One baby chick not keeping up with the rest

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by springtx_Chix, Dec 28, 2008.

  1. springtx_Chix

    springtx_Chix New Egg

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    Dec 28, 2008
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    My daughter has chosen to raise chickens as an FFA project. We have 25 chicks and they now 11 days old. All but one seem to be doing fine. This one little chick is noticeably smaller than the rest and not as active. It mostly seems to try to huddle near the others to keep warm and only eats and drinks sparingly. What do we do? Should we separate it from the others? Should we try to hand feed it and if so what should we give it? We are worried about this poor little chick.
     
  2. Beau coop

    Beau coop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had the same issue with a bird we named runty roo. He was very sweet and loved to be held. He was very small and wobbly. He was a house chicken for a couple of weeks and was finally returned to the coop. Now the for the guilt- the night I put him back he got crushed by the other birds. I think sometimes even though we fight like heck- nature will take its course.

    Best of luck with yours. I hope you are more successful than I was.
     
  3. springtx_Chix

    springtx_Chix New Egg

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    Dec 28, 2008
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    Thanks very much ... sorry your little one did not make it. We gave him some oatmeal using a syringe but were afraid to give him too much. We put him back with the others for now. Not sure if we should separate him in case he makes the others sick. We have been putting electrolytes or antibiotics in their water and feeding them turkey starter per the FFA instructions. I will try to put a picture in to show you the difference in their sizes.
     
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Do electrolites. DO NOT do antiboitocs!!!

    That is a good way to help along the resistance of bacteria and make antibioitcs useless.

    And why turkey starter for chicks?

    They just need a good starter feed, clear fresh water, and heat. They probably don't need electolites for now.

    Since that chick has always been a bit slow, it's probably failure to thrive. Not all chicks make it and often there is a slow internal defect that catches up with them or were born with a mal asorbtion issue.
     
  5. springtx_Chix

    springtx_Chix New Egg

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    Dec 28, 2008
    Spring, TX
    Thanks for your reply!

    We are just following the instructions that FFA gave us. It said to give them turkey starter for the first 3 weeks. It might be to fatten them up more since they are broilers. On week 4 we will start switching them to broiler starter.

    We are cutting back on the electrolytes. Now it's 2-3 times a week. They are cut out completely by week 7.

    We gave them antibiotics on days 3 & 10 but that's all the instructions call for.

    Do you recommend we just let nature take its course? If it's just mal absorption I guess it can just stay with the others. There are no external signs of any other problems other than the slower development ... It does have some feathers developing on its wings but far fewer than the others.
     
  6. JHaller

    JHaller Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 23, 2008
    Austin TX
    How do the droppings look? If there aren't many, make sure the vent isn't stuck shut. Dab its little butt with a damp paper towel and gently press with your finger to make sure the chick can poop.

    I tried this on a listless chick and I got some foamy yellow droppings. I had just about given up on it, but it started pooping normally. After a few days, it rallied. Now its 8 weeks old and doing fine. I'm just disappointed that it turned out to be a cockerel, so I can't keep it!
     
  7. springtx_Chix

    springtx_Chix New Egg

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    Dec 28, 2008
    Spring, TX
    The droppings are kind of watery. We'll try your suggestion tomorrow since it's too late to do it today (if he makes it that long). Here is a picture of the little guy next to one of the others: [​IMG]
     
  8. Beau coop

    Beau coop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am sorryt to say that runty roo looked like that too. Very small and weak compared to his litter mates. Best of luck to you.
     
  9. springtx_Chix

    springtx_Chix New Egg

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    Dec 28, 2008
    Spring, TX
    Thanks again for your post. Our little "Runty Roo" is still hanging in there. We've separated him from the others so he is now a house chicken. He's in a shoe box and we're keeping a close eye on him. He does eat and drink but he is very lethargic and his eyes are half shut most of the time.

    We don't expect him to make it but we're gonna do our best to try to keep him going. We did wipe his little bottom and he does "go" but the droppings are quite watery.

    It helps to know that someone out there has gone through similar issues and to have at least a few things to try. I guess this is a good lesson that proves that only the strong survive if Mother Nature has her way.
     
  10. chickygirl2

    chickygirl2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 1 that is like that- a bantam cochin red girl. I put her in with successive hatches and her buddies always outgrew her. I probably had 4 different hatches that grew up with her.... lol.....
    She is still a tiny little gal, but very sweet. She seems normal,. just very small- probably a third the size of her original siblings.
     

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