What's wrong with my chick?


In the Brooder
Nov 15, 2016
Bowdoinham, Maine
I've got a baby Barred Plymouth Rock that has something wrong, but I don't know what. She hasn't grown like the others. She's lethargic. She acts like she's hot, because she keeps her wings open partially, when she's laying down. She sleeps all the time. When she stands, her wing feathers are pointed down. She breathes deep and heavy, but not in a pant.

I thought maybe she was a runt, and wasn't getting food and water, so I put her in with 3 newly hatched chicks. They get along fine, but she still acts the same.

I try dipping her head in food and water. She does drink, but haven't witnessed her eat. I did see her peck at the food last night, but didn't eat anything, that I could tell.

Time is of the essence. She's only two weeks old, and I really want to help her get older. None of the other chicks act like she does, so I don't believe she's got anything contagious.

One more thing. Her eyes look heavy, like she has a hard time keeping them open.

I'm attaching pictures, so you can see her size difference.

Thank you,


  • IMG_0129.JPG
    438.5 KB · Views: 7
  • IMG_0130.JPG
    348.4 KB · Views: 7
  • IMG_0131.JPG
    223.8 KB · Views: 6
  • IMG_0132.JPG
    222.5 KB · Views: 6
  • IMG_0133.JPG
    234.3 KB · Views: 6
  • IMG_0134.JPG
    239.9 KB · Views: 6


🙄🤚Less is More
Project Manager
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 31, 2015
Houston, TX
My Coop
My Coop
Some chicks just aren't meant to be.

Can you get to a feed store and get some Nutri Drench?
The tired eyes s probably because she has no energy and dehydrated.
Put some water on a spoon and hold it to her beak until she drinks it.
Do this often.
Are you heating JUST one side of the brooder?
Does she have room to get away from the heat?


Free Ranging
6 Years
Feb 12, 2015
North Florida
Also, put some electrolites in the water (sav-a-chick). You can also give some raw egg yolk mixed in water, either use a feeding syringe and just put it one drop at a time on the end of the beak, or put a drop on the crease of your finger and dip the beak. When I have a weak chick I make sure it takes electrolite water about every 20 minutes this way, as much as it will take, until it starts doing it on its own. And as stated above, make sure they can move in and out of the heat as necessary. Being too cold or too warm can cause issues. Here is a link with some ideas for helping a weak chick: https://www.backyardchickens.com/th...-chicks-to-survive-hope-it-is-helpful.367608/
Sometimes they just need some help and encouragement to want to live. But sometimes there are unknown internal issues that cannot be seen. Best of luck and I hope your chick makes it.


In the Brooder
Nov 15, 2016
Bowdoinham, Maine
I have tried dipping her head in water to drink. She will tip her head back and drink. I went to the store and got an eye dropper today. I got home and mixed some sugar water, and she did take that. I also used the dropper to try giving her some medicated starter (the food she has been on right along), but after the water, she actually took some out of a spoon for me. Before this, she would sleep all the time. Now, at least she is awake for a bit. I'll let you know as things progress...or digress. I'm praying and trying everything I can to help her live. I did notice that she has red eyes, but no smell. No cough, wheeze, or respiratory problems. I'll just keep trying.

None of her other flock mates have these issues. She is alone on this one. I thought Cocci at first, but she's been on the medicated starter since I picked her up from a reputable business. She also doesn't have any other symptoms of coccidiosis.

Any other ideas will be welcomed. Thanks to all.



In the Brooder
Nov 15, 2016
Bowdoinham, Maine
So, in your estimation, do you think she had cocci?

I ended up, in a last ditch effort to keep her warm, putting her in the incubator last night. I had to separate her, while this was going on, and that's the last place I had. Otherwise, she most likely would have chilled herself to death.

This morning, she was bright eyes and smiles...no puffy eyes...no liquids in eyes, staying awake. Still dozing like a chick her age, but wide awake at times too.

So it looks like the sugar water, and juices from apple sauce helped...along with the heat and humidifier. I thank my God for intervening on her behalf. I don't know what exactly happened, but I do know she's feeling better. She still has red in her eyes, but only halfway. Yesterday, they were all red.

I'm grateful and hopeful today!


  • IMG_0152.JPG
    299.3 KB · Views: 3
  • IMG_0156.JPG
    285.8 KB · Views: 3

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom