Fussy Eater

by Mark
(Adelaide, South Australia)


I have a 10 week old chick (she is a light orange, similar I guess to a Rhode Island Red) that appears to be a lazy or fussy eater.

I can compare her to 3 others of the same age and like most chicks they eat and eat and eat. This little one however only seems to eat when the others are doing the same (almost like she is lazy or needs to be reminded), even then she eats significantly less.

She has solid poo and still cleans herself and her general demeanor is that of a happy chook but she seems very lethargic, often choosing to enjoy the sun with her eyes closed rather than having interest in exploring with the others.

They are all on a diet of chick crumble with some soaked wheat hidden under the crumble. I vaguely remember in the past adding some glucose to the water of a lethargic chick and bringing her energy levels up.

Do you recommend this or any other options you can think of because she is a real little sweetheart and I don’t want to lose her if possible. Cheers, Mark

There are vitamins for chicks that would be good to give to all. You haven’t mentioned her droppings and it doesn’t sound like she is sick, just a bit slower than the rest, and not as competitive. Glucose is a form of sugar.

You might offer the chicks some chopped up apple and greens with their food. The natural sugars and enzymes will help with digestion and possibly energy.

Offering all of them some live culture yogurt can aid digestion as well, by giving them good bacteria to help break down their food. You could mix a couple of tablespoons in ½ cu. water, soak a few tablespoons of their chick feed and let them enjoy the benefits.

I’m curious why this chick would get less food. Such young chicks need constant access to food and water, they should never run out.

Most brooders have some form of lighting and the chicks will eat through out the night, if they can see. There is little danger in keeping a light on for them, they will nap when needed, get up and eat some more and sleep and grow. I am curious if this chick’s droppings are normal or not.

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Fussy Eater
by: Mark

Thanks for the reply, I am pleased to say she has bounced back really well and within a day has made up the weight she dropped by not eating.

In fact I struggled to get her out of the feed bowl at all! Her droppings were solid the entire time which is why I was looking for other answers but I am pleased to say she is as active as the others and was just having a down day by the looks of things.

I will still give them all some yogurt to help with their digestion, many thanks, mark

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