage? Do they have good air circulation?
    007Sean, rjohns39, TwoCrows and 2 others like this.
  8. Texas Kiki

    Texas Kiki Egg Pusher

    Jul 31, 2015
    Houston, TX
    My Coop
    007Sean, rjohns39 and TwoCrows like this.
  9. travelingtacks

    travelingtacks Chirping

    Aug 10, 2013
    SE Arizona
    Hello to fellow Arizonian. I am in SE corner near Sierra Vista. Daily highs have been in mid 80's lately with the monsoon weather, but not always getting the rain, however the humidity still exists.
    Inside the garage it stays warm most of the time and the added lamp I'm certain is making it warmer. There isn't much for air circulation as I was warned to avoid drafts on the chicks. Also was advised they needed to stay around 97 degrees! Holly hotness! Im keeping their water container full and clean just for the warmth alone. They are eating too and running about. They will also move positions within the stock tank to be closer or farther from the lamp.
    No these are not meat birds. That I know for certain.
    ronott1, 007Sean, rjohns39 and 3 others like this.
  10. travelingtacks

    travelingtacks Chirping

    Aug 10, 2013
    SE Arizona
    Ok, first I have no idea how to check their crops! Please advise. :fl

    The other questions, no they are not breathing through opened mouths, nor is the ticking-noise-bird having its mouth open while making the noise.
    The ticking-noise-chick wings are out to the sides, not overly exaggerated and stretched out.
    Garage ventilation; minimal. I was told to avoid drafts and keep the space at or near 97 degrees at this young age. The only heat generated is from the lamp and then of course the natural heat that accumulates in a closed garage on a warm day. Midday, it's warmer than I like and am really wanting to open the garage door for air movement. But I resist due to fear of drafts and possible illness I was advised of.

    Thank you in advance for your input and time.
    - D Tack

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: