week old chicks lethargic and shrieking

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by gretamac, Feb 17, 2012.

  1. gretamac

    gretamac New Egg

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    Feb 17, 2012
    My week old chicks became very lethargic today. They were previously very active and now have been sleeping in a pile all day while making quiet shrieking sounds. They are not showing the usual interest in food and seem to only occasionally be drinking water. This morning they were fine. I fed them a snack of flax seeds and ground up pumpkin seeds and at that point were very excited. Their poops are possibly a little more runny than usual. They seem very sick. Help.
     
  2. 5Leepy!

    5Leepy! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 17, 2011
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    Have you checked the brooder temperature? Is it possible they're cold?
     
  3. gretamac

    gretamac New Egg

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    Feb 17, 2012
    The temperature is the same as when they were energetic and happy. I did adjust the heat both ways today to see if it would correct their odd behavior but it was unsuccessful.
     
  4. 5Leepy!

    5Leepy! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 17, 2011
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    How many chicks? Are they inside? This sounds like how my sick chick started... I noticed her sleeping a lot when she was a week old and now I'm pretty sure it's wry neck.

    I'm no expert, though... Hope someone else pipes in. Not a lot of commenting lately on here, it seems. :(
     
  5. Chicken_Pauper

    Chicken_Pauper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 8, 2011
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    At one week old, maybe just stick to chick starter only. Their little systems may not have been equipped to handle the seeds at all.

    My full grown chickens seemed to not have an easy time with ground up FRESH pumpkin seeds, and it wasn't easy to get them ground up small enough for the chickens to want to and to be able to eat. I have added ground flax seed to mash before, but have not fed it since I started using layer pellets.. and have never fed it to little chicks.

    I hope that someone with more experience in feeding chicks things other than chick starter (since that's all I ever give mine) will know the pros and cons, risks and values of the flax seeds or ground (were they fresh or dry) pumpkin seeds.

    Have you ever successfully and without problems fed that to week old chicks before? I can only suggest that now you make a wet mash out of chick starter and buttermilk (or yogurt) (add a little warm water to get the right consistency if you have to)... and give it to them asap to even out their systems and set things right inside their digestive tracts. I really hope you don't lose them. Fresh water, maybe a little Apple Cider Vinegar, just a little in their water. 1/2 teaspoon per gallon? Fresh water, food and clean everything at least twice a day. Keep them warm.. I heard it like this... if you use a brooder light.... a heat lamp.. they can get as close to it as they want.. if they are "huddled together under it", they are cold... if they spread out they are warm enough.. you can raise and lower the light accordingly. It would seem that they should huddle under the lamp at night and spread out a bit in the daytime, to eat, etc... base the temp on their behavior.
    I have not used a brooder.. only a brooder light / heat lamp or even just a light bulb in a desk lamp in the bathroom when they were all in the tub.

    Best of luck.
     
  6. Ema

    Ema Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2010
    N. Ontario CANADA
    chicks that young should only be fed chick starter either non medicated or medicated, nothing else for a bit. check out the treat chart and there is a lot of different posts on this forum in regards to things we can feed little ones. most people do not give treats for the first few weeks specially pumpkin seeds or raw pumpkin puree due to its natural wormer. little chicks at this age do not need to be wormed and it could actually be too hard on their system. the only treat I give for the first few weeks are meal worms. for everything else I wait until they are 6 weeks of age. Except for hard boiled eggs.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/...ks-the-first-60-days-of-raising-baby-chickens

    here is a link to a treat chart

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/chicken-treat-chart-the-best-treats-for-backyard-chickens

    a link to raising chickens 101

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/...s-in-your-city-the-basics-of-raising-chickens

    i don't know how much experience you have with chickens, or chicks so I posted the links and hope it helps you.

    check and see if their bottoms are clean, how clear are their eyes, do they have a runny nose, do their droppings look different? are they sneezing, shaking their heads, ??? any symptoms you might have noticed?

    for now I would add a tsp or 2 of sugar to their water and see if they perk up, I would also go vet polyvisol vitamins without Iron (meant for babies) and maybe give them a couple drops.

    I feed my little ones medicated feed for the record. :)

    Ema
     
  7. gretamac

    gretamac New Egg

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    Feb 17, 2012
    Thank you everyone for responding to my message. The chicks are shrieking less and moving about a bit more after some sugar water and mash. Things are looking up!
     
    1 person likes this.

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