Hi everyone. Hope winter prep is going well.
We have had a serious problem keeping chicks past 3wk this year. We have hatched and sold 100's with no issues or complaints. After we started having issues we even called and checked up on chicks that we had sold and no ones had a problem.
We started having this problem early late spring early summer with some very dry weather. Typically we keep chicks in 2x3ft brooders inside as most do. When chicks started dying inside we thought it was because we are dirty smokers. So we moved the chicks out to a screened in covered porch. We were still losing 1-2 a day at 3wks until there were 3-4 left out of 25-30 chicks. These first birds were not Vaccinated or fed medicated feed. This continues for the next few hatches until I threw in the hat on hatching for a while. Looking back it seemed within a few days of introducing the birds to the yard in the tractor away from the pens it started to happen. I noticed some bloody looking droppings in one of the coops as well during my hatching break and treated all pens with Corid for a wk.
Fast forward a mo or so and we come into a few Orloff chicks from a local guy we had gotten from and traded with before with no issues. We had been trying to get them for a long while. Same thing happens. introduce them to the yard and they start dying. So we try something different and order Orloffs from Ideal. We lost all 56!! This time it was without them touching the ground and fed medicated feed. It was very dry and once in a while you would see a dust cloud flying past the porch the chicks were on frome the hens dust bathing around the house. I start thinking the dreaded M word.
We order 15 more Orloff chicks. This time Mericks vacced. We get the birds and I immediately brought them to a friends house who doesn't have chickens. I brought one of my brooders and subsequent chick raising equipment and a bag of medicated feed. 3 1/2 wk later all 15 are fine and well. Bring them home inside for a few days and start introducing them to the yard and eventually the coop.
The have been here 3wks now and ive lost 3 in 2 days with one in isolation now who doesn't look like it will make through this post. They all have the same symptoms, listless,wings drooping and eventually pasting and death. This particular bird now is showing a new symptom of not being able to stand and stretching its legs out straight.
Im at wits end. I hope someone has had some expeirance with similar.
I currently have 12 chicks with a broody at 3wk and they all seem well even after being out in the yard several times.