Broiler chick lessons

We received 80 broiler chicks in the mail this morning.  One was dead.   There’s no way for us to tell what happened, but he didn’t make it.  That’s sad, but is the life of the chicken.

Shortly after putting them in the brooder one of the chicks was what I’ll call “posturing.”  This is a weird neck craning, wing unfurling behavior that looked to me like a neurological problem, like what happens when someone gets knocked out.  We put that chick in the “hospital” with another that had a little bloody spot that had gotten pecked on.

I looked up the weird problem the first chick had in all the books I have and on the internet.  No help.  Charity called all the old timers.  They said put some vinegar (electrolytes) in their water and feed them boiled egg yolk.  We got to work on this.

That posturing chick died.   It was too late to get any fluids or food into that one.

Meanwhile another was displaying “splay-foot.”   Into the hospital with him.

In the hospital that chick got some water with electrolytes and egg yolk and has perked up a lot.  We shall see.

Lessons:
1.  Make sure you have a hospital brooder before you get your chicks.  They can deteriorate rapidly and you need to get them away from their peers quickly.

2.  Just start them with electrolytes and more egg yolk immediately.  There’s no reason to wait.

3.  Hippocrates was right.  It’s diet and exercise.

There’ll be more lessons tomorrow, I’m sure of it.

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