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Help! I've been loosing a chick a day.

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi all. I picked up 4 chicks from the feed store 6 days ago and I've lost two, one last night and one the night before. They die within an hour of displaying any symptoms. I first notice them not being as playful and vigerous. The develop wry neck and walk in circles for 20 minutes and or so. Always loudly chirping which is heart breaking. The end up calapsing, not able to move and breathing heavy. They also had watery poo. Within the hour they passed away. They are on medicated starter and have super clean conditions with appropriate temperature. After the first chick died I added a chick boost supplement to their water.
One is a barred rock the other is a golden sex-link.

Any recomendations for meds? Thanks!
post #2 of 7
Thread Starter 
post #3 of 7

This may be the tragic result of lousy bio-security when feed stores set up their baby chick displays. Any disease from neighboring farms, ranches and back yard chickens can be trotted into the store on the foot wear of people, deposited on the floor, and then when the customer or employee steps into the tank to select chicks, the pathogens are transmitted to the bedding.


I've been seeing a refinement of the chick displays toward raised beds that are waist-high, so contaminated foot-wear can't enter into the equation. In the future, customers need to educate feed store managers on bio-security practices, and insist on it or promise to take your business elsewhere. I would refuse to purchase chicks from a floor-situated stock tank and only buy chicks from stores with the raised displays.


As for what could be killing your chicks, it's hard to say if it's the result of what I just covered. Nonetheless, it's heart-breaking to watch baby chicks die. From the symptoms, it does sound like a pathogen. You can try antibiotics, but it may be too late, and baby chicks are very fragile in the first week, and may not have the immune system strength to recover.


You could also go post on the "Emergencies" forum for more enlightened responses.

post #4 of 7
Hi. You said they display wry neck before passing? I've had the unfortunate luck to have delt with Several cases of wry neck in my own flock. I was able to cure completely 3 and lost one to it. in the process I've learned quite a bit about wry neck. Wry neck itself is NOT a disease but a SYMPTOM of another underlying issue. There are usually 3 main issues that cause wry neck. one, a vitamin defiency especially vitamin E and B. Two being pecked,or injured in the skull from any reason. Three just plain genetics. The ones with genetic issues are extremely difficult to cure and if cured can relapse back into wry neck any time later. They sometimes display other genetic issues such as crossbeak. knowing that wry neck itself is NOT a disease my guess is these chicks were likely suffering from another issue when you got them. Weather they had a vitamin defiency, injury, or bad genetics is hard to tell . You could try administration of vitamin E, B, and a very very small amount of selenium. It takes some time but could save the chick if it's a vitamin defiency they suffer from. if you have evidence they have had a head injury you would try the same treatment plus a extremely small amount of prednisone for they brain swelling. They must be properly weaned off prednisone reducing dose as you treat. If you think the issue is genetics that's the most difficult. As it's likely to come back. If it were me I would treat the chicks as a vitamin defiency giving the vitamins E B and selenium (selenium can be toxic in larger amounts so very very small portion is given). See how the chicks respond to the vitamins. it just might help. I hope this helps you out and wish you the best.
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
They were in a raised and tierd brooder. Thinking back, it's possible that they weren't providing them with enough heat.
Yes, wry neck is what I notice first and I have done some research. As soon as I red about the defficiency, I started them on the nuttier water, and just now started them on another kind of medicated starter. Seems like it might be some sort of virus. I'm really hoping I don't lose my other two. They are looking pretty good so far.
post #6 of 7
I hope they do good too! Glad so far they are doing well!!keep us posted.
post #7 of 7
You might want to give them some Sav-A-Chick vitamin/electrolyte solution. They sell it at the feed store.
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