NEW to Raising Chicks: Please Help Me!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by mrsroberts102009, May 17, 2010.

  1. mrsroberts102009

    mrsroberts102009 Hatching

    May 17, 2010
    Hi Everyone. I stumbled upon this site when I googled "How to help a baby chick that is choking." Long story short, my husband and I recently decided that we wanted to start raising chickens. Not only for pleasure (because they are more entertaining than ANY TV show that I have ever seen!) but also for their eggs/meat. Well...needless to say, when the chicks arrived(all 27 of them, they accidentally threw in 1 too many at the hatchery) we both fell in love, as I am sure all of you can understand. They are the most adorable little puff balls that I have ever seen in my entire life, and all I want to do is snuggle each and every one of them! I have even went as far as naming a least 10 of them (the rest we can't tell apart!). Anyway, one of our chicks (no idea what breed he/she is because we ordered a "mix") started doing this gaped mouth, gasping for air thing earlier today. She (I think) might have swallowed a chunk of their corn cob bedding (we had a layer of paper towels over it) and appears to be choking. As crazy as this sounds, we have tried everything from rubbing her throat like you would a dog to help them swallow a pill, to even attempting CPR on this poor little baby!!! Please give me some good news and tell me that she will digest this corn cob chunk (which we decided to remove from their brooder). Please tell me what I can do to help her!!! Thank you so much in advance, and God bless!
  2. Manda0227

    Manda0227 Songster

    Mar 30, 2010
    Are you SURE she swallowed the bedding? Because if she didn't.. I know a few of my chicks did this when they were within a week old.. and I read sometimes they do that to adjust the food in their crops or something like that. I FREAKED when I saw it for the first time, fully expecting to wake up and find the chick dead. I'm going to go look through the posts and see if I can find exactly why they do that...

    ETA- Here's a link! Hopefully that's all it is!
    Last edited: May 18, 2010
  3. StormyMoon

    StormyMoon Songster

    May 1, 2010
    Alvarado, TX
    are you sure its choking and not yawning it looks like they are choking when they yawn
  4. tammyd57

    tammyd57 Songster

    Chicks do a really weird looking thing with their neck & beak when they have eaten a lot and their crop is full and uncomfortable. It looks just like choking. It can go on for quite awhile too, until some of that food passes into the gizzard.
    Even my parrot does it, scared the carp outta my hubby the first time he saw it.
  5. wolftracks

    wolftracks Spam Hunter

    Nov 6, 2009
    Quote:Ok you already have some good advise. That accidental chick though was probably your surprise chick. Hatcheries tend to do that. Some offer the surprise chick and some put in an extra for warmth.

    I have a pullet about 4 months old that still does the gasping routine. She's a bit of a pig, so wasn't sure what the heck was going on with her. This is a free range bird, so you would think she wouldn't have a problem, but I think they get a bit over treated around here and she just over does it.

    Oh and in case you haven't seen it yet.........sometimes the chicks will just flop down, stretched out and look like they just dropped dead! Don't worry! They're just resting. LOL

    Welcome to the crazy world of chickens !!!! [​IMG] [​IMG]
  6. mrsroberts102009

    mrsroberts102009 Hatching

    May 17, 2010
    Thank you all for your advice. Unfortunately, she died this morning. She was just laying there gasping when we got up this morning and by the time we got back from taking the kids to daycare, she was gone. Then, we went out to eat this evening after we picked up the kids and when we got home, another one had died. I don't THINK that they have any kind of disease or something contagious. We had them vaccinated for Marek's disease before they left the hatchery. All of the rest seem to be doing well, seemingly growing by the hour! We have been doing virtually everything by the book, so hopefully we won't have any more problems. This is a really awesome site and extremely helpful. Perhaps since we have NO idea what breeds we have, I will probably post pictures soon and ask y'all what they are. They are all absolutely adorable!
    Oh and I am pretty sure she was choking because she wasn't really breathing well, and every time it seemed like she was going to be okay she would be breathing very heavily, but was rather limp. We ordered from McMurray, which we have heard nothing but good about. My husband ordered 25 and they said that they would throw in 1 free "exotic/rare" breed chick. We ended up with 27, but 2 days later now we are down to 25 [​IMG]. And yeah, the first few times I saw these chicks just fall over and pass out, I TOTALLY FREAKED! I slugged my husband in the shoulder and said, "DO SOMETHING! THEY ARE DYING!" I don't know what I expect out of that poor man... lol... But yes, come to find out, they are only sleeping. They are so amusing how they will just zonk out in the middle of eating, and we are definitely seeing why they suggest to keep bigger rocks in the bottom of their waterers...Who knew that chicks were naturally born with a sleeping disorder? lol. They are like little infant humans...toooooo stinkin' cute!!! Thanks to all of y'all for your advice again. Hope to hear more from y'all when my future questions come up! God bless!
  7. Tikka

    Tikka In the Brooder

    Sep 27, 2009
    I remember the days when they would just pass out, and sleep all stretched out on the ground. Little cuties. I'm sorry for your losses. We had some birds that did a yawn/pant thing, but it may have been a different thing.
  8. nittanyxi

    nittanyxi Songster

    Apr 24, 2010
    I think sometimes the stress of being shipped catches up to them. I received mine last tue and thursday morning one was just laying there dead. Wed night they were all fine. no problems since then. although they do spend a lot of time sleeping.
  9. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    It's unfortunately not all that rare to lose a chick or two shortly after you get them. Even those purchased at feed stores (like mine) have been shipped from a hatchery. There's a term for it: "failure to thrive." Just happens. Very sad. But it's not due to something you did or did not do for them.

    Chicks are just adorable. I'm always impressed with people who actually purchase 25 or so at once. Wowsa. The most I've had at one time is eight; right now I have four in my brooder (and a bunch of "teens" and adult birds).

    When I buy my chicks, I try to buy those that are a bit older than 2 or 3 days old. If I can snag chicks a week or two old, I know they've already survived the really touchy time.
  10. mrsroberts102009

    mrsroberts102009 Hatching

    May 17, 2010
    Thank you all so much for your support and extremely helpful information. Honestly, I have been talking about wanting ducks for a while, ever since I saw the little ducklings at our local Rural King. So, my husband bought me 2 Pekins for Mother's Day. I love them to death, but they are a little bigger than I expected them to be, so they are still quite skittish. The chicks on the other hand were my husband's idea. He just randomly decided that he wanted to raise some chickens for their meat, eggs, and reproduction. I questioned his sanity when he informed me that he had ordered 25 (+2 free) from McMurray. But, so far we haven't had any more problems yet. I really didn't think that I would like them as much as I do. I absolutely fell in love with one of the little black ones (he has feathered legs). He is pretty much MY baby and when my husband goes to clean out the brooder, he can always tell which one is Edgar (my chick) because he is the ONLY one that doesn't run like mad when he sticks his hand in the brooder, LOL!!! He is so sweet...He will just fall asleep in my hands, he doesn't try to run away, and he pecks at my wedding band, but other than that...he is extremely calm with me. It probably sounds strange, but my favorite pass time now is to sit and watch them all running around, tripping over their sleeping siblings, fighting over a blade of grass...passing out with their head and one wing in the food tray...LOL!!! Their little constant chirping is soothing to me...sort of like the coo of a dove. Good for the soul, I suppose [​IMG]. I definitely think that we will be raising chickens for years to come, so I am sure that you will all be hearing a lot from me. I will try to get some pictures up ASAP so someone can tell me what breeds we have!!! Thank you all so much again for your advice and information. We are definitely trying our best to keep them as healthy, clean, and happy as possible! [​IMG] God bless!

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