Weak chick... what happened here?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by HeatherB, Dec 10, 2010.

  1. HeatherB

    HeatherB Out Of The Brooder

    68
    0
    39
    Sep 6, 2010
    Ellsworth Twp, OH
    I don't think it's necessarily an emergency, but something isn't right here. These babies hatched four days ago now.. I'm concerned about the one to their left/my right, his hatch mate is there for size comparison. Ten hatched, and he's the only problem child.

    [​IMG]

    I thought the he was going to die at first, he didn't seem to get his coordination together and did a lot of flopping around and sleeping.. day two I looked him over and found that his umbilical cord was wrapped around one of his legs, holding it against his belly. I snipped it, and he started to get a little more mobile. Naturally I felt bad then, if I'd have checked sooner it might have been more helpful. There's still a pretty big piece of cord on him -- I can't see it anymore on the other chicks, his is pretty obvious, second picture. Sorry for the dark picture, but when I tried the flash, it totally washed him out [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    So, now he's mobile and can walk (lots of the time it's backwards). However, he's really not showing much interest in food or water, sleeping most of the time [​IMG] It's a big difference watching him and watching the other babies. He can open his eyes, and does, but most of the time they're closed and he's crashed. Even when he's awake and talkative they mostly stay closed.. Poops have been watery, I guess because he's not taking in much that's solid.

    I've been giving him vitamins and sugar in his water, and he's had scrambled egg a few times. He won't go for it on his own, I have to mush a bit on his beak and he'll swallow it. Totally uninterested in the starter crumbles.

    To make matters worse, I think I've created a monster. He gets trampled in the brooder, so he's been spending pretty much all his time with me. The little bugger slept in my hat in a basket on my bedside table last night, and was crying, so silly me I put the basket under the covers with me and he shushed. I wouldn't dare just let him sleep with me, I'd probably roll over and squish him. During the day, he's been sleeping with me on the couch or cozied up in one of my sweater pockets while I'm doing things around the house. He moves around quite a bit to find a comfortable spot, then he's out again. Periodically, I take him back to the brooder, set him down, and see what he does. He stands there looking around and chirping for a minute, then crashes face-first in the bedding for a snooze, at which point they step all over him. And if I set him down and walk away to do something, he perks right up. Those eyes open wide up, and he screams like somebody's trying to kill him. I've officially created a dependent, spoiled little baby!

    Wide awake and unhappy at being set down: [​IMG]

    Is there anything else I can or should do for him? At this point is it better to just step back, leave him in the brooder and let him either figure it out or not? And I'm really wondering about the cord... does that happen with your chicks? Would something during the incubation process have caused that? Could some residual problem from that be the reason he's sleeping constantly and not eating?

    And I wasn't sure but figured this would be the better forum rather than emergencies and illnesses.. I think I probably just have a weak chick with a rough hatch rather than an illness.. I'm not sure. [​IMG]
     
  2. acid_chipmunk

    acid_chipmunk Polish Silkies d'Uccles O my!

    Mar 29, 2010
    Keep trying to get food and water into him. Get some Poly-vi-sol WITHOUT irom vitamins and give him some of them. Also, the reason he is chirping when you put him down in your hat or when you are doing something, is probably because he is cold. That is why he got quiet when you put him under the covers.
     
  3. HeatherB

    HeatherB Out Of The Brooder

    68
    0
    39
    Sep 6, 2010
    Ellsworth Twp, OH
    Thanks for the help. It was a wool winter hat and a fairly warm bedroom (and a stuffed Snoopy to cuddle with), so I'd hoped that would do it, but if he was too cold then I'll get another heat bulb until I can feel confident leaving him in with the others. Until then, I'll pull out the heating pad and see if maybe the low or warm setting will make him more comfortable.

    The vitamins I have here and have been giving him are the ones I give our finches in their water.. and I'm stranded here with a much bigger sick kid, but my MIL ran out a bit ago and is stopping at Wal-mart so she said she'll grab me Poly-vi-sol and an extra bulb.

    Do I need to worry about what's left of that cord, or just leave it be? I've never seen a bird with an outie before [​IMG]

    And thanks again.. I can't wait until he perks up. Poor little thing just looks so wiped out all the time. [​IMG]
     
  4. acid_chipmunk

    acid_chipmunk Polish Silkies d'Uccles O my!

    Mar 29, 2010
    The hat probably was warm, just not quite enough. The heating pad on low should be good until you get another light, just take the cover off.

    I'm not sure about the belly button, it should fall off, so I would just leave it alone. I would only worry if it starts seeping or smells nasty.
     
  5. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    Couple months ago, I had a little bantam that was not doing too well – lots of crying and broody mom rejected the chick.

    I kept him cuddled with me on the couch, using a heating pad on medium with a blanket over the top of it. He would cuddle under the blanket being warmed by the pad. Every time he woke up, I offered him water and food. His crumbles I watered down into a thick gruel/soup and would tap on the edge of the container to gain his attention.

    It did not take long – food and warmth and the little guy was chasing me around the house.

    Best of luck with your little one.
     
  6. secuono

    secuono Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 29, 2010
    Virginia
    No idea if this helps, but with my new babies, on the second day, when I add food, I dip their beaks in the water every few hours until I see them doing it themselves. I also put my hand in about the food, make a fist and with my pointer finger, I 'peck' the food. One chick always runs over to see what 'mom' is doing, others eventually come over and peck, too. Seems to help them get going with eating.
     
  7. HeatherB

    HeatherB Out Of The Brooder

    68
    0
    39
    Sep 6, 2010
    Ellsworth Twp, OH
    I got the poly vi sol drops in him as soon as she brought them home, it's been a couple hours since.

    It took a little bit, but I've been dipping his beak here and there. A few minutes ago I dipped it in the water again (he has his own shot glass!).. he tasted it for a few seconds and then started diving headfirst and gulping. I've had that glass right here on hand and been trying to talk him into drinking for a few days, this is the first he's shown any interest.

    The glass is on its side, propped up just enough that it's not pouring out.. and he got his head in there as far as he could. Several times! The fuzz under his beak is all wet [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Still turning down the scrambled egg (I just made a fresh one) and crumbles, but drinking on his own looks like a good start. [​IMG] And he's back to napping off and on in a cozy little spot between a towel and the heating pad on the couch. Keeps waking up, going for a drink, and back to sleep. I'll keep trying to sell him on food.. hopefully if he went for water that way, he'll do the same for munchies here soon. [​IMG] I'll try watering it down and showing him how to eat again. But I'm so glad he went for the water!

    And I'll make sure to differentiate between the vitamins in the future.. I figured the other ones were specifically for birds and would be what he needed, so I hadn't picked up any others.

    Thank you all for the advice! I'm really glad I asked, and wish I had sooner... And I've had them on the couch with a heating pad and blanket before, but it's typically because they're cute and fluffy and they snuggle when they get warm and comfortable.. not because they needed it! [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by