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Slow Chick?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by trifecta, Mar 10, 2016.

  1. trifecta

    trifecta Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 20, 2012
    Laidley, QLD, Australia
    Looking for some advice on my little flock. Here is the background info:
    We incubated 23 shipped eggs and 1 local egg. Ended up with a power failure, and a bad hatch. 1 local egg (Araucana) and 1 shipped (BCM) hatched 1 and 2 days late, but without assistance. I purchased 3, 5 day old Isa Brown chicks that day to keep them company.

    In the past, we have always had meaties, and this is my first time with layer chicks. In general, they just don't seem to eat enough to me! However, that is probably because my meaties were just little fat blobs. I started mixing their chick starter into gruel last night, which seemed to improve eating of all the chicks.

    The 3 Isa Browns are doing fine, as is the BCM chick. My concern is over my little Araucana- s/he is active, peeping, running around, but doesn't seem to eat nearly as much as the others and is now noticeably the smallest of the 5. If I peck at the food with my finger, he tends to peck at my finger rather than the food, or will peck at the other chicks beaks while they are eating. Its like he just doesn't get it, and he is 5 days old today, so I would have thought he should have figured this out by now! When he is eating, his crop never seems to get distended.

    I'm going to try to find a kitchen scale today. Sadly in Australia the simple task of "running to Walmart" is not an option- we live out in a rural area and there is a decent chance that our local grocer will not have one.

    Questions-
    1. Those of you that have raised this breed before- do you find them to be more "dainty"?? My BCM chick is a total chow hound, but this chick doesn't seem all that interested.

    2. Is the size discrepancy purely breed related? I've never raised a mixed flock, so I'm used to seeing a lot of consistency between the birds, so maybe my concern is unfounded.

    3. When do you decide to tube feed? I may be able to run to the city this afternoon to get some kind of hand rearing formula; if not I will blend up a concoction of soaked chick starter & cooked egg yolk mash.

    Any advice or suggestions are greatly appreciated. I realize that not all chicks are meant to make it in life, I just hate to give up on this little one since he seems to be doing ok, but I feel like he's just on the edge of crashing and burning!
     
  2. Jensownzoo

    Jensownzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 7, 2016
    Saint Louis, MO
    Hmmm...I don't have that breed. I did have six chicks out of 21 not grow at all their first week because of severe shipping stress. They were eating, so I supplemented them with probiotics and prebiotics as chickens get a lot of help with digestion from healthy gut flora. After a week they were growing normally, but never have caught up in size to those who gained weight normally from the get-go. It may be that the hatching issues have had some lasting effect.

    So, you might consider adding probiotics to the water (won't hurt the others), but as long as the little thing is active and eating something I would be inclined to watch and wait.
     
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    Normal healthy chicks eat everything they need, ones with internal problems with often fail to thrive, and grow and will pass at some point. I don't think no amount of trying to feed them with help. Some just aren't right.
     
  4. trifecta

    trifecta Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 20, 2012
    Laidley, QLD, Australia
    Thank you for your replies. I'll at least try to find a scale this weekend so I can better quantify if there is even a problem- maybe he is just small and runty but is actually growing. Part of me is rationalizing that he's at least eating enough to "get by" since he has survived this long, if not enough to thrive.
     
  5. RonoKT

    RonoKT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 29, 2016
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    I raised a batch of meaties previously. More recently I have been hatching dual purpose and some fancy breeds. At first I thought all my chicks where going to die because they were not eating and pooing enough. I got over that with some larger dual purpose chicks. Then I hatched some sultans and again thought they where not doing enough. I don't know about araucanas but I have lost sleep over my recent chicks not eating "enough". They are all now definitely growing well. I think raising meat birds first really defines an abnormal normal.
     
  6. trifecta

    trifecta Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Laidley, QLD, Australia
    Agreed. FWIW the chick is doing just fine with benign neglect. He started eating much better over the weekend and is keeping up in growth with his flock mates! Thanks for all the advice.
     
  7. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    that is good news.
     

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