Second time getting a 'runt' chick


6 Years
Sep 6, 2013
Hi guys,

This is my first time posting here but I've been keeping chickens for about 4 years now and this site helped me a lot when I was just starting out.

Well I recently got 12 chicks from Callahan's, a local feed store in Austin. I'm really disappointed that one of the chicks is having the same symptoms of one from the last flock of 12 I raised. It doesn't walk really well, some toes are a little deformed (going in the wrong directions), it mostly sits back on it's knees and hasn't really grown much. I think she has trouble breathing and she rocks back and forth a lot. I managed to nurse the last chick and it lived for months but was always small and unhealthy, it eventually died. So I assume the same will happen with this one.

Is it normal for breeders to turn out so many chicks in this condition? I know two isn't a lot but that I've gotten two chicks like this in such small numbers is strange to me, if I was getting 50 or something it would make more sense. It seems like bad breeding, maybe inbreeding?

Anyways let me know if this seems normal or if I should purchase chicks from somewhere else in the future. And if you guys have any advice, although I don't think this is something I can cure, I'd love to hear it.


Sofia Eichelmann
I would not be happy with those odds either. How early could you tell the chick had a problem? Were they the same breed of chick? Are you able to pick out chicks there or do they do it for you?
Well when we first got the chicks they looked like your avg 1-3 day olds, all equally active. The last time this happened it was a different breed, however a second chick in this batch is having similar symptoms but not as extreme. The two sick chicks I have now are both barred rock. They pick the chicks after you tell them which breed you want.

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