some problems (?) with chicks that just arrived on Wed- help!


In the Brooder
8 Years
May 9, 2011
Dennis Port, MA
Hi all,
So I received 9 chicks from MPC on Wed... and three of the four salmon faverolles seem to be having problems. I know they are considered more fragile, but these physical problems seem a bit more than just fragile.

Two arrived with one eye each not able to open- sort of gunky looking like something sticky had crusted on them. One other seems to have no fuzz on her neck... having never seen naked baby chick skin, I can't tell if it's normal, but it looks a little swollen and water filled...(picture below, taken today).

By yesterday (thurs pm), one of the eye problems got her eye open, but it is still crusty and nasty looking around it (see picture below, taken this morning). On Wed evening, I put a little water around her eye to try to loosen the crustiness. Her energy level had been fine the whole time despite the eye issue.

The second one with the eye problem, I used some warm/wet papertowels as compress and wiped gently to try to remove the crustys last night. Seemed to help at the time, but now (this morning), it seems even more glued shut (picture also below taken this am). This one is also a bit anti-social and lethargic. She has her moments of running around with the rest and eats and drinks, but more often than not is standing in the corner by herself.

1. Is there anything extra I can do for any of them to help ensure they make it? Should I keep trying to clean their eyes or just leave them??
2. Is there any indication that any of these have a disease instead of a physical deformity (i.e, should they be separate from the others to prevent contamination?)
3. Should I complain to the hatchery or is this just part of getting chicks?

I appreciate your help... this is my first spring as a chicken momma and the first batch three weeks ago was way easier! Although none of these guys seem to have pasty butt (knock on wood), while the first batch had it bad.



8 Years
Mar 24, 2011
If you had gotten 100 from the hatchery, then I would think just go with it. But when you only got 9 and that many are having problems, I would say something, not sure if you would get some money back or they would send you more chix, or nothing at all, but as I said it just seems too many are having problems.


9 Years
Feb 28, 2010
N/E of Richmond, VA
Contact the hatchery. At the very least you can ask what they recommend and they should know to examine their inventory closely to see if there is some infection they need to deal with. Offer to send them these pictures via email or contact them via email and include the pictures as links to a recognizable online photo host like photobucket or flickr. I don't recommend sending them as attachments.

What were they packed in? I know some hatcheries use straw and straw can mold, which could cause respiratory issues in animals. The crusty eyes could be a result of some respiratory distress.

I would use a saline solution instead of just water to continue to gently clean the eye area. You can get saline eyewash at the pharmacy or make your own. Saline will be more cleansing than just water.

As for the bare skin, is it hot to the touch? Is it red and inflamed? If it is hot or red, that is a sign of infection and you will want to look into what antibiotics you could give her. It is hard to tell from the picture, but it looks a little crusty around the bare spot, too. Is that correct? Is there discharge coming from the area you said seems to be filled with liquid?

Do they all have good energy levels despite these issue? If not, you may try electrolytes and/or Polyvisol without iron (liquid vitamin drops labeled for infants you can get at the pharmacy).

You may consider contacting your local extension office to see if there is a livestock or avian vet in your area who can best diagnose what's going on with these little ones.


8 Years
Apr 24, 2011
Aubrey, TX
I would definitely follow good quarantine procedures and keep this batch of chicks WAY away from any of the rest of your flock until you are absolutely positive it is not something contagious. Also be very careful to wash hands and not wear same shoes from coop to coop unless you dip soles in a dilute bleach solution. If they are sick, you don't want it to spread to your healthy birds.


Fud Lady
8 Years
Apr 7, 2011
Western NY
My Coop
One of my Salmon Faverolles that shipped to me last month had this problem... gooey eye, crusted shut. I gently worked it open with a little warm water on a cotton swab, and had to do this a few times a day for two days, but she is now bright-eyed in both eyes and healthy.

The bare spot on the neck almost looks as if it got gooey (maybe pooped on in transit?) and then pecked or pulled off-- but it's hard to tell. It's really hard to know just what happens to them in transit!

I hope they are okay and healthy, and that the problems are just temporarily cosmetic.


9 Years
Aug 19, 2010
north central indiana
My Coop
I agree that I would call. I used to work at the feed store and we got hundreds of chicks in for customers. I didn't hand check every chick but we checked them all with a quick once-over and don't remember ever seeing any that had eyes like that or bare skin patches. Poor little things.


Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
South Georgia
If you have Neosporin ointment you might try a little on those eyes. Years ago a vet told me it could be used in eyes.

Hopefully this will all straighten out with time.


8 Years
Apr 26, 2011
I hope they are feeling better soon~ looks like you got some good advice on here!

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