Slightly Lethargic Chick - Should I be Concerned?

CalBickieMomma

Songster
Jul 27, 2019
927
1,723
246
San Luis Obispo County, CA
Hello lovely Chicken People!

Two Fridays ago (May 15th), I picked up four chicks from my local Farm Supply. They've all been healthy and happy so far, but my little Barred Rock (Junie) has been acting a bit under the weather lately. Yesterday, I noticed she seemed a little more lethargic than usual - not as active, not eating/drinking when the others are at the feeder/water dispenser - and it's the same today.

Her poop looks normal, but smaller than usual (about 1/4 of what the others produce - sorry for the gory details ;)), so that's a plus, at least. Since they're still little, I take them into the bathroom and let them run around a bit (as opposed to outside). Junie did sprint off and flap her wings like the others yesterday and today (and this morning she even tried to 'fly' up onto the top of the feeder in their brooder), and she does get up and move around, stretching her wings and eating some food/drinking a little, but her spouts of energy don't last long and she doesn't seem to be eating or drinking as much as the others. She's never been as rambunctious as the rest, but she just seems bit off to me. I'm an anxious person, so of course I assume the worst.

I gave her some raw egg yolk yesterday, and she seemed to really like that, but didn't eat as much of it this morning and she's been sleeping/snoozing a lot (when the others are going to town at the feeder, she is standing under the heat lamp, snoozing, but her wings aren't really droopy). I was adding a little Nutri Drench to their water for the first week - the feed store has a back order on chick Probiotics. I was able to get some electrolytes and started putting that in the water yesterday morning instead of Nutri Drench (so I don't think her lethargy is a result of the switch, but I can switch back if Nutri Drench would be better than electrolytes). I just fed them some scrambled egg, and Junie liked it, but as usual, wasn't as enthusiastic as the other chicks.

So, my question is: have any of you had a chick like this? It's as if she's acting like she has a mild cold - walking around in a fog and just a little more tired than everyone else - and maybe it just needs to work its way through her system? Is it possible that this is because her new feathers are growing in and it's sapping some of her energy? The chicks are in a large storage bin brooder with their heat lamp (I keep it around 90-95 since they are approaching two weeks old) with Eco Flakes (wood shavings) on the bottom - Junie pecks at these, but so does everyone else and when I feel her crop, it's more squishy than firm (so I don't think she's eating wood shavings) - but not entirely full (but neither were the other chicks' when I checked). Anyway, any feedback would be much appreciated. I'm also including some pictures in case anyone notices something I haven't. Thanks!

- Jenna
 

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CalBickieMomma

Songster
Jul 27, 2019
927
1,723
246
San Luis Obispo County, CA
Have you tried chick grit?
No, haven't tried that. Not even sure if they carry it at the local feed store. I do have some regular chicken grit I think (don't really offer that to the chickens because their run is all sand and they get plenty of grit out there). Do you think mixing a little sand in with their chick starter might help?
 

CalBickieMomma

Songster
Jul 27, 2019
927
1,723
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San Luis Obispo County, CA
I'll see if there are any really small pieces at the bottom of my chicken grit bag (would that be safe to give to them?). Maybe I'll see if I an order some online in the meantime (my local Farm Supply has been out of a few things due to the stress-buying of chicks this year ;P). Also, do you think some Apple Cider Vinegar in the water might help? I did notice earlier that she was tilting her head back a little and swallowing, as if something was coming up (maybe she has a small sour crop issue :( ...). Thanks again!
 

CalBickieMomma

Songster
Jul 27, 2019
927
1,723
246
San Luis Obispo County, CA
Tractor Supply sells chick grit. I had a similar experience with one of my chicks, gave her chick grit and it completely changed her. I have 10, 3 week old chicks and give them grit twice a day. They actually fight over it.

Okay - found my chicken grit and used a pestle and mortar to break up the bigger bits. She seemed to like it, but is still a little too lethargic for my comfort level. I now suspect she may have a mild case of sour crop (have treated this in my adults but never in chicks). She’ll tilt her head up and make a swallowing motion every so often.

I separated her from the others and put apple cider vinegar in her water (do you know if I can also add electrolyte/probiotics in as well?), and have given her some scrambled egg and a little yogurt (I don’t have any plain, but the fruit on bottom type - just scraped up some near the top).

I‘ll keep an eye on her and massage her crop every now and again (if felt a little puffy to me). She’s up walking around now, but spent a good portion of the day snoozing while standing. Really hope whatever this is passes quickly. Thanks again for your advice and for listening :wee.

- Jenna
 

Justso

Crowing
6 Years
Apr 30, 2015
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Chicagoland DuPage Co
My Coop
My Coop
Hello lovely Chicken People!

Two Fridays ago (May 15th), I picked up four chicks from my local Farm Supply. They've all been healthy and happy so far, but my little Barred Rock (Junie) has been acting a bit under the weather lately. Yesterday, I noticed she seemed a little more lethargic than usual - not as active, not eating/drinking when the others are at the feeder/water dispenser - and it's the same today.

Her poop looks normal, but smaller than usual (about 1/4 of what the others produce - sorry for the gory details ;)), so that's a plus, at least. Since they're still little, I take them into the bathroom and let them run around a bit (as opposed to outside). Junie did sprint off and flap her wings like the others yesterday and today (and this morning she even tried to 'fly' up onto the top of the feeder in their brooder), and she does get up and move around, stretching her wings and eating some food/drinking a little, but her spouts of energy don't last long and she doesn't seem to be eating or drinking as much as the others. She's never been as rambunctious as the rest, but she just seems bit off to me. I'm an anxious person, so of course I assume the worst.

I gave her some raw egg yolk yesterday, and she seemed to really like that, but didn't eat as much of it this morning and she's been sleeping/snoozing a lot (when the others are going to town at the feeder, she is standing under the heat lamp, snoozing, but her wings aren't really droopy). I was adding a little Nutri Drench to their water for the first week - the feed store has a back order on chick Probiotics. I was able to get some electrolytes and started putting that in the water yesterday morning instead of Nutri Drench (so I don't think her lethargy is a result of the switch, but I can switch back if Nutri Drench would be better than electrolytes). I just fed them some scrambled egg, and Junie liked it, but as usual, wasn't as enthusiastic as the other chicks.

So, my question is: have any of you had a chick like this? It's as if she's acting like she has a mild cold - walking around in a fog and just a little more tired than everyone else - and maybe it just needs to work its way through her system? Is it possible that this is because her new feathers are growing in and it's sapping some of her energy? The chicks are in a large storage bin brooder with their heat lamp (I keep it around 90-95 since they are approaching two weeks old) with Eco Flakes (wood shavings) on the bottom - Junie pecks at these, but so does everyone else and when I feel her crop, it's more squishy than firm (so I don't think she's eating wood shavings) - but not entirely full (but neither were the other chicks' when I checked). Anyway, any feedback would be much appreciated. I'm also including some pictures in case anyone notices something I haven't. Thanks!

- Jenna
It could be that it's just growing. They sleep a lot during growth. I haven't heard anything alarming, but good that you're keeping an eye on the situation. Try cooked egg yolk, it may be more palatable.
 

bluemtnwmn

Songster
Apr 28, 2020
215
357
136
Southwest Virginia
I separated her from the others and put apple cider vinegar in her water (do you know if I can also add electrolyte/probiotics in as well?), and have given her some scrambled egg and a little yogurt (I don’t have any plain, but the fruit on bottom type - just scraped up some near the top).

I have Hydro Hen which contains electrolytes, probiotics, and an acidifier (like ACV) so it should be fine to combine the electrolytes and probiotics with your ACV. It does say to offer free choice with clean water at least 12 hours out of every 24.
 

CalBickieMomma

Songster
Jul 27, 2019
927
1,723
246
San Luis Obispo County, CA
Thanks, everyone!

I was up every two hours last night massaging her crop, and by 4 am it didn’t seem as swollen and she seemed a little more alert. It’s about 9 am now and she’s back to being lethargic (sleeping standing up).

Her poop is more runny (just the whitish green stuff she left in her brooder throughout the night) and not much of it (but I only left a little scrambled egg in there with her, so I doubt she ate much).

Her crop was also a little more puffy again this morning (but right after she drank some water). I’m really hoping there’s not an obstruction keeping food and water getting in, but I haven’t worked anything out through her mouth, so maybe whatever it is just needs to work its way through. I’ll try giving her hard boiled egg yolk and keep massaging her crop. Thank you!

- Jenna

P.S. I’ve read some posts claiming Monistat - fed directly to chickens - has done wonders for sour crop. Do you think it’s safe for chicks?
 

MANNA-PRO

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