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Tired - 6 week old chicks

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by galaxyflyer1, Feb 18, 2009.

  1. galaxyflyer1

    galaxyflyer1 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 18, 2009
    Corona Ca.
    Hello everyone,
    I'm new here and want to thank everyone for your help.

    I have 5 chicks, 3 are around 6 weeks old and 2 are a little older. My concern is with 2 of the younger ones. When I first brought all 5 five home one seemed very tired but would eat and drink fairly fine. Now and then run and play with the others. She is not any worse after having her for one week now but not much better compared to the other ones. But now another little one seems like it is behaving the same way, where it had much more energy a few days ago.

    They seem to be pooping OK. At first I thought one might have been a little constipated so I feed it some olive oil.

    It has been cold here lately in Southern California but I have 2 brooding lights for them. They do go out in the cold to play though. Can chicks/chickens catch a cold? Do you think what they have will pass?

    Thank you,
    Corona California
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    They don't catch colds, but it is possible to have a runt. Do they feel skinny? 6 weeks old is just about when I take away lights for my birds in the day, even if it's 45F outside. At 8 weeks they wander about even if there is snow on the ground. However, they are rather acclimated up here and if your temps dropped from 70 to 40 a chill could lower their defenses.

    If you are worried about internal paracites, take a fecal sample to a vet for a "fecal float" and see if they have worms or cocci. The test can tell you if they have it and the type so you can treat if necessary. Cocci will slow birds down, but in 95% of cases it comes with bloody poo, very fast decline, and quick death.

    They could be just fine and tests could easily come back clean and you just might have a low energy few chicks.

    Maybe more info can help.

    Feed? Housing? bedding and so on.

    I'll move this to emergencies to see if you can get some more answers.

    Good luck!
  3. skeeter9

    skeeter9 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi, Bob, and [​IMG]

    What are you feeding your little ones? If the bulk of their diet is anything but chick starter, then they may not be getting the proper nutrition. Some plain yogurt or a couple of drops of Polyvisol per day per chick may help. It's also possible that they brought something home with them from the chick store. You could contact your vet for instructions for testing, etc.

    Hope they start feeling better soon.

    I'm sure others with additional thoughts will be along shortly.
  4. sammi

    sammi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 21, 2007
    Southeast USA
    what all do you feed?

    they could have gotten a chill..which tends to interfere with metabolism.

    describe the droppings..color and consistency..
    wouldn't hurt to have a fecal test done as silkiechicken suggested..

    if the droppings are runny, and have any pink or red in them..
    best to treat for cocci.

    are they sneezing? any wheezing?

    what bedding do you use?
  5. maymiegirl

    maymiegirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 27, 2008
    Can you tell me if the comb/wattles look nice and deep red or if it is pale and white. I always recommend a good source of DRY probiotics on a steady basis from a very young age. I chose to purchase the ones made for goats that you can get at Tractor Supply. I had been consulting with some professors at our local university and several vets. While they were impressed at my sources they agreed these are an excellent choice for my flock.
  6. galaxyflyer1

    galaxyflyer1 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 18, 2009
    Corona Ca.
    I am using "starter mix" that was given to me by the breeder. I guess I should give her a call for suggestions too. Daaa, I didn't even think about that.

    The bedding was from a bird farm, sealed in a package. It is pine shavings.

    No sneezing or cough, just always nodding off. But they do eat and drink fairly fine and run around from time to time with the others but stop and nod off a lot. The RIR did this from the start and now the Leghorn is doing it where it was much more lively previously. Because of this, I believe that the RIR chick maybe gave it to the other?

    The droppings seem to be like the others, Dark green with a little white. Not runny. I will try to confirm this if I can see them poop tomorrow.

    I made a chicken coop that is 6'x10'. It has an auto door that lets them into an outside run during the day. It was meant to be for older chicks/chickens at first. But I put up a a little wall divider towards the back where the bedding is and lamp to make it cozy. I would think that it is very nice for them, but who knows, I'm just a human [​IMG]

    They do not seem to be skinny (yet). I have a another one the same size and weight that appears to be just fine.

    I will do some more extensive doctor playing in the morning.

    BTW, just in case, anybody know of a chicken doctor in the Inland Empire in So. Cal?

    Thanks everyone,
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2009
  7. galaxyflyer1

    galaxyflyer1 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 18, 2009
    Corona Ca.
    OK, not much more info to give. Droppings seem to be the same as others.

    It seems that the RIR is doing a little better, where as the leghorn is weaker.

    I called the lady up from where I bought them. She explained to me the importance to disinfect the water dishes everyday before refilling and She recommended that I use Sulmet for a few days. I purchased a bottle of 12.5% strength. The instructions say that I should use 1 TBSP per 1 gallons of water for chickens. But should my young ones get less? I started them out today with half the strength that it says. So I'm using 1/2 TBSP per gallon. Should I do this or go with the chicken 1 TBSP instructions?

  8. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Sulmet is a cocciodistant. If you suspect they have a protozoa called cocci, ( it can be confirmed by any vet through a fecal float test), then treat full course. It's a drug so if you treat, treat so you rid of the problem and not just make the protozoa resistant to the drug.

    Like an antibiotic, half dose won't cut it. The birds will get medicated on ratio of their body weight and how much they consume so don't worry about trying to dose each bird. Just change the water and refill with recomended dose with no other water source, treating for as long as the bottle says.
  9. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2007
    I would look into the nutrition situation first. Also, you might want to start giving them grit.
  10. galaxyflyer1

    galaxyflyer1 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 18, 2009
    Corona Ca.

    Silkiechicken, I don't think they have cocci because droppings seem to be fine. Meaning not runny or bloody but like you said, only a vet can tell.

    I'm assuming that Sulmet will cure other things too? Perhaps I should not play doctor with medicine I know nothing about. I'm just trusting someone else's recommendations.

    Regardless if this is the right medicine or not, I'm understanding that as long as I administer it correctly and for the proper amount of time, no harm will be done?

    chickenannie, They have an outside run to pick in the dirt. Do they still need grit? At about 4-6 weeks old, besides starter feed, what else should I buy for them.

    Thank you,

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