Runt chick due to cold exposure/strayed from heat lamp

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by chickie123, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. chickie123

    chickie123 New Egg

    Mar 19, 2013
    Dear BYC members

    One of our week old chicks strayed away from the heat lamp and we found her laid out and stiff but still alive - she gradually came round as we warmed her under the heat lamp. It was touch and go for a couple of days, she would sleep a lot and huddle under the heat lamp but now (3 weeks on) she seems to have strengthened, has a big appetite and is generally a happy little chick.

    Although her survival is a miracle given the terrible start we gave this poor little chick, we have some serious concerns:
    She is half the size of her siblings and has not feathered properly - her wings grew rapidly to start with and she has never caught up with them - hence they are a bit heavy for her and she doesn't try to fly. She can perch though (at jumping height) and uses her wings for balance. She has only feathered across the top of her back and her wings, and her feathers seem be permanently risen, as when a chicken fluffs itself up. She has also lost a few feathers from one wing.
    We successfully raised a little runt chick previously (who hatched too early with his yolk sac unabsorbed) but his feathers were not particularly affected - just large wings that he eventually caught up with, and went on to be perfectly healthy.

    She was separated from the flock for recuperation (along with another chick for company) and she has now been so outgrown that we will be keeping her back with a new hatch, as she is still very heat dependent and could not be integrated with her much larger siblings. Our hope is that she will keep up with the current new hatch, fingers crossed.

    We are giving this little chick every chance to thrive as it is our terrible fault that she got ill in the first place - but has anybody else encountered such stunted growth due to a chick/s getting too cold? Will she eventually grow to normal size and be unaffected?

    I have read a few posts on here about people who have also 'brought their frozen chicks back from the dead', but no follow-up posts about the possible long term effects that this has had on the chick. Any advice would be much appreciated.

    (PLEASE be aware that we were completely distraught with the fact that we obviously had not regulated the temperature enough across the brooder and have now rectified this - we have successfully raised chicks numerous times but never in such a cold spell - it will not happen again).
  2. mattsinger

    mattsinger Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2013
    Davison, MI
    I wouldnt be too hard on yourself. If the chick doesnt have enough survival instinct to stay near the heat, there might be other issues.

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