Poult looks tired, wobbly


9 Years
May 24, 2010
Albion, California
One of the Rio Grande Wild poults is acting kind of sickly today. The other poults all look very lively and active, but this one seems kind of tired and slow, keeps standing and closing his eyes and kind of weaving a little - like a drunk trying to sleep standing up. I picked him up and couldnt' see anything obviously wrong, but it did seem like his crop was empty. Didn't see him drinking so I dipped his beak in the water - no change. He sticks his head in the food tray but doesn't seem to eat anything. Hatch date was 5/18, they are on Game Bird feed, been in this brooder pen for 2 weeks. I have them on straw and just added more today. Pen is in garage, warm and dry with heat lamp on.

If he's still looking poorly in the morning I will probably isolate him from the rest, try some sugar water and see if we can get more information for a diagnosis.

I don't know specifically what is wrong, but kind of similar to what one of my hatchlings did the other day -- mine was only 4 days old, acted very droopy and weak, wings held out, and seemed to be gasping for breath.

I put it immediately back into the incubator, gave it electrolyte solution (unflavored Pedialyte) and a strong dose of tetracycline. It perked up quite a bit in a few hours and seems basically ok now.

Over the years, with sick birds of various kinds, sick chickens, whatever, the same treatment seems to help -- keep it very warm, preferably right around 99 degrees, give it antibiotics and support with fluids, foods if it will eat, and hope for the best.

Let us know what happens.
Thanks for the tip - similar to what my wife used to do in the wildlife rehab hospital. How do you administer the Pedialyte & Tetracycline?

Today the bird is looking better, still not as active as the others but not so sick-looking either. He's eating a little, and chased around after a bug one of the other poults caught.

I'm not sure if it's from this bird, but somebody in there has odd-looking poop: somewhat runny and light-brown color, kinda like melted milk chocolate.

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