Weak/slow chick


8 Years
Sep 20, 2014
Denver, CO
HI everyone. My weak chick story seems a little different than other weak chick stories, so I'm going to ask the group...

We got 5 chicks (1-3 weeks old) 2 days ago from a feed store in town. One of them, a Barred Rock, was the smallest in the brooder at the store, the runt (so to speak). She eats and drinks as much as the others. She poops the same (as far as I have seen so far)... nothing different about her poops. However, she does a lot of standing around closing her eyes. Not all the time; she will move around the brooder (especially if other chicks cause a distraction), maybe eat or drink, but then go back to standing with her eyes closed. When the others start flapping (so cute!) she will too, but not with as much gusto. When we take the chicks out of the brooder they will often fly back in (the brooder has one removable glass wall, so it's not a long flight usually). She will flap a little, think about it, and usually just sit there and wait to be put back in.

I believe that she's closer to 3 weeks than to 1... she has tail feathers, wing feathers and a few on her back as well. She's 135 grams. (The other chicks we got are between 101-112 grams).

What's right:
She eats, drinks and poops normally.
Her crop was full last night and empty this morning.
She reacts to what's going on around her.
She moves around - under the MHP (see below), above the pad, not on the pad at all - during the day and sleeps with the other chicks at night.

What's not:
She is just slow compared to the other (younger) babies even though she's older.
She's not better after 3 days of care, but she's not any worse either.

The Brooder:
It's an enclosure (a former portion of the old coop... think nesting boxes without the dividers, but taller) with great ventilation. I'm not using a heat lamp, but a Mother Hen Pad. They have been given chick electrolytes to drink since they've been home. (When can I switch to water or should I be alternating electrolytes and water?)

Also, she was slow from the get-go... this is not a problem that developed after we got her.


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