Struggling, head-pecked baby chick


Jun 13, 2017
New Albany, IN
Hello Everyone-

I am new to the forum! I have done a bit of reading, and not so sure if there is anything else to do about this struggling chick, but thought it couldn't hurt to ask and share the situation.

So I have a broody hen who hatched 9 chicks, and still had a few eggs left to hatch. Two days ago when I made it out to the coop in the late afternoon, I found one hatched chick, dead, one stuck in the fully enclosed membrane but dead, and one who hatched and was still alive. It looked to be pecked in the head a few times and was bleeding from its ears too. I assume it was the ravenously hungry 1 week old baby chicks who pecked it and also ate the shell off the chick who was stuck in the membrane.

Anyway... So I brought the chick up to the house and fed it molasses water. Seemed to be doing alright, kept that up for the day, was standing by night-time. I put it back under the mother for the night, and picked back up with the molasses water this morning. It has made little progress; ate a worm, and will peck at the dirt here and there. It can stand, but it can barely walk. I have been putting it back in the run with the mother and baby chicks off and on today. None of them are bothering it, but it is just standing there, pecking occasionally, but mostly swaying its head low, then back up, and just hanging on...

Just wondering if there is anything else I can do for it? I understand it might not make it and that's just how it is, but I am willing to help it along if I can. I was thinking of giving it spirulina mixed in water...



In the Brooder
Apr 6, 2017
Hand feeding may help build strength or some mash and I'd probably bring it inside until it recovers. I had a young chick get beaned by mama hen a few times and after a few days of tlc in the house he recovered fairly well but he was a little off.


Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Dec 11, 2009
Colorado Rockies
What's your location? Are you in the US? If so, you can get a bottle of Poultry Nutri-drench. It's a powerful formula of vitamins and nutrients that get mainlined into the blood stream, by-passing the digestive system.

A good food to feed it to jump-start it's digestive system is crumbled tofu. It has much of the same nutrients chick food has and is easily digested.

This is okay to feed to the broody and all the chicks if you wish to leave the chick with the family group. It may help stimulate it to eat.

You already have prepared yourself for this chick not making it, though. It's likely a failure-to-thrive and it's chances of survival aren't the most glowing.

lazy gardener

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
It would be helpful if your location was added to your profile. It helps folks to know where you are. The chick also needs heat, around 95* during the first week when you are keeping it at the house. It needs more than molasses water to survive. If you have chick starter available to you, that would be first choice. If not, then perhaps some corn meal, and some scrambled egg.


Jun 13, 2017
New Albany, IN
Thank you all for you suggestions. Unfortunately by the time I made i home with the chick feed, the little chick had already been pecked and eaten by the other chicks :( UGH!

I will add location, thanks for all the newbie pointers. I have only raised them after they are a couple days old, until now! But the rest of the flock is doing great now and I am working on integrating the mama and chicks into the regular flock.


6 Years
Apr 30, 2015
Help!!! Chicks ears pecked out by older hen. I stopped the bleeding but I don't know what to do. Is it going to die?

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