URGENT: Dehydrated/Constipated Chick

Victoria_S

In the Brooder
May 26, 2020
43
11
44
Hello everyone

My 1.5 week old buff orpington chick still eats (medicated chick starter) but will not drink on her own. We have tried to give her sugar water by dropping it on her beak, but she will only drink a little bit this way. Now she is constipated with a string of poop coming out of her vent. I have used a warm towel to dislodge most of it but dont want to pull it out. Ive used vaseline around her vent as well. She is still straining and I'm sure she wont drink while trying to poop. Any suggestions?
 

coach723

Free Ranging
6 Years
Feb 12, 2015
6,534
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North Florida
You need to get fluids in her. Hold her in your hand with the beak resting in the crease of your finger and drip the water down the crease. It's time consuming, but it works. I would give as much as she will take, every half hour or so. Also give her some coconut oil, freeze or refrigerate it til firm, break in small pieces and put in her beak, that will help get things moving. What are you using for a heat source in your brooder and what is the temperature in the warmest spot? Measure with a thermometer. Also, is there plenty of room for them to get out of the heat? That's how they regulate their body temperature, being too hot or too cold can contribute to constipation and pasting. Hopefully if you can get things moving this will resolve. There is always the chance that there is more going on internally and some chicks don't thrive, but often if it's just constipation then they will be fine after things move.
 

Victoria_S

In the Brooder
May 26, 2020
43
11
44
You need to get fluids in her. Hold her in your hand with the beak resting in the crease of your finger and drip the water down the crease. It's time consuming, but it works. I would give as much as she will take, every half hour or so. Also give her some coconut oil, freeze or refrigerate it til firm, break in small pieces and put in her beak, that will help get things moving. What are you using for a heat source in your brooder and what is the temperature in the warmest spot? Measure with a thermometer. Also, is there plenty of room for them to get out of the heat? That's how they regulate their body temperature, being too hot or too cold can contribute to constipation and pasting. Hopefully if you can get things moving this will resolve. There is always the chance that there is more going on internally and some chicks don't thrive, but often if it's just constipation then they will be fine after things move.
We use a 250 watt heat lamp and we've measured the temperature at about 90 degrees, so I think the temperature is ok, and the other chicks have been fine and drinking. It is only the buff that seems to not want to drink for whatever reason. They also do have room to get out of the heat. Thank you so much for your advice! I will try to get her more hydrated!
 

Victoria_S

In the Brooder
May 26, 2020
43
11
44
Update: she just got out a bigger, wet looking poop (normal looking, like the other chicks have been doing). Every half hour I am going to be trying to hydrate her, but I also want to let her relax a little. I really do not know why suddenly she will not drink on her own. A few days ago, we took in a few chicks temporarily from a neighbor and that is about the time she got lethargic. Once we returned the chicks, she immediately became more active again and ate a lot, but still won't really drink on her own though she had previously been drinking on her own. Should I try dipping her beak in the waterer again?
 

Victoria_S

In the Brooder
May 26, 2020
43
11
44
Or should I try moving the waterer closet to the heat lamp? Maybe she could be a bit cold but the others show no signs of being cold. I also did not think she was cold because she didnt really huddle up under the heat lamp any more than the other chicks, and they are all evenly dispersed throughout the brooder
 

Victoria_S

In the Brooder
May 26, 2020
43
11
44
How is your chick doing? Bumping this so hopefully someone will see it!
Thank you so much! She seems to be growing again/ feathering out more (for a while she wasn't and seemed very sick), she will drink from a spoon when I put it up to her so I am not as worried about her being dehydrated. Her poops still look a bit dry to me but she is no longer struggling with them. Her only issue is that it seems shes less inclined to drink from the waterer, even though she will freely drink from the spoon. Last night while watching over her a bit, my sister saw her drink a few sips, so she knows where the waterer is and how to drink. I'm just worried that there is some reason that she is less inclined to drink on her own. The waterer is cleaned daily and filled with fresh water, and none of the other chicks have had a problem. I am trying to spoon feed her less to see if she can start regulating herself again. I'm just worried about her getting constipated again, but my entire family is kinda rotating who checks on her (an upside of quarantine). She is just a very strange little chicken, but seems so much healthier than she was!
 

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