I have 4 4 week old chickens and 3 of them are leaning to the side while sitting. Watermelon rinds were fed to them. No external injuries no falls or attacks. These chicks are inside and isolated from our cats. Children pick them up and hold them gently. Not sure what is wrong with them. Help!


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by: Sharon

Unfortunately with no photo & no more information, this is a very difficult question to answer.

What's most important is if they are able to stand, walk, eat & drink, an poo as well as being kept in a clean and warm environment where they can move around for plenty of exercise as they grow.

I don't think that watermelon rind could cause any harm as long as they had access to their regular chick start, too. Chicks spend much of the day eating & drinking. When they are full they have to rest.

Sometimes their crops are packed full, which might make it more comfortable for them to lean sideways, might even make it impossible for them to sit straight, but chicks and adult chickens often rest on their sides.

I hope they are OK and there is nothing seriously wrong. The symptom doesn't sound like any disease. I would gently feel their crops and see how they feel. Healthy crops should feel a bit mushy as the contents pre-digest and liquefy.

Chicks will eat as they feel the need through out a 24 hour period, if there is light in the brooder, which is very good for them. When food and water are available all the time, they are unlikely to over eat - but that's always a possibility. 4 Week old chicks should be able to digest watermelon rind. Hopefully they have a constant supply of a good quality chick start feed and water.

Baby chicks need supplemental heat for a while. Without sufficient heat they can have trouble digesting their food.

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