Sick? Lethargic chick, should I separate her?


May 21, 2014
Beaver County, PA
One of our ~14 week old chickens has been acting lethargic and just standing or laying a lot today. We just lost a chick last week to wry neck and I'm kicking myself for not questioning her health when I first thought something might be off (maybe we could have saved her?).

I can't 'see' anything wrong, the chickens have free access to grower feed and water and the occasional veggie scraps, she just isn't running around with the other chickens and doesn't seem interested in eating or drinking. I opened up the run to give them access to a fresh patch of yarn and a garden bed, but she's just resting under the coop (where I can't reach her, of course). This is the first I've noticed her not acting completely normal and active.

I mixed up some Sav-a-Chick electrolyte water and put a separate dish out in the run so they wouldn't need to go up into the coop to drink, but she didn't come for any. I got a dropper and had my 3yo go under the coop to bring her out... she didn't peck at the dropper like usual but she did drink a tiny bit that dripped on her beak before escaping back under the coop.

She is the smallest of her group (and has been since she was a little 5 week old chick)... am I looking at failure to thrive? Could there be something else going on? These are our first chickens and I really don't know much about chicken illnesses yet.

What can I do for her? Should I separate her? I have a little dog crate I could keep her in. Force feed her more Sav-a-Chick? Give her something else? A scrambled egg?

Please help! I don't want to lose another one!
The Save-A-Chick is great but you are going to have to hold her and give it to her with an eyedropper. Poly-Vi-Sol WITHOUT iron (iron is poisonous to chickens) - give a drop or two every four hours can also help. Isolate her in a crate and if possible bring her in the house where it is warm and protected. Scrambled eggs are GREAT for getting them to eat and yogurt is also helpful. I have a friend who just went through this with one of her oldster chickens. She did all of the above and she is pulling through. Just a warning - Poly-Vi_Sol WITHOUT iron can be very hard to find. The Save-A-Chick will help though.

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