Runt Chick Not Growing

Raising chickens is harder than expected.

Making your chickens healthy and strong is not that easy as you would often exert an effort making their food, figuring out the proper diet, ensuring they are getting enough nutrients, rest, and other necessities just to make sure that your chickens will be happy and healthy.

However, sometimes you would still happen to have a chick that is sick, smaller, or generally below the average.

It is kinda frustrating to see runt chicks not growing, but what could really be the reason behind their delayed growth? 

Why is your runt chick not growing? 

There are many possible reasons why a chick is not growing or is having a delayed growth.

One could be lack of nutrition or your chick is generally eating less food that they should have.

Remember that at this stage, nutrition and growth should be the primary focus to ensure that they will have no problems later.

Other possible reasons behind the slow growth of chicks are poultry dwarfism and the after effects of late hatching. 

What Causes a Chick To Not Grow? 3 Possible Reasons

You would know that a chick is having slow growth if you compare it with its siblings or other chicks with the same breed and same number of days old.

But what are the reasons why chicks in the first place may face difficulty in growing? 

1. Lack Of Nutrition

The most possible cause behind the slow growth of chicks has something to do with diet and nutrition.

Chicks that are not eating healthy or eating less food that will help them boost their growth have a high chance of delayed development.

After all, they are not getting the proper nutrition that they need. 

2. Poultry Dwarfism 

Chickens may also have dwarfism – a special case where a fowl is experiencing a massive delay in growth, making them inherently smaller than any other fowl even with the same breed and age.

This condition is inherited which, unfortunately, does not have any cure. 

3. Late Hatching 

Not all eggs tend to hatch on the same day.

Some eggs may experience some delays, causing the chicks inside to also spend longer time getting used to their environment.

Sometimes, late hatching may already indicate that your chick is a natural slow grower. 

Why Is My Chick Growing Slow? 

As mentioned, slow or delayed growth might be a result from having poor nutrition.

If you are feeding your chicks less food than they require or they are failing to meet the nutrient requirements they must have, then your chick might have a slower development than others. 

Having a poultry dwarfism may also be the reason behind the slow development of your chicks.

Dwarfism is a genetic condition where chickens experience a significant delay in their growth, making them appear below the average or the standard.

However, slow growth will not always indicate that something is wrong with your baby chickens already.

Remember that growth and development still vary among chickens — some may experience a fast or quick development, while others will only experience steady and significant changes like a growth spurt. 

How Do You Save a Runt Chick? 

Runt chicks are always the one baby in a group that is always the smallest and the weakest.

Their conditions vary from one another – some runt chicks just tend to be the smallest of the group, but are still experiencing growth that is only a little later than others.

However, there are also cases where runt chicks are not only the smallest and the weakest, but are also sickly from time to time.

Saving a runt chick may be tricky.

But essentially, giving them a proper amount of food and ensuring that they are gaining the needed nutrients will help them thrive.

Taking care of them is hard, tricky, and tiring, but the first step to help and save them always starts with their diet. 

How Do You Help a Chick That Is Failing To Thrive? 

It is too heartbreaking to witness chicks that are slowly getting weaker and weaker and pretty much close to dying

However, you can still make some efforts to help them thrive and become stronger. 

1. Always check their condition 

It is better to always check their conditions and make some assessments, so you can identify what are the things you can do for them.

Checking their conditions will also help you track your progress and see improvements.

Normally, always check their temperature, their body condition, and any possible symptoms, so you can make sure that all problems will be discovered and addressed.

2. Feed them healthy food 

As mentioned, giving them proper nutrition helps them grow stronger and boost their development.

Make sure that you focus on giving them a healthy diet as their organs, functions, and their overall health will improve. 

3. Keep them warm and safe 

Some runt chicks tend to become the victims of bullying as well.

Other chicks may attempt to pick on this weak chicken for any reason whatsoever

This will only add to the stress level of your runt chick, making a significant deterioration in their health.

Make sure that you try to separate them or at least keep the weak chick safe, warm, and secured from other chickens. 

Why Is One Chick Smaller Than The Rest? 

Some chicks may appear to be smaller than the rest of the group and among its siblings for various reasons.

One may be because it experienced delayed hatching which may already signify that it has a slower growth rate than others. 

Slow development may also have something to do with a genetic condition, in case that your hen has dwarfism.

But normally, it is common for a clutch of eggs to have a weakest baby inside probably because of some poor nutrition when it was still inside the hen. 

Runt chicks may survive or not, depending on their condition and on how you take care of them.

Some may thrive and appear to only have a slow development at first, but eventually reach an age where they will experience a growth spurt.

Wrapping Up

Not all eggs will hatch healthy and strong chicks.

Some eggs contain baby chickens that are abnormally weaker and smaller than the rest of the group.

These chicks may either survive or not, all depending on how bad their condition is and how you manage to take care of them. 

Luckily, you can still help these weak chicks become stronger by feeding them healthily, keeping them safe and warm, and continuing to provide them with utmost care and attention.

Remember, most of the time, lack of nutrition is the primary cause of slow or poor development among baby chickens. 


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