Very small weak chick


In the Brooder
May 19, 2015
I have a three day old chick who hatched Monday morning, she is tiny she's a third of the size of her brothers and sisters. She won't eat or drink at all, she has curled in toes so I taped her feet to keep her toes spread out, she doesn't walk and tips over if I don't support her. I keep her in a bandana around my neck and have tried giving her vitamin water by dipping her beak in it and through a syringe. I've tried feeding her soaked chick starter through a syringe and with my finger, I've also tried egg yolk through the syringe and fried egg with milk and chick starter, I can't get her to eat anything she just wants to sleep all the time. She makes this adorable little purring sound when I touch her and I can't bear the thought of her dying, I cry just thinking about it. Please is there anything else I can do for her.
Hi there - if you cannot get her to drink, she will die soon. Try with a medicine dropper - even a couple of drops every 5-10 minutes will help. Do you have some Chick savr or similar vitamin/electrolyte additive for the water? If not some sugar water will do in a pinch. Don't give her any more milk or fried egg - not good for her. Scrambled eggs great and try again with a really sloppy mash of starter - use some of the vitamin water in it. Needless to say, keep her warm, good luck and keep us posted!
This may sound weird. But it is possible to force feed it. I learned this technique years ago whenbi raised birds and the past week it's proven successful with chickens.

You'll need a syringe. It has to have an extension on the end. It cannot be one designed to receive a needle. I use one I got from Walmart Pharmacy that is meant to deliver medicine to babies.

Next you'll need a tube small enough to fit the end of the syringe. I cut up a... Not sure of the name, but its one of those hoses that hospitals use to deliver oxygen to patients.

Next mix some form of soft food. The people here could tell you what to use better than I can.

Make sure the end of the tube not connected to the syringe, the part that will go down the chickens throat, isnt going to cut or scratch. I used a hot knife to sort of round mine off.

Have someone hold the chickrn and wrap your hand ariund the head. It doesn't have to be a tight grip, just enough to stop it from shaking/moving its head from side to side so it doesn't break its neck.

If you can, use the same hand holding the chicken to gets its mouth open. I generally pinchnthe bottom beak with the same hand holding the head and they open their mouths themselves.

With the syringe in the other hand, place the hose (it should be connected to the tip of the syringe, and what ever your going to feed it needs to be pushed to the end of the tube, so you aren't injecting a tube full of air.) Anyway, place the tube in its mouth, on top of the tongue, and slide it gentlydown its throat.

This is the tricky part. You need to feel the tube going down its throat. Placing your fingers on each side of the throat will allow you to feel it as it slides down. You need to make sure it goes into the craw. The craw is located directly under the knot where the neck connects to the body. It seems way farther down than it should be to me. It's weird after dealing with parakeets and the like.

Once you're sure the tube is in the craw inject the food slowly. If there are any chunks stopping Smith flow through the tube, don't force it. Remove it, unstop it, and start over.

Last, bit not least, don't overfill the craw. That's bad.

Not sure if this is something normally done with chickens bit its a lot easier than using an eyedropper. For me and the chicken.
Thank you both so much! Sorry I didn't respond earlier, I have literally dedicated my life to this chick. I'm dipping her beak in vitamin waster every half hr or so and it looks like she's swallowing and because she's swallowing water (I think)? I've started dipping her beak in egg yolk. I do have all the equipment( tubes, syringes, ect that would be nesesary to force feed but I have no one to help and I'm so nervous to do it myself. This little one truly amazes me. everyday I think this is the end and she lives. She still can't walk even though I've removed the tape now she sits way back on her elbows?? I'm not sure if that's the right term for her leg joint there and she can't right herself if she tips oner, she's such a little fighter and her will to live is astounding. Is the egg yolk ok? And how long is it safe to give her the vitamin water? I've stopped giving the other chicks vitamin water they were literally bouncing off the walls with energy. Today I have her in a seperate brooder with a sibling and they are snuggling under the heat lamp in my bandana so she doesn't tip over and she seems happy to have company.
This is muffin. ( I named her muffin because every time I picked her up is say come here muffin) so it stuck. This is compared to a sibling who hatched around the same time.... She's so tiny it seems a miracle she's even alive.

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