1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Should I try some electrolytes?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by TheTwoRoos, Apr 9, 2016.

  1. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,291
    120
    171
    Sep 25, 2015
    I just got six new chicks yesterday.3 Rhode Island reds,and 3 Production reds.

    They have everything they need.Feed (Medicated),with some chopped up garlic squeeze on it.I've tried introducing tomatoes and rice but they weren't too interested.

    Now,here's the question.All the other chicks move around,scratch (well they try),and their just so active.The one Rhode Island red is just more laid back,and i'm not sure if he needs some sugar water or Electrolytes to boost up things or what.They have clean water with probiotics in it.Any ideas?
     
  2. Jensownzoo

    Jensownzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,965
    290
    148
    Feb 7, 2016
    Saint Louis, MO
    Unless you notice diarrhea (distinguish from cecal poops), I would hold off on the electrolytes. Make sure she is eating/drinking. You can offer mashed hard-boiled egg yolk as a good supplement if she doesn't seem interested in the crumbles. You can even add water to the yolk and give her a few drops by syringe if needed.

    If you are feeding things other than chick starter or the egg yolk, they will need to have chick-sized grit available as well.
     
  3. jerseygirl1

    jerseygirl1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 20, 2009
    Orange County, NY
    Curious, what would electrolytes do that would be harmful?
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2016
  4. Jensownzoo

    Jensownzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,965
    290
    148
    Feb 7, 2016
    Saint Louis, MO

    You're basically giving salt water. Extra salt is normally excreted by the kidneys, but it takes water with it. So, if they don't need the extra electrolytes and don't have access to plain water, they can dehydrate.

    Also in a chick, those kidneys aren't developed fully and may not be able to get rid of all the excess salt through the urine. Some of it can then be excreted in the feces, but it also drags water with it, so you have diarrhea as a result.

    The big reason to give supplemental electrolytes is if you have reason to suspect that the chick has become deficient in them through some sort of loss. Since chicks don't sweat (which is why athletes take salt tablets or drink gatorade after an event), usually this means loss through diarrhea, regurgitation/vomiting, or maybe urine if there is something wrong with the kidneys. A lot of times stressed chicks are offered electrolyte water when you first get them, which is fine, but you should switch to plain water or probiotic water in a day or so.

    If the OP notices a loose stool in the affected chick, electrolytes would totally be appropriate. If not, then I think that supplementing energy and vitamins/minerals would be better (and both easily accomplished via egg yolk if chick is eating).
     
  5. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,291
    120
    171
    Sep 25, 2015
    She eats, she drinks, and occasionally runs around,but she is a sleeper.
     
  6. Jensownzoo

    Jensownzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,965
    290
    148
    Feb 7, 2016
    Saint Louis, MO

    I would give her a little time to recover from the stress of arriving, but watch her closely as you have been doing. If she is getting worse rathercthan better, time for intervention.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by