Should I worry ... or sit back and watch/wait(kinda long SORRY!)

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Peaguy, Jun 26, 2008.

  1. Peaguy

    Peaguy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 23, 2007
    Okay, I am totally befuddled as to what to do/how to proceed/what I have on my hands; tomorrow (Friday) will be one week since I received my 25 assorted standard brown egg layers from Ideal. All of them are healthy, active, and an incredible joy to watch. In my effort to be a good father/ care giver, my quandry, is - Do I leave this little one with the other eating machines or should I set up a second brooder and seperate this one with another 1 or 2 calm playmates? All shipped together so presumably the same age? Right? This little one is just not growing like the others. She is still the same size as the day she arrived. She has developed some wing feathers so I know she is thriving, she is still just soooooo tiny! I just witnessed a bit ago, a situation where she got knocked over by another chick and she was having trouble fighting her way back up off the bottom of the brooder as the others are just so much bigger, When they were near her she just could not get her footing to get back up. I have seen her eating and drinking just fine (and as much as the others). What are the chances of getting a bantam mixed into an assortment like this? Is there something I should be doing extra for her? Is there a possibility of something wrong with her? (I have seen no signs of illness and have kept the Gatorade mix(Thank You Swiftfoot!!!) in the waterer all week for electrolytes and have even dosed two fresh refills with poly-vi-sol for vitamins) They are on medicated started and really seem to love the food, I (Purina Start & Grow). Temps in the brooder have ranged between 95°- 100° in the bottom of the brooder all week. I do not keep the heat lamp on during the day as it has been mid 90's outside all week and the store room they are kept in is not air conditioned so it gets quite warm back there so the heat lamp is not needed during the day. Anyone want to hazard a guess as to what is going on here?
    edited to add pics
    Here she is with another chick I initially thought was the same breed
    And here she is with one of the BO chicks.
    I was trying to show how small she is in comparison to the other two, well second image is gone let me try again
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2008
  2. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

    Jun 14, 2008
    South Puget Sound
    I'm certainly no expert but I did wonder if your feeder is big enough to accommodate that many chicks. You mgiht try a second feeder and see if that helps ensure that everyone has access.
  3. FloridaChickenChick

    FloridaChickenChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2008
    Lake County, Florida
    I am by NO MEANS an expert as I just got my chicks a couple weeks ago.

    I had a chick who was getting picked on until her poor little butt was raw. I separated her as her poor bum healed.

    When I take the chicks from the brooder to let them play outside, I noticed she wasn't being bothered anymore...they were so distracted with the grass and their dust baths...As soon as she was fully healed, I tossed her back withthe other girls and watched closely. She's still there.

    So my advice would be to separate her, allow her to heal, and as long as she's doing well, try to restore her to the flock under "distracting" conditions. That way, if it's just a habit for them to pick on her, they'll be in a novel circumstance where the habit might not be right up on top.

    I hope this makes sense. I know there's a proper psychological name for this but shoot, I fergit!

    ETA: I didn't see the pic first time around...she is darling!
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2008
  4. Peaguy

    Peaguy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 23, 2007
    Feeder is a 1 quart(?) feeder and has been getting filled 2x a day morning and evening/night I am wondering if perhaps she is getting pushed aside due to her diminutive size and not getting as much access to the feeder as she really needs ???? The more I assess the situation the more convinced I am that I need to take her and one/ two of the calmer chicks and set up a second brooder for that twosome/threesome. I will NOT put her off by herself for any reason. She is soooo sweet and will sit on the back of my hand and just chirp away at me. I would hate to lose her (especially due to my ignorance/ neglect).
    Put three smallest chicks into smaller seperate brooder at least temporarily, I am wondering if maybe she just wasn't quite tall enough to reach the feeder when I elevated it slightly to prevent waste. I elevated it onto an upside down sandwich container (rubbermaid style) pushed down firmly into the shavings.
  5. fullhouse

    fullhouse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2008
    I think you need a bigger feeder!
  6. Peaguy

    Peaguy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 23, 2007
    I haven't seen her actually getting picked on/ pecked It is more the case of a ping pong ball in a hot tub with all the jets turned on... She is the ball and the bubbles/turbulence are the other chicks. She just gets jostled around a lot.
    ETA I'm afraid if she gets weak then she'll get trampled or else the pecking will start in once the others realize she is weak. So seperation NOW makes more sense to me than leaving her at risk. Seprated and I will pour the food to her Get her nursed back up then re-introduce her catiously/ under close supervision.
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2008
  7. Rhett&SarahsMom

    Rhett&SarahsMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 8, 2008
    I would separate her, cute little thing.

    Also.. I think she is a Black Cochin. She looks like my little Vivien.
  8. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    I am dealing with the exact same issue right now. Actually, my chicks are now almost 7 weeks old. I have one Silkie that is less than half the size of all the other chicks (including the other Silkie). I kept mine all together and they've done just fine. This little sweet thing is also doing fine. If you can I would add another feeder to give yours more opportunity to feed (mine did get pushed out of the way sometimes) and make sure you have a large brooder where she can get away from the others if she needs to.

    Mine were in two huge boxes connected together in the shape of an "L" for almost six weeks and then moved out to the chicken coop. She's still doing great and is still less than half the size of the others. I've never seen any picking on her by my other chicks so I'm hoping things will continue to work out well in my situation.

    If you take her away now and put her and a couple of others in another brooder then you will have two separate flocks and it can be very difficult to reintegrate them later. (I learned that first hand from last year.) I would leave her, add another feeder and keep a close eye on her.

    Make sure you have no corners that any of them can get suffocated in if they end up on the bottom of a chick pile. If you have them in boxes put a piece of cardboard taped across the corners to round them out.

    Good luck.
  9. Peaguy

    Peaguy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 23, 2007
    Okay, THANKS ALL! She is seperated with 2 buddies and her own food and water closer to her lower level with marbles in the water so she won't drown Not happy about it though.... chirping up a storm in there! but she does have two buddies with her so she won't be lonely.Here is the other pic of her with one of the BO's
    I really appreciate everyone's input and advice! So far we have only lost one and it was a packing peanut basically. We ordered 25 got 26 so basically no losses .... yet. That is until I really screw up then the losses will be devastating!
    I keep waiting to really mess up somehow. [​IMG]
    edited for typos
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2008
  10. Kev

    Kev Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 13, 2008
    Sun City, California
    No idea how big your brooder is, from description of the chick getting ping ponged, it sounds like possible overcrowding. If it's overcrowding the best solution is to double the size of the brooder.

    If doubling the size is not feasible then yes a second brooder is a good idea. Put a few of the other chicks with the little one, if it's a nice mix of colors or breeds, make the separation a mixed one- don't put all of the blacks in one brooder or something like that.. that helps in re-integrating once the chick gets well. Put them back together soon as you can, someone else was correct that if you keep them separate for a long time(months) they will learn who's who and they can be hostile to each other once together again. When they are so young they either don't really realize or accept each other much faster than older birds.

    I also don't like what you said about water(2x refilling) if that's due to the water completely running out, you need to add another one.. It should be a water change not a refill of an empty one. This is more important when there are stressed/weak chicks are present. I also noticed the chicks have wet areas on their throats.. this makes me guess their water ran out and they had just been "drinking themselves silly" as soon as it was refilled. This is not desirable, particularly with stressed or sick chicks again. The chicks go through a temporary period of chilling after just drinking quite a lot of water, this can worsen an already sick to the point it takes twice as long to recover due to the repeated chilling.

    Unfortunately from that one picture and what you said about chirping on your hand, it does come across as a weak, possibly slightly sickly chick. Healthy robust chicks should be noisy in a different way- more like screaming and either trying to escape or actively climbing on you, if it's bonded with you. It may have been severely stressed from shipping or ?? I would also leave on a heat source through the day although with a lower watt/temp but this is not a good idea if the brooder is too small and the healthy chicks are too hot and cannot move far enough to cool down. I always make brooders 2x or 3x the necessary size and I also prefer to make it a long style(as in rectangular) and place the heat source at one END not in the middle(IMO that is horrible placment, unless the brooder is very big) so the the other end is the cool spot.. the chicks have a wider range of temperature spoits to move between. But this would also be a good setup for a mix of healthy and not so healthy chicks.. the sickly/stressed ones benefit much from heat source that is available 24 hours a day.

    Just noticed your new post, excessive chirping can be a chick saying "im cold".. especially if you also see the chick with head tucked in and wings slightly droopy(she has the classic cold/not feeling good head tuck in the pictures)

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