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Chick Growth UPDATE AT BOTTOM

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Post Options Post Options   Quote stegmanjessica Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Chick Growth UPDATE AT BOTTOM
    Posted: 13 Apr 2012 at 3:19am
I have some questions as I'm a bit concerned with 2 of my 2 week old chicks. They appear to be very healthy chicks; they eat, they drink, they sleep a lot. But they're SO little compared to the rest of the 2 week olds! In fact, I just got 3 more 1 week olds and they're the same size. So I have 5 that look like one week olds and 10 that are huge 2 weekers. Why aren't the 2 older ones growing like the rest? One in particular is just tiny. She's a buff orpington and I have 3 other Buffs as well; the other 3 are huge and awkward and ugly because they're starting to feather out like crazy, and this little one is still a cute little ball of fluff with tiny wing feathers (the others have full wings now) and nothing else but down feathers. Anyone have any insight? It doesn't appear they are being bullied in any way, so I think they're eating enough and I know their vents are clear. Thanks! 

Edited by stegmanjessica - 03 May 2012 at 3:42am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote stegmanjessica Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Apr 2012 at 3:43am
Oh! another thing...I'm worried I have roo's! The girls just started growing their combs (it's a bit shocking, I don't know why I didn't realize the girls would get a small comb too Embarrassed) and some of them have much more pronounced combs, even at 2.5 weeks old! eek! I hope not to have to eat them but I will if I have to Tongue
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Post Options Post Options   Quote littlehands Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Apr 2012 at 11:37am
The combs aren't necessarily an indication of rooster. It's REALLY hard to distinguish at that age what the gender is. Some just have a more pronounced comb.

The size- huh, I'm stumped. If they were developing normally but just smaller, I'd say don't worry. But, if they're not even feathering like the others. Huh.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jessmomto2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Apr 2012 at 12:21pm
If you have different comb types that can make a difference too. 
Let me look at one of my books and see if i can find anything in there about the delayed growth.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote stegmanjessica Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Apr 2012 at 12:23pm
I will try to get pics of the Buffs, and the other small one (can't remember who she is now) 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jessmomto2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Apr 2012 at 12:29pm
Are you putting an electrolyte supplement in their water?  I'm asking because i found mention of several vitamin deficiencies than can cause slow growth.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jessmomto2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Apr 2012 at 12:40pm
Here's what i've found so far in my book:
 
"Starve Out" can be caused by too long/rough shipping, chicks who didn't get eating well enough within 2-3 days of hatch makes them too weak to actively seek food.  Can also be caused by feeders placed where the chicks can't find them, feeders that are too high so they can't reach the food well enough, excessive heat over the feeders that drives the chicks away from the food.  If you suspect this i'd put some feed out on a paper plate or in a pie pan for a while to be absolutely sure they are getting enough food easily and farther away from the heat lamp.
 
Vitamin A deficiency says they won't grow and will appear drowsy, weak, uncoordinated, and eventually emaciated.
 
Thiamin deficiency in starter ration shows up suddenly when they're 2 weeks old and lose their appetites.  But this isn't a new problem for you so i'd think this is highly unlikely.
 
Riboflavin deficiency-chicks continue to have a good appetite but grow slowly and become weak and emaciated.  They may have diarrhea, droopy wings, and dry skin.
 
Folic Acid deficiency can also cause slow growth, anemia (pale skin color).  Can cause poor feather coloring in Rhode Island Reds and black Leghorns and poor feathering in any breed.
 
The book recommends the vitamins in their water till 3 weeks of age at least.  I also do the vitamins weekly through 16 weeks and for a few days during any time of stress.


Edited by jessmomto2 - 13 Apr 2012 at 12:42pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote stegmanjessica Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Apr 2012 at 1:00pm
One of the normal sized 2 weekers:

The *runt?*

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Post Options Post Options   Quote stegmanjessica Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Apr 2012 at 1:03pm
Wow, thanks Jess!! I'm going to get to Reber Ranch today and pick up a water supplement. I'm going to attach a pic of our setup right now for critique...could use some opinions. I think they're pretty happy though! 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote stegmanjessica Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Apr 2012 at 1:07pm
Here's the brooder. Light on one end and food in the middle. I do see her eat and drink regularly but she sleeps more than all the rest including the 1 week olds. She has had Marek's vaccine.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote jessmomto2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Apr 2012 at 1:23pm
I think the brooder setup looks fine.  The food has a warmer end and a cooler end.  The water is at the opposite end so she's not detered from it being too warm.  Sometimes they just have a slower start, and who knows what kind of shipping she went through.  I'd give her a couple days with the vitamins mixed in their water and see if she perks up.  I know last year i had a few who were later on getting feathers and slept more, too.  I didn't have such a huge size difference though, but i've read that most times they eventually catch-up and you can't even tell who the little one's were.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote littlehands Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Apr 2012 at 1:46pm
That's definitely a significant difference. I'm inclined to think she'll catch up as well, with some TLC.

Every time I look at chick pics, I get this massive twinge of envy. Geek
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Post Options Post Options   Quote erinchelsea Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Apr 2012 at 3:39pm
Hard to say. We had a few runts in our batch of meaties and they didn't make it. But you never know, could just be a smaller bird or shipping stress. Hope she comes out of it!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote stegmanjessica Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Apr 2012 at 3:40pm
Erin- how did they end up dying? Like...stressful and sick and sad and then die? Or just don't wake up one morning? I can deal with the latter...the former might make me never want chickens again. I can't handle that! 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote erinchelsea Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Apr 2012 at 4:21pm

I wouldn't worry about it too much, Jess- meaties are different, they are prone to die easier than "normal" breeds. they looked bad for awhile and I asked DH to cull them but he didn't do it so they just eventually died. I don't think they were in pain or anything. Although any time you're dealing with animals you have to be prepared that they could get sick and die- it does happen. Heart

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Post Options Post Options   Quote stegmanjessica Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Apr 2012 at 4:24pm
Thanks Erin. We're off to the feed store in a few minutes to get the electrolyte supplement for their water, and I'm picking up some Diatomaceous earth too, for when we start to deep litter them in the coop next week! 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Gotchickens Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Apr 2012 at 5:20pm
One thought is did they all come from the same hatchery? My Blue Orpingtons are developing a lot slower than the Ameraucanas. They are big but they are not getting in a lot of feathers. Could be the line they are from that causes a slower growth.  
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Post Options Post Options   Quote stegmanjessica Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Apr 2012 at 2:26am
Well I just don't know what to do or if I should be worrying or not!!! That poor chick isn't growing. At all. I wish I had a digital kitchen scale because I'd start weighing her daily. She's now 19 days old and is smaller than my other newbies who are only 11 days old. I see her eat (albeit probably less than the others?) and drink and while she isn't bullied, she does get trampled on because they don't see her! It's kinda ridiculous IMO. I'm so sad!! I've been putting probiotics in their food and using the water supplement and haven't seen improvement in her. What else would you suggest? 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote stegmanjessica Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Apr 2012 at 2:28am
Oh and we named her Cupcake because that's just about how big she is Heart
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jessmomto2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Apr 2012 at 4:26pm
She might need to be moved to a plastic tote to brood her so she's not getting stepped on and getting full access to food and water.  Seperating her is all i can think of other than possibly a trip to the vet to be sure she's ok.  She will have some trouble at first going back in with the others once she's bigger but eventually they'll accept her as one of the flock.  Unless you can find a way to brooder her sperate but so they can still see her fully then her transition into the flock again will be less dramatic.  Is there a way to put a wired off section within your brooder and still give her adaquate heat/cool areas?
 
If you can get some scales that would be a good idea indeed.  And if there was a nutritional imbalance it probably won't have worked itself out just yet.  But her getting stepped on is worrisome.


Edited by jessmomto2 - 16 Apr 2012 at 4:27pm
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