How to Revive A Weak Chick

by Meghan H

Published July 8, 2019

Don’t let their pint-size fool you! Day-old chicks are shipped on a weekly basis with great success. Chicks ingest the yolk as the last part of their hatching process. This keeps them full and satisfied during their journey to their new homes, with you! While we do our best to ensure their safety during transit, there are many factors that are out of our control. If your chicks arrive weak, chilled or lethargic, here a few helpful tips on how to revive a weak chick!


Your brooder temperature should be 95 degrees for the chicks’ first week, but if your chicks are struggling don’t be afraid to boost that temperature by a few degrees. Chicks need to get their body temperature regulated so that their internal organs are working properly. Once stable, they’ll begin to eat and drink on their own.

It’s OK to increase the brooder temperature up to 105 degrees for the first few hours as long as someone is home to watch them closely. When your chicks begin to spread out in the brooder and move away from the heat source, you’ll know it’s time to reduce that temperature back to 95.

Chicks in Brooder with heat lamp food and water Meyer Hatchery


Provide lukewarm water to the chicks upon arrival. When your chicks arrive they often are more thirsty than hungry. As they begin to rehydrate, providing lukewarm water instead of cold water will help reduce any further shock to their system. Once hydrated, add the Vital Pack to their water for an added boost of electrolytes.


If you purchased Gro-Gel, now is the time to use it! Learn how to mix it, here. Gro-Gel helps provide immediate nutrition and increased hydration levels, resulting in generally healthier chicks. Forgot to add a vital pack and Gro-Gel to your poultry order? Try adding 1 teaspoon of white table sugar or molasses to 1 quart of water. This sweet energy boost is great for the first few hours, then you’ll want to switch back to plain water.


For lethargic chicks, try feeding them raw egg yolk. This will provide the nutrients they need to begin eating on their own. If you feel your entire new flock could benefit from a boost, provide warm scrambled egg yolks or yogurt.

Pasty Bottom

When dipping their beak in water, also be sure to check for pasty bottoms. The pasty bottom is common in new chicks and can be caused by stress from shipment, fluctuating brooder temperature, and low-quality feed. Check out our blog post on How To Treat Pasty Bottom In Newly Hatched Chicks, here! We highly recommend checking for pasty butt routinely their first few weeks as they adjust to their new environment.

On rare occasions, orders may have a loss. If this is the case, please know we do offer a 48-hour live arrival policy for properly cared-for birds. Please report any losses or weak chicks within 48 hours of their arrival by contacting us via filling out our Loss Report Form, phone, email or chat.


How To Revive A Weak Chick Meyer Hatchery

Thank you for reading our post on how to revive a weak chick! Happy Chickening!

While we do not anticipate a loss, Meyer Hatchery does cover losses of properly cared for birds that arrive deceased or that pass in the first 48 hours after arrival. Losses must be reported within 72 hours of arrival. 

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