Please help with weak baby chicken!! He keeps falling asleep?

new_here

Hatching
Sep 9, 2020
10
3
8
Just yesterday the first egg hatched and out of it came a chick as strong as it can be. The next one, however, when I saw it, I got scared. He just stayed on his side breathing.
We got it out scared that a chicken might have stepped on him or will be stepped on and put it in a nice warm box with a hot bottle of water. Throughout the day, he showed promising improvements: started chirping, tried moving around (although kept falling over). He couldn't open his eyes and we thought they were glued together, so using a QTIP with warm water we slowly cleaned his head (this was after 15 hours finding him). At night, seeing his state, we thought that it would be best to give it back to its mother, who is already taking care of his/her brother/sister because we weren't sure if it's going to survive the night, and it would be in his best interest to spend the time with its mother. Today when we looked we saw that he started staying on his own and even making a few steps.

Concerns:
1. We say multiple time that the chicken steppes on them and we are worried that she might hurt the weaker one unintentionally. Will it be a problem for him?
2. His sibling is already eating as his mother taught him and drinking water, this one doesn't seem to want to eat or drink. We gave it water with a little bit of sugar and even put some of its food in it to provide him with some vitamins. He drinks it if we hold him and slowly dip his head in the water, but it doesn't eat on his own... Is this a problem for a two-day-old chick? Also, how often are we supposed to feed him to make sure he has the best chance? (we saw it poop)
3. He didn't open his eyes but now after we used the Qtip does... but we are unsure if he can see? How can we be sure?
4. The behaviour that we are most concerned about: He moves around for some seconds/minutes and then seems to fall asleep?? Like he just walks/stays for a few seconds/minutes and then he just put its head on the ground. While the day before he wasn't even able to keep his head up (and also showed this behaviour) now he can but always seem to fall asleep while doing something. Now he can stay on his legs and slowly lets his head on the ground, then after some seconds wakes up and after other seconds it happens again. Is this because he is tired or isn't getting enough energy or is it something more worrisome(neurological maybe)??
5. The umbilical cord (i don't know if this is what its called in chicks) is still attached. Should we just leave it until it falls or cut it off?

Any answer to any of the questions would be very helpful!!! Thanks!!

*this is the first time we have baby chicks. We got the eggs when we saw that one chicken started fancying staying on her eggs (we don't have a rooster) and taught that maybe she wanted to be a mother and we were right!
 
Last edited:

Tycine1

Crowing
11 Years
May 26, 2009
2,314
5,261
451
David, Chiriquí, Panama
Don't hold yourself to blame though. The first week is a 'live or die' time for new chicks. The weak are ignored, left to fend for themselves, driven off. In chicken terms, a weak bird jeopardizes the entire flock, and will not be accepted.
You may be able to save this baby, but as Kiki says, separate it until it's strong enough to endure the bullying and earn its right to live with the rest of the flock. Separation within eye and earshot will make integrating back into the flock, once healthy, much easier.
 

new_here

Hatching
Sep 9, 2020
10
3
8
It's probably best to take it away from the others and see if you can get it to eat.
Thanks for the answear!!
We only have two chickens with a lot of space, and he has only one sibling... the rest didn't hatch. The other chicken is always wondering about... They have a lot of space.
The thing that really concerns me is number 4. His behaviour. The way it seems to fall asleep every 3 or so minutes... I try to give him food but he always „falls asleep”. So far he only drinks water with some vitamins and sugar in it and only if I hold him and dip his beak in it. So far he only stays with his mother and his only sibling, and she seems pretty cautious... And we are almost always there and try to protect him when we see that she might step on him. For how long can I feed him water with sugar? Also how often should I feed him?
The reason why I hesitate to take him away is that it would be sad for him to spend his days (so far he's not looking very well) alone in a box rather than with his mom... But if he needs it to get better we'll do it...
 

Tycine1

Crowing
11 Years
May 26, 2009
2,314
5,261
451
David, Chiriquí, Panama
A small dog crate or birdcage will do, so that they're still close and visible to each other. But... prepare yourself for the worst, and hope for the best, regardless of whether you separate the little one or not.
 

new_here

Hatching
Sep 9, 2020
10
3
8
Don't hold yourself to blame though. The first week is a 'live or die' time for new chicks. The weak are ignored, left to fend for themselves, driven off. In chicken terms, a weak bird jeopardizes the entire flock, and will not be accepted.
You may be able to save this baby, but as Kiki says, separate it until it's strong enough to endure the bullying and earn its right to live with the rest of the flock. Separation within eye and earshot will make integrating back into the flock, once healthy, much easier.
Hmm... Ok... Will do. As far as bullying and accepting, his mother seems to accept it and he is not bullied. When she walks away with the other very healthy chick she always looks back after him and also tries to ”sit” on him to keep him warm. The other chicken isn't really interested in the baby chicks and his brother doesn't seem to mind that it's there.
 

new_here

Hatching
Sep 9, 2020
10
3
8
A small dog crate or birdcage will do, so that they're still close and visible to each other. But... prepare yourself for the worst, and hope for the best, regardless of whether you separate the little one or not.
That's a great idea!! Thanks!! How should I keep him warm? Is a hot bottle of water enough?
 

Tycine1

Crowing
11 Years
May 26, 2009
2,314
5,261
451
David, Chiriquí, Panama
I personally use a 'utility' lantern (bought in the automotive section of my hardware store); the kind with the clamp on one end to attach and adjust height from bird. It's cheap and effective. Be certain that your light bulb is not teflon coated; if it says heat-resistant (etc) then it IS coated (don't buy it). The fumes from teflon when warmed kills birds. Humans ought take a lesson from that bit of news. Depending upon the size light bulb inserted, the heat output varies. Use a thermometer to determine the best distance from lamp to chick.
 

new_here

Hatching
Sep 9, 2020
10
3
8
I personally use a 'utility' lantern (bought in the automotive section of my hardware store); the kind with the clamp on one end to attach and adjust height from bird. It's cheap and effective. Be certain that your light bulb is not teflon coated; if it says heat-resistant (etc) then it IS coated (don't buy it). The fumes from teflon when warmed kills birds. Humans ought take a lesson from that bit of news.
Ok! Noted!

As far as feeding, do you have an idea of how often should I do it? And also number 4 is scaring me...
 
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