So we now have a tank filled with:
Two nine-day-old Welsummer pullets (Kristina and Rosa, after my Dutch friends)
One nine-day-old Americauna pullet ("Mer")
Two two-day-old Australorp pullets (Tiff and Nicole, as in Three-Ring Tiff and Ms. Kidman)
Two two-day-old Russian Orloffs (from a straight run, so one or both could be male) (Boris and Natasha)
Two two-day-old Buff Orpington pullets (unnamed as of yet)
One two-day-old Red Sex Link (George II)
All are happy and energetic except for one of the Orpingtons, which just isn't doing so well; it hasn't grown any (the others pretty much double in size daily--between the ten chicks, who collectively weigh PERHAPS half a pound, they consume roughly a pound of "starter feed" per day) and spends all of its time sprawled on its face (which sounds more alarming than it is--chicks all look remarkably dead when they sleep). When I cleaned the tank out it didn't get up, and, well, the situation looks rather dire.
Hotter took a look at me crushing starter feed in a teaspoon with milk and sugar and drawing it up into a syringe and did a double-take. "Are you serious," he asked, which was a fair question. Usually I am the least soft-hearted person in the house.
"Yes," I informed him balefully, forcing a drop into the chick's tiny beak, "I am serious. The TINY BABY CREATURE is FAILING TO THRIVE and MALNOURISHED, AND HISTORICALLY I HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THAT KIND OF THING."
"Ah. Poor little thing," he said wisely, and left it at that.
I know that in nature, sometimes things go wrong and tiny baby creatures die. It's just a three-dollar chicken, and it's on medicated feed, and if this is not a nutrition/hydration issue there isn't a damn thing to do (short of taking it to an avian vet, which please, I'm crazy but not certifiably so). I've gotten nourishment into it and left it in a warm spot in the tank on a bed of nice clean shavings. That's more than most would do, and either it'll be enough or it won't, but...damn.