Smaller, thinner chick, what can I do to help?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Kathrynmodra, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. Kathrynmodra

    Kathrynmodra Out Of The Brooder

    67
    4
    43
    Jul 10, 2013
    I have 6 British tailed araucana chicks. They are about 4 weeks old now. One of them has fairly stunted growth. It was average size to the others to start with but now it doesn't seem to grow at the same speed as the others. Some of them weigh double what it does. It eats and drinks ok, althought it's not a vigorous eater, but I see it pecking at the bowl (I guess non of them are really crazy eaters, especially compared to my production layer chicks).

    Is there something that I could give it, like glucose and egg yolk, or something protein to help it thrive? It has the sweetest personality and I want to give it a great chance.

    Ps I don't think it's sick. It's been on a medicated chick starter it's whole life, as that's what I was told to feed them. It's supposed to be a high protein feed.

    Thanks :)
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    34,028
    453
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    They like a little feed moistened with water, or yogurt or buttermilk is good. You could mix up a little snack once or twice a day and separate her for the snack. Toss what it doesn't eat in a few minutes. It might be getting run away from the food enough that it doesn't get as much as the others.

    Or it could just have that different of a growth rate, genetically. Sometimes these chicks catch up, and sometimes they don't.
     
  3. Kathrynmodra

    Kathrynmodra Out Of The Brooder

    67
    4
    43
    Jul 10, 2013
    Thanks, ill give it a go :)
     
  4. Kathrynmodra

    Kathrynmodra Out Of The Brooder

    67
    4
    43
    Jul 10, 2013
    Gave her some softened with a bit of water and yogurt. She loved it! Never seen her eat so much. Thank you!:D
     
  5. slagartist

    slagartist Out Of The Brooder

    40
    4
    26
    Aug 6, 2013
    Seattle, WA
    I have 6 chicks, all about 4.3 weeks old, and five of them have not only full wing feathers, but some tail, chest, neck and shoulder feathers too. However, my Buff Orp (oddly enough, the largest in the end) still looks like she's three weeks old (itty bitty wing feathers, and that's it).

    The Ancona looked like she does about five or six days ago. At first I was worried, but they both were eating and drinking just fine (nobody was picking on them, I seem blessed so far with a nice flock), so I just kept watching. The Ancona caught up in just four days... and today, I noticed the first non-wing feathers growing in on the Orp. So, from my experience, some are just a little slower than others. I'd give it another week and if you don't see marked improvement, THEN worry. Here's a pic of two of my four week olds, the Orp is on the left:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    As you can see, she's a wee bit behind :3


    It's kinda sad, too, since the Orp is the only one who can't quite get up to the roost, yes. Poor gal. Couple more days...
     
  6. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    34,028
    453
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Kathrynmodra

    Kathrynmodra Out Of The Brooder

    67
    4
    43
    Jul 10, 2013
    Thanks for sharing those pictures, what a size difference!

    The good news is chickie seems to be filling out a bit with some extra TLC. She is still behind the others but even my husband noticed she looks stronger and pushes the others out of the way to get to the food bowl.

    Thanks for your help everyone :)
     
  8. jdoane

    jdoane Chillin' With My Peeps

    609
    25
    128
    Aug 7, 2013
    Western Massachusetts
    I was wondering a similar thing.

    I have almost 3 week old chicks - a Barred Rock, a Gold Sex Link, 2 English Orpingtons, and a Black Australorp. The English Orps are two days younger than the other three. But now they are bigger than my Black Australorp. I'm thinking it's a difference in the breeds rate of growth. My Barred Rock and Gold Sex Link are way bigger than the other three. Then come the English Orps. And then the Australorp. All seem very healthy and eat and drink similarly. No one is getting pushed away from the feeder. In fact the little Australorp is one of the more dominant chicks. Does it make sense it would just be breed difference?
     
  9. Kathrynmodra

    Kathrynmodra Out Of The Brooder

    67
    4
    43
    Jul 10, 2013
    I think breed difference has a lot to so with it. I have 2 leg horns, 2 isa browns and an Australorp that are 12 weeks old. The ISAs and the Australorp grew FAST! That was the shock at having the araucanas now. They are slow growers and don't spend every second eating. The leghorns also grew fast but nothing compared to the other 2 breeds. Funnily enough my Australorp is head hen too. She is a big heavy girl so she can throw her weight around. I wonder if its a dominant breed.
     
  10. jdoane

    jdoane Chillin' With My Peeps

    609
    25
    128
    Aug 7, 2013
    Western Massachusetts
    Hmmm. It is my australorp that is slower growing.... Still attempting to be head hen but definitely smaller. Although I am comparing to a Barred Rock and Gold Sex link which I believe are super fast.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by