Sick chick won't eat


Jun 1, 2017
Okanagan, BC
Yesterday morning I found one of my week-old chicks sprawled in the run looking dead, but turned out to be only almost-dead. Once warmed, it perked up considerably. I gave it water/electrolyte, but couldn't convince it to eat, and thought it might be more likely to eat if returned to mama & siblings. Seemed to be keeping up, but at night it was hunched in sick-chick pose, with what felt like an empty crop, while the others snarfed a bedtime snack. So back into the house, where we spooned in as much watered down feed as I could convince it to swallow - which wasn't much - and then tucked it back under mama for the night.

This morning, it was still hunched over while everybody else ate breakfast. So back in the house where it's currently sleeping under a lamp between droppers of watered egg yolk.

Not much pooping (expected, with hardly any food), and what does come out has white and chocolate pudding. I've never had any problem with disease, so they're not on medicated feed.

I can't imagine I'm getting enough food in to sustain it, and I haven't been able to entice it to eat on its own. I initially thought hypothermia, and perhaps it would improve, but now wonder if it was too far gone, or if this is instead a failure to thrive situation, and I'm just prolonging its suffering? Thank you for any thoughts and suggestions!


Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Apr 3, 2011
southern Ohio
It may just be a weak chick, or it could have some internal problem. Is there any pasty butt dried poop on the vent? Dipping it’s beak in water and some watery feed, and perhaps a couple of drops of Poultry NutriDrench is what I would do, to get it going. Sometimes it is too late once they show these signs. I hope it makes it. Keep it warm. It might benefit from a brooder with heat, to get it strong enough to return to the broody.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom