Wyandottes are not eating. :/

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Hidden Hollow Hatchery, Apr 4, 2009.

  1. Hidden Hollow Hatchery

    Hidden Hollow Hatchery Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 6, 2009
    Well, I went up to ye ol' L&M fleet the other day and got myself a nice little mixture of layers and pets.

    4 EE pullets
    4 colorful cochin bantams
    2 welsummer pullets
    2 RIR pullets
    4 production red pullets
    1 grumpy brahma cockerel

    and 2 wyandotte pullets..

    Now, bringing them home, I was thinking that the bantams were going to be my biggest headache, knowing how delicate they are. Holy mackeral was I ever wrong! Everyone was eating and drinking upon arrival, except the wyandottes. At first I thought they were feeling the opposite of crowd anxiety, like they wanted to be in a group, so I put them in with the bantams. Still not eating. They aren't just peeping or chirping, they are WHISTLING from the basement! They have chick starter and layer feed as well as a home-made batch which usually works wonders on picky chicks. I've also tried crushed boiled egg yolk, which they picked at a bit. They have plenty of grit and water, and they are still unsatisfied. Temperature is fine. I use UCH's rather than lamps, as I've had too many horrible experiences with lamps. Half the floor is unheated so they can get away from it easily (and they have moved back and forth). I can't think of what the heck it could be that is keeping them from eating. They are atleast 2 days old, probably 3 or 4. I know they're hungry, because they're screeching, but they won't eat.

    What is wrong with them? [​IMG]
     
  2. thechickenchick

    thechickenchick Born city, Living country

    Mar 8, 2008
    Eaton, Colorado
    It sure sounds like you have done everything right. Maybe try separating them for a few minutes just to try some yogurt. Or try making a mash from the starter and warm water. I hope they start eating soon. Please keep us posted. Good luck. [​IMG]
     
  3. Hidden Hollow Hatchery

    Hidden Hollow Hatchery Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 6, 2009
    They went after the yogurt like madmen, but they didn't care for the mash all that much at first, but I mixed some into the yogurt and as I evened the ratio, they kept eating, so hopefully they're getting sustainable nutrition from that for the moment. I've noticed that they don't chirp as long as I'm in the room, which I find odd. The further away I am, the louder they chirp. I wonder if it's possible that they don't know they're chickens? [​IMG]
     
  4. thechickenchick

    thechickenchick Born city, Living country

    Mar 8, 2008
    Eaton, Colorado
    Wonderful!! I am glad you got them to eat something!

    I have 2 bantam babies in the house brooder right now. If you take one out, the other chirps incredibly loud! I didn't know that their volume button went that high!!
     
  5. Hidden Hollow Hatchery

    Hidden Hollow Hatchery Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 6, 2009
    Bantams are amazing little things! They're fragile, friendly, and they make darn good chickens for people who don't have much space. Whenever I go to get new layers, I can't resist bringing home a bantam or two.. Or four. [​IMG]

    Now everyone is scratching and eating and chirping and falling asleep in dog-piles in the corner. [​IMG] Now I remember why I love this time of year...
     
  6. 3peeps

    3peeps Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 4, 2007
    Quote:What is a UCH? A heat mat? I don't like lamps either.

    Hope things stay better for you! One of mine is looking pretty bad...a little bantam. Despite the troubles, it is an amazing time of year, isn't it? I get so calm when I watch the chicks.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2009
  7. Hidden Hollow Hatchery

    Hidden Hollow Hatchery Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 6, 2009
    UCH stands for "under cage heater", and while that normally means a heat lamp, for me it is a shelf system. Two shelves. Heater on bottom shelf, chicks on top shelf. Since I keep my chicks in my bedroom, I can't handle heaters that generate light.. I'm one of those "dark cave" sleepers. Temps are 80-100 degrees depending on the chicks themselves, and fortunately I'm a fan of high temperatures, despite being born and raised way up north. Rather than seperating by breed or age or type, they get placed in whatever cage they'd do best in, mainly because I only buy chicks every few years, and they're just pets and layers, with the exception of a few particularily unlikable individuals who found themselves at the wrong end of a fork or gravy pan...

    I just lost one little bantam, and honestly, I'm pretty surprised. They'd all been doing very well, and everyone has been good for the past several hours, but this one, GORGEOUS little partridge cochin, was lying stone still in the furthest corner from the heater, right next to the waterer, which is not a good place for a bantam to be lying. His legs were all stretched out in that charactaristic dead-chicken way, and I picked him up and started breathing into his fluff (he'd chirped when I picked him up, so I knew he was still there) and I got him back enough so that he was blinking and breathing normally, and he'd fidget a little when I picked him up, but his balance was screwy and so I took him out and put him in his own little enclosure with a little extra heat and some warm mash. I didn't feel there was much else I could do, so I left to go work on my truck, and when I came back, he was all stretched out again. When I picked him up, he did not chirp. [​IMG]

    Should I take this to be bad luck, or a weak and delicate chick who simply couldn't handle himself in this environment, or should I take it to be a contagious illness which I should keep from the rest of my flock? The wyandottes are now just as active and cheerful as everyone else, but I'm watching everyone like a hawk at the moment. I went back to L&M and asked them about it, and they said that the broilers/cornish were the only birds with which they'd had problems (which is to be expected) and they insisted on giving me a buff laced polish chick out of sympathy, and I felt very guilty thinking that perhaps I was bringing him home to a cesspool of illness. I did take him, and I put him in with the wyandottes to keep them company, and they seemed quite pleased.

    I dunno. [​IMG] I feel rather rotten at the moment, either way. This isn't the first time I've lost a bantam chick, and I don't think I will leave any chance of a "next time". Maybe bantams are too delicate for one as careless as me. [​IMG]
     
  8. thechickenchick

    thechickenchick Born city, Living country

    Mar 8, 2008
    Eaton, Colorado
    [​IMG] Oh! You are not careless! It could have just been an internal defect. You sound like a responsible chicken owner to me. Don't be so hard on yourself. Hey, you got the Wyandottes to eat didn't ya! [​IMG]
     
  9. lilbirdee

    lilbirdee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 14, 2009
    Ridgefield, WA
    I agree with thechickenchick. Don't be so hard on yourself. You did good. Sometimes a baby just isn't going to make it. No matter what species. It was probably just a case of FTT.

    Failure To Thrive
     
  10. Hidden Hollow Hatchery

    Hidden Hollow Hatchery Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 6, 2009
    That smiley running around made me about fall out of my chair. For some reason I found that especially entertaining.

    I think that next year, I'm going to buy directly from the hatchery rather than ye ol' L&M fleet. Now the "polish" (he's really a new hampshire, which is better, IMO) is especially lethargic. [​IMG] He eats when I encourage him, but he just seems abnormally sleepy. I wouldn't be worried at all if he slept normal rather than with his head hanging down against his side. I hope he's just a goofball, or sleepy from the trip home. I've left him alone for now, hoping that's the case.

    Now I know how my watchdog mommy hens feel each Summer!
     

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