Sleepy & lethargic chick


In the Brooder
Nov 19, 2020
So today is the first day our 5 partidge plymouth chicks have gone outside and their bantam mum, Sally, is looking after them. They have food and water outside and shade and sun and they can, of course, go inside the coop if its too hot outside. The nesting boxes are on the ground with the roosting perch overhead. Sally (our broody bantam) has had mites and we are going to try and put powder on her tonight, as we couldn't do it before as her chicks hadn't all hatched. We have sprayed the coop with a neem tree oil and water mix and replaced the bedding to try and eliminate the mites and are going to try and powder Sally tonght (and chicks, if possible). All 5 chicks are doing fine and bumbling around doing chick things like sitting in food dishes, getting tangled in weeds, casually falling over and running around at ungodly speeds (for chicks, at least), except for one.

It's been sleepy and often will lie down and almost seem to fall asleep while the other chicks run around after mum. It seems pretty lethargic and hasn't eaten or dranken much, if all. It's been doing this since we first checked on them this morning, when all the chicks and mum came outside for the first time. It's the only chick to do this out of the 5 chicks that hatched from the 6 eggs we put under Sally. I checked under it wings and I didn't see any mites but I noticed two lil insect things crawling over my fingers after switching hands when holding it. One was red and the other was black, but they could have been from the dirt in the run of the cage and Sally and the other chicks have been dust bathing so dirt had been moved and possibly little bugs as well. It hasn't pooped yet because it hasn't eaten or dranken anything yet so we don't know anything from that.

Me and mum (mostly mum, I thought we should leave it outside and let nature take its course) decided to bring the chick inside and put it in an ice cream container with a paper towel in it and I've been holding it a bit to keep it warm while mum heated up a wheat bag to put under the ice cream container. We wrapped the wheat bag in a flannel so it wasn't too hot for the chick and draped a flannel over the top of the ice cream container to keep it dark and warm. Mum found another forum thread on here (I can't find it, sorry) and someone said to give it mashed egg and this mixture of water and sugar or something (can't remember it all) and we put the egg into one bottle lid and the sugar water into another and put that in the ice cream container. Twice I pushed it under the chicks beak when it would droop its head so it would get a bit on its beak and drink it but I'm not sure if it actually got anything inside and Ik you can't really force it to eat or drink either. I have left it in the ice cream container and its currently sitting beside me on the desk. The chick cheeps every now and then so I tut back to it and stroke it a bit but idk if it's actully getting any better. The chick has been cheeping more in the last 5-10 minutes, I was thinking of putting it back outside with the others but idk...

I understand that it may have imprinted on me and that it might not be accepted back into the flock (I think, it might be accepted back but idk cause this is if the first time I've had to take a chick out). I've (and my mum and sis) had to raise two baby thrushes before and the littlier one imprinted on me until we put them in an outside cage and let them go when they could fly properly.
I included pics below of the (sick?) chick and pics of the other chicks and Sally in the cage.
1st pic: one chick w/ mum
2nd pic: other three chicks w/ mum
3rd pic: sick? chick in le container

UPDATE: It drank the sugar water! By itself! I held it up to it and it drank a little bit and has been very noisy. It also walked through the sugar water which was lovely. It is standing more than it used to be but it will still get tired and sink back down again.


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We just put the chick back into the cage and idk, she knows its there because she did a growly (protective, wud u doing with my chicks, back off)sort of cluck and approached me when I took it out and put it back in but she isn't hurting it or anything. She'll move away and the other chicks will follow her but the sick(?) lil one will just sit there, not entirely lying down but eyes closed and it has sorta fast/laboured breathing. Mum sat down outside the cage for a bit and when I saw it, it had moved after the others but it was still sitting there like that and Sally was taking no notice of it.
Is the mother chicken hanging around her or is she off doing her own thing with the chicks and ignoring her?
Well the sick-ish chick has improved a bit and can keep up with the other chicks a bit better now and they all hang around the mother doing their own thing an they often lie down to sleep in the sun.
That’s a good sign. The only thing you may need to be prepared for in the future is a heart disease of some kind, she may be better for now but she could become sick again and not be as lucky next. I am not saying this is going to happen I would just be prepared and try not to make a strong bond with this little one.
Oh I never thought of heart disease...
Me and mum thought that maybe its constipated but we aren't really sure abt that.
Yeah okay, will do!
What I would do is try giving this chick the happiest life she can have. Good luck to you and you’re chicks/chickens :)

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