Baby chicks from incubator

by Adrienne
(Kentucky)

Question

Baby chicks from incubator: I recently just had my first batch of incubator eggs hatch. I have had baby chicks in the past that I have purchased and have grown just fine.

However, out of the ten chicks, one does not seem to be doing very well. It is half the size of the others at this point (they are now 1 week old). I wanted to know if there is anything I can do? It seems to be very week, and is chirping in a very high, frequent manner.

I have seen this chick eat and drink so I am not sure what might be going on. Please Help, I would hate to lose him/her.

Answer
Hard to know why this is happening, but it just may be this one doesn’t get as much food or water. If there is a chance it is a mixed breed, it might even be showing more of a Bantam size compared to the others.

I would try to support it with vitamins/electrolytes. This can perk up a chick or chicken that is lagging behind for some reason.

Some probiotics or live culture yogurt can help the chick break down it’s food better and absorb more nutrients. You should be able to get products at you local feed store to supplement, but avoid antibiotics in medicated feed or as a medication, unless you know there is a specific disease.

Check your chick start for anti-biotic content and replace it with a chick start that doesn’t contain any. You can actually harm your chicks and weaken their immune system and digestive system by feeding antibiotics. Constant feeding of antibiotics can cause resistant bacteria that has learned to survive the presence of an anti-biotic and back-fire later.

No matter if you are raising egg layers or meat birds, the presence of antibiotics is not something you want in your food chain.

You might try a few drops of sugar water for this one with a pinch of salt or Gatorade if the feed store isn’t handy and some live culture yogurt from the grocery store.

In a group of chicks there is usually a strongest one and weakest one, but you may be able to pull this little one through. Hope this helps.

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