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Comet

Potential Sick Chick

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Hello all, I have been studying your forum for quite a few months now but have never felt the need to pose a question until now.

 

I have 2 1/2 year old parents with their first clutch of 5 chicks. Everything has been going exceptionally well, however over the past couple days I have noticed that the oldest chick is behaving quite different from the rest. It likes to keep a low profile, so to speak. While its siblings seem rather interested in looking around while I'm cleaning the nest box, the oldest does everything it can to bury it's head in the dark. When returned to the nest box it buries itself as deep as possible. It will also give a loud alarm chirp that gets the rest of the chicks going... It doesn't seem to have any developmental problems that are visual. Although always seemingly frightened it is as energetic as the rest... however, today when cleaning I noticed while its stool is mostly formed, it is much more wet than it's siblings. A puddle was under the partially formed stool, slightly yellowish in color. Could this chick be ill? And how, with what?

 

I thank you in advance for any help that can be passed along. If anyone wants more info or needs pictures, let me know and I can provide them.

 

Beth

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In regards to the behaviour of burrowing and the loud chirping, this is pretty normal. Usually it is a learned behaviour from a parent, so nothign to worry about there.

 

As for the wet stool, it may be dependant upon what it eats. Think of it this way as well. Since it is the eldest, the biggest and the loudest, it would usually get fed first. This may mean that the food it is getting is of a more liquid consistency than the others, thus the droppings.

 

How old is this chick? Are you providing extra seed or millet for the young ones to begin to nibble on? This may help provide extra food for feeding, and it means that the birds, when they emerge from the nestbox, will have already learnt to feed themselves.

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In regards to the behaviour of burrowing and the loud chirping, this is pretty normal. Usually it is a learned behaviour from a parent, so nothign to worry about there.

 

As for the wet stool, it may be dependant upon what it eats. Think of it this way as well. Since it is the eldest, the biggest and the loudest, it would usually get fed first. This may mean that the food it is getting is of a more liquid consistency than the others, thus the droppings.

 

How old is this chick? Are you providing extra seed or millet for the young ones to begin to nibble on? This may help provide extra food for feeding, and it means that the birds, when they emerge from the nestbox, will have already learnt to feed themselves.

 

Thank you Dave. I am putting millet and seed in the nestbox. I have a feeling the older chicks might be nibbling but I haven't seen it yet. The oldest chicks are 3 weeks old today; their eggs hatched a few hours apart. I am attaching an example of the hiding behavior. This chick will do anything to keep in the dark including running inside my shirt. In the picture it is hiding beneath the other oldest. The youngest chick turned 2 weeks today. Only this one chick does this.

hiding.jpg

 

Thank you again, I'm a bit worried about it.

 

Beth

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Looks like normal behaviour Comet, even in kindy cage mine can still "huddle" when the human approaches. Try to observe them where you can't be seen and see if there is a difference in behaviour.

Kaz has recommended removing all bedding and replacing it with seed only, when oldest are about 2 week's. This has worked a treat with mine, they seem to leave nest box earlier and are eating when they do so. Worth a try. :rofl: see picture.

 

001.jpg

Edited by robyn

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Looks like normal behaviour Comet, even in kindy cage mine can still "huddle" when the human approaches. Try to observe them where you can't be seen and see if there is a difference in behaviour.

Kaz has recommended removing all bedding and replacing it with seed only, when oldest are about 2 week's. This has worked a treat with mine, they seem to leave nest box earlier and are eating when they do so. Worth a try. :rofl: see picture.

 

001.jpg

 

 

Thank youRobyn :D That picture you posted makes me feel better. The poops are much better today as well - no wet ones when I cleaned. Perhaps the chick was just converting to eating on its own more. I remember reading that post by Kaz now and today I put way more seeds, and two new millet sprigs in with the babes. You folks are priceless :hooray:

 

Beth

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