Possibly Lethargic Chick- Is This Normal or Start of Illness?


May 26, 2020
Hi Everyone!

I wanted to ask for advice about a chick which I am a bit concerned for. Here is the background/ important info:
  • 1 week old Buff Orpington
  • Vaccinated for Mareks only
  • On medicated chick starter, water cleaned daily and pen cleaned periodically (hay bedding)
  • I believe the heat lamp is at a good temperature based on the reactions of the other chicks- not huddled or trying to get away from it.
I first noticed her acting a bit differently yesterday. We have 4 one-week old chicks and now 4 two-day old chicks that we are temporarily keeping for a neighbor. The little chicks hatched early and our neighbor's brooder was not set up yet and ready for them because we had borrowed his heat lamp for ours, and were going to return it to him the day before his expected hatch date. I was not concerned that these new chicks could spread anything because they were just hatched when we took them. Anyway, my Buff is still alert and responsive, and is still eating (and presumably drinking, but I have not yet caught her drinking at the times I have been watching them to know for sure). She just seems less active than the other chicks. She goes near the feeder and waterer with no problem, so I do not think that she is being bullied. She nor any of the other chicks have pasty butt or any abnormal droppings. All of the other chicks are very active and look great. There is just something in the way that my Buff stands still for long periods of time that bothers me, and to me she looks a bit hunched up. She will still react to the other chicks around her and she does not separate herself from them at all. She stretches and flaps her wings from time to time, and jumps on my hand if I put it in the brooder. Also for reference, the other one-week olds are Salmon Faverolles and a Domonique, while the 4 little chicks are ameracaunas/legbars. I'm not sure if that info will help.

This being said, is there anything else I could check on my Buff that might give me a clue? If this is the very start of an illness, is there anything I can do now that will help her? Is she more docile maybe because of personality or breed differences? Is this behavior normal?


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