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Sick Chicks?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I started out with 13 RIR hens and 2 RIR roosters (all day-old chicks when I got them) in the last week of October, so they're about 8 weeks old now and fully feathered out.  They've lived in a 4x4x4 brooder (indoors) since then.  I lost one hen to pasty butt early on, and they were fine after that.  Until 2 weeks ago.  I've now had a hen and one rooster (the less dominant one) die for no apparent reason.  It's not predator attacks, there is no blood in their stool that I can see, and they're on a diet of sprouted barley/wheat/sunflowers and crumbles.  I now have another hen acting sick, so I quarantined her.  Her feathers are puffed out like a puffer fish, she's unsteady, unwilling to walk or even flap, and she fell over when I gently pet her earlier.  I stood her back up, she looked around, then pecked into her water.  I'm at a loss.  I know they're crowded, but I don't have their chicken tractor finished yet, so I can't relocate them just yet.  We DO have a lot of hawks (and even a bald eagle), a couple cats and a dog that would be a hazard to them if I let them free-range, too.  Any thoughts?  Anything to look for?

post #2 of 4
At that age, I would go ahead and treat for possible coccidiosis with Corid or amprollium. Puffing up, not eating, looking sleepy, too weak to get up are the usual signs, not always any blood in the stool.
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

Ok, thanks.  I picked up some medication (Sulmet) for that at my co-op today, and I mixed it in with their water as per the directions.  On a sad note, the sick one died.  I'm down to 11 chicks now. 

post #4 of 4

Sulmet will treat a few of the worst strains of coccidia, while Corid  treats  9 or more strains. Make sure that they are taking enough of the water. After they finish the Sulmet, you will want to put some poultry vitamins in their water, and a bit of yogurt or probiotics to get their beneficial gut bacteria back to normal. Let us know how they get along, and sorry for your loss.

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