Main Takeaways:

  • Huddling (looking hunched) with eyes closed is a sign your chick is cold and/or sick (if they’re just cold, they’ll usually cheep loudly, too)
  • If they have some feathers, you’ll notice the feathers will be “puffed out” too. If they just have down, you won’t notice any feather fluffing.
  • If your chick is cheeping loudly, and you know their brooder is the right temperature (because you have a thermometer in the brooder and no other chick is acting cold), AND the chick is hunched over with eyes closed, then they might be sick.
  • If your chick isn’t growing while the rest are, it might be a sign they have some physical issue (especially if you know they’re eating/drinking/pooping)
  • If they stop eating or drinking, your chick might be sick.
  • If your chick has poop mashed to it’s vet, it probably has pasty butt.
  • None of this will tell you WHY your chick is sick – you must get a vet’s opinion (I’m not a vet).

Maat van Uitert is a backyard chicken and sustainable living expert. She is also the author of Chickens: Naturally Raising A Sustainable Flock, which was a best seller in it’s Amazon category.  Maat has been featured on NBC, CBS, AOL Finance, Community Chickens, the Huffington Post, Chickens magazine, Backyard Poultry, and Countryside Magazine. She lives on her farm in Southeast Missouri with her husband, two children, and about a million chickens and ducks. You can follow Maat on Facebook here and Instagram here.

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