Unusual behavior (first time owner)

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by prestoconfuoco, May 26, 2019.

  1. prestoconfuoco

    prestoconfuoco Hatching

    May 26, 2019
    Hi everyone,

    My family has just started caring for a group of chicks. They are all approx. 5 days old. Some were ordered live from MyPetChicken and some were hatched (11 total). The question here is about one of the hatched chicks. It is a Rhode Island Red, and just seems very different from all 10 of the other chicks. It is quite short and seems distinctly smaller than each other chick. It seems to stand around while all of the other chicks are partaking in some kind of activity - sometimes they will all go drink water or go peck at something and this chick will just kind of pace around the enclosure, oftentimes chirping. It seems to have its eyes closed quite frequently - when it's being handled it seems like its eyes are always closed, and it seems like they are closed frequently even when it isn't. Its left leg also seems a little shaky - I can't be sure because it can stand and walk, but I just saw it fall over and have trouble getting back up today, and slip off of the food dish it was climbing onto a few times. It is definitely eating, and spends a lot of time pecking at the food, but it does seem a lot smaller than the other chicks. I haven't personally seen it drink very much, but other people have seen it drink. I can also feel what I have read is his keel bone rather prominently and I can't seem to feel it as prominently on the other chicks.

    It absolutely is walking around, going under the brooder for heat, pecking at things, etc. Another interesting thing is that many of the other chicks have taken to trying to dust-bathe in the wood chips, and I have never seen this one do that, either.

    This little guy is my favorite of the bunch and I can't help but be worried that there could be something wrong because he just seems so different than each of the other chicks. I know everything I've been saying is kind of vague and I don't have pictures at the moment (I can take some tomorrow). I am mostly wondering if there's anything I should be looking out for or if these are warning signs of anything.

    Thanks for reading!
  2. DobieLover

    DobieLover Easily distracted by chickens

    Jul 23, 2018
    Apalachin, NY
    My Coop
    I really hate to say it but it sounds like this little one is failing to thrive. It just happens with some chicks.
    I would try to offer it some Poultry Nutri-drench or equivalent nutrient booster by saturating a Q-tip and holding it alongside the beak and allowing the liquid to wick in until the chicks drinks. Continue doing this until you get about 1/2 ml in her. You can do the same with some water with electrolytes in it.
    Also try offering her a cooked egg made very runny with lots of water.
    If you can get her eating and drinking on her own and keep her warm, she might make it. Good luck.
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    :welcome Is there any possibility that it might be a bantam? My gut tells me that this is likely a case of 'failure to thrive'. Such chicks are generally born with a congenital problem which makes them unthrifty. Sometimes such chicks seem to recover and catch up to their hatch mates. Other times they slowly fade and eventually die. Sorry that you are having to deal with this.
  4. SimplyLivinthatFarmLife

    SimplyLivinthatFarmLife Crowing

    Jul 17, 2017
    I would start to pamper this one as much as possible with all of the suggestions provided thus far. Keep us updated and good luck!
    anderstr196 likes this.
  5. prestoconfuoco

    prestoconfuoco Hatching

    May 26, 2019
    Hi everyone,

    Thanks for the suggestions. I will try to do my best. I just read online that you can make a homemade electrolyte drink with 1 gal water, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp salt, and potassium chloride (which they said was optional and I also don't have). I don't have any nutri-drench and I can certainly look into getting some tomorrow but am not sure if I'll be able to. Does this seem like a good option?

    I think I have a heated blanket somewhere that I could potentially use to try to keep this one warm for a while (just keeping it near me).

    I will also try to make a runny egg and offer it some of that, in addition to its usual food.

    Any other suggestions are always welcome.
  6. prestoconfuoco

    prestoconfuoco Hatching

    May 26, 2019
    Update: This morning we gave it some electrolytes and pulled it out for a while to offer some egg via water dropper. it drank about 1/2 ML of the electrolyte water and I gave it probably 1-2ML of water because it seemed very thirsty. It's still standing around chirping a lot and definitely seems weaker and smaller than the others but it does seem to at least want the water and electrolytes.

    How often at maximum can I offer the electrolytes? I don't want to make anything worse, either!
  7. coach723

    coach723 Crowing

    Feb 12, 2015
    North Florida
    I would do it every 20 minutes or so, and alternate with fresh plain water. This link may help you, I've done this with a bandana several times, sometimes the contact helps calm them and reduce their stress. If the chick fails to thrive, then it just wasn't meant to be. Sometimes they will recover and do well, sometimes not. Good luck.

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