Sudden illness in two months old chick

by AK
(New Delhi, India)


Sudden illness in two months old chick: Came to notice today in the morning, the chick wasn't moving much, mostly standing apart from rest of the flock.

Two other chicks showed same behavior but showed interest in eating. This one though did come forward once or twice but didn't eat.

A few times he did try but without much enthusiasm, the others were able to snatch food from him.

Had been standing in a corner or perched. He ran about when we tried to pick him up, but didn't resist as much the healthy ones do.

We were able to make him drink a few drops of water mixed with teramycin, after that we isolated him and put him in a cardboard box, since then he has been lying down and hasn't moved an inch.

We also feel he has become pale, and the comb also has faded to a pale yellow.

We don't know the breed.

We have been feeding them fresh green vegetables like spinach, coriander, bottle gourd, also onions and tomatoes sometimes.

And pearly millet soaked in water overnight because they don't show much interest in the seeds. Musk melon seeds and outer covering nearly everyday, and water melon too. Sometimes garlic.

There are 12 in all, we had started with 15. One of them died in the first few days, One was found dead in a month, it had been healthy and found dead one morning, one accidentally. They have been kept in an enclosed area of 12 by 12 foot.

Where they can move about free, but the place lacks cross ventilation because it opens only from the top, but we keep an exhaust fan running 24,7.

I am including two pictures, one of the ill chick taken today, and the other of two healthy ones taken a few days back.

You didn't say if these chicks are being fed a chick start or grower feed. If not, they are probably under nourished.

There should always be plenty of good balanced feed so there is no reason for food stealing. Young chickens are not very able to digest whole seeds, especially if no grit is offered.

Young chicks are growing rapidly and need high quality nutrition that a balanced chick feed contains.

Adding fresh fruits and vegetables is good, but I would avoid seeds until they are bigger. You might want to consider giving vitamin and mineral supplements.

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He died.
by: AK

Hi Thanks for your time and effort, he died an hour after I wrote this, since then two more have died, one chicken with pale comb but otherwise healthy didn't show much interest in food one day and was dead in the morning, other with severe symptoms of cocci.

There is store for chick starter, etc here, but I will try to better their diet. Some people suggested they aren't getting enough protein, is it ok feed them crushed soya nuggets?

Sudden illness in two months old chick
by: Sharon

So sorry things are not working out well with this group of chicks. Young chicks are growing inside and out, growing feathers, developing major organs, an immune system, exercising and exploring their new world.

I'm not sure why you wouldn't want to feed a standard chick start. The brands carried by most feed stores follow tried and true recipes containing a good protein, fat, carbohydrate, fiber, vitamin and mineral balance.

If you want to make your own, possibly attempting an organic diet for them, I would suggest taking note of the ingredient percentages on packaged chick start/grower and duplicating it with your own ingredients.

Whole grains must be crushed. Just like human babies and baby animals of all kinds, they are generally unable to handle the same foods as adults of the same species until older and more developed.

The food I see in the photo with this dead or dying chick are completely inappropriate for most chickens, especially baby ones. Not that they can't eat some, but as the basis for diet, as you have seen, these foods don't lend themselves to healthy chicks.

I hope you decide to benefit from the healthy diets developed for chickens and for raising chicks; either purchasing ready made, or following the nutrient components of chick start and grower by making your own that is digestible and nutrient rich.

by: AK

oops am so sorry i meant there are NO stores here which carry chick starter or any other feed. But am still trying to find one :( till then am trying to better their food, specially adding proteins.

The onion and garlic was a desperate measure! Most people here recommend that for ill chicks :s am totally dumbfounded but two other chicks recovered very well on a diet of onions twice a day when they weren't doing too well.

And when in another forum someone said onions are a strict no-no for sick chicks, I took them off, and a few days later one died. Am mentally exhausted! :( just trying to work out a better diet for the ones left, they seem to be doing fine mashallah :)

by: Anonymous

OK, now I get it. Garlic is a natural antibiotic and onion contains sulphuric acid, which can help with digestion.

If fed to chicks, should be chopped with greens and soaked chick start or a bulky grain product. You could probably buy corn meal at the grocery store and other grains and soak them.

Soaked whole grain breads would be easy to digest. I've never heard of a feed store that doesn't stock chick start or grower, or couldn't order some.

Hopefully you can find another nearby that does carry it or will special order it. Layer crumbles, or poultry grower crumbles will work and would be a better feed than whole seeds and vegetables.

The garlic in the photo should have been peeled and chopped finely, same with a little onion, if you believe it to be beneficial.

I've heard it's a bad idea to feed both to laying hens as the strong scent can cause eggs to smell and taste funny.

In an emergency you could feed soaked puppy or kitten kibble, cooked oatmeal, soft bread, some banana and chopped apple, cooked baby cereals and mix in chopped greens, even scrambled egg.

Making a corn and mixed grain egg bread and soaking it will work. But these should be given for a day or so until you can get the proper food.

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