Sick Chick - newly arrived

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by barnyardblast, Mar 2, 2016.

  1. barnyardblast

    barnyardblast Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2014
    Hi, we just received chicks in from Meyer Hatchery. Most of them look great (we purchased an assortment), but there are three brown chicks (not sure what they are) that are noticeably smaller and more lethargic than the rest. (We purchased 50 and received 2 free). One of them was stretched on the bottom of the box but still alive. When I moved her to one of the containers (correct temperature and a red light), she rolled onto her back and started straightening her legs out. After settling the others, I checked back on her and thought she was dead (completely still, stretched out and limp) so I removed her and put her on the counter in our chick area. After several minutes, I went to dispose of the chick and realized she was barely breathing but still alive. I brought her inside and put her in a small container with wood shavings and a heating pad underneath. I gave her some water with sugar in it and she appeared to drink with difficulty (lots of swallowing).

    Her mouth is opening and closing almost constantly, but after an hour of intermittent sugar water, she is standing and chirping (though not moving around). When I give her water to drink (from a small lid - I dip her beak in it), she stretches her neck up and appears to swallow repeatedly, but it takes longer than I would think it should. Oh (Edited to add), her eyes are closed. She will only open occasionally and I hadn't seen her open them until the past 30 minutes, but they closed back almost immediately.

    Is there anything else I can do? Is it safe to leave her with a heating pad underneath while I do our farm chores? (About an hour). Should I move the container back outside with the others? (I don't think the others can get into the container she's in).
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2016
  2. Alexandra33

    Alexandra33 Overrun With Chickens

    Although unfortunately I know nothing about the safety of heating pads, I do know a little about reviving chicks. [​IMG] Try giving her a combination of things from a dropper: yogurt (which has so many good properties for weak chicks), electrolyte water (if she isn't drinking on her own), and Nutridrench. My Black Copper Marans, Marseilles, was unstable just like your baby, but using these sources of nutrients, she is now alive and well. Quite the strong hen, too! I hope your baby gets on well. [​IMG]

  3. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 11, 2014
    Magnolia, Texas
    If you aren't seeing any evidence of bloody poops or anything, it sounds like she could be dehydrated and in need of a little TLC.

    See if you can ply her with a little raw yolk. I've never met a baby chick that won't scarf that down!

    I just read an article on here about brooding with heating pads: ... See if that has the info you need. :)

    I hope she improves!!

  4. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    You need to make sure she is warm enough or she definitely won't pull out of this. Chilled, stressed chicks just shut down. Electrolytes are a very good idea for chicks with shipping stress which may be the problem. For very young chicks this age I prefer a heat lamp or EcoGlow rather then a heating pad.

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