BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Raising Baby Chicks › All my baby chicks died...WHY???
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

All my baby chicks died...WHY??? - Page 2

post #11 of 16

Hatching chickens is not as easy as some people lead you to believe.  We read up on this a few years ago and saw all sorts of articles about barnyard mutts being great, hearty, healthy birds that were easy to hatch.  We had a Buff that goes broody 5-7x a year and we let her hatch 7 eggs and we incubated and hatched 45 ourselves.  5 of her babies died at hatch time.  29 of our 45 hatched and made it to 3 days.  We sold the ones we hatched.  The two that our Buff raised died on the 2nd birthday, to the day, of unknown illnesses.

 

We will try again, but with heritage breeds.

RSL, Buffs, RIR, Amber Rocks and GLWs. Three turkeys getting ready for Thanksgiving.  One GLW Rooster crowing over them all.
Reply
RSL, Buffs, RIR, Amber Rocks and GLWs. Three turkeys getting ready for Thanksgiving.  One GLW Rooster crowing over them all.
Reply
post #12 of 16

Even the most experienced of us who incubate will occasionally have a big fail.  All we can do is try to learn where we (or our incubator/hatcher) went wrong, fix the problem and try again.

 

Someone mentioned shipped eggs.  While is a is a great way to get some nice stock, you have to be prepared for 50% or lower hatch rates on any egg that is shipped.  Sometimes we get lucky and get a pretty good hatch rate and sometimes it's a dismal failure.  It all depends on how scrambled the post office decides you like your eggs.

 

It is a cool time of the year, I'd expect higher than normal fails even with a broody hen and most especially with a inexperienced broody hen.  Some hens are better at brooding than others :)

 

While it's heartbreaking to loose chicks try not to beat yourself up about it.  They were pretty much doomed when the hen kicked some out and failed to brood them properly.  It might sound callous but as time goes on you do start loosing the the OMG I failed feeling when you loose a chick.  It happens.  It happens in nature and it happens when we humans incubate.  Nothing is 100% all the time.  But saying that, It is heatbreaking to loose your first clutch.

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/yellowherbs-swap-page

Everyone should have a Sultan in their flock

Reply

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/yellowherbs-swap-page

Everyone should have a Sultan in their flock

Reply
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 

Well, I don't think I can say it's just my luck anymore. I purchased 2 chicks and 2 ducks last week at my local farm store. The chicks died. Same symptoms as the chicks that I hatched from my own eggs.

 

Obviously I have some sort of disease going around. But what I don't know is what disease. The new ducks don't seem affected. They were in the same brooder as the new chicks. I have 13 adult chickens and 2 adult ducks. I'm afraid that they may be carriers. Or worse, that they may get sick later.

 

I did manage to raise the 13 adult chickens and 2 ducks without incident. So I don't think I am doing anything wrong. But the symptoms tell me there is some sort of central nervous thing that has gone on with the new chicks. And obviously it would be transmitted both vertically and horizontally since the chick in the egg was the first who got sick.

 

Can someone please help?!

post #14 of 16
Do you think it's possible the Adult birds are Carriers? I know that with
Mareks disease there can be "silent" carriers. Meaning the infected birds do not display symptoms of the disease yet can pass the disease to others .Do you know if your chicks or Adults were vaccinated against Mareks? The reason I'm suspecting Mareks above other illnesses is because Mareks will affect the nervous system and other illnesses are more respiratory related. They say Mareks is everywhere and that's why they vaccinate at hatch because after that the birds are considered already "exposed". I know the disease can actually travel live in the wind itself. Only way to be sure of this of course is to send a deceased bird to state lab or vet for testing. Do some reading on Mareks and see what you think. Another issue might be the bag of FOOD you have! If you are still using the same feed I would SERIOUSLY consider it being the CAUSE of the deaths. It would NOT be the first time something like this happened with a "bad" bag of feed. The feed could havery microscopic spores that you can't see but are toxic to the chicks. Do NOT discount this possibility.Hope this helps. Good luck!
post #15 of 16

So sorry for the loss. :hugs

I love to smile! Smiling is my favorite! :D
Reply
I love to smile! Smiling is my favorite! :D
Reply
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by realsis View Post

Hi. First I'd like to say I'm so very sorry for your losses. I agree with what has been said above. Don't give up and keep trying. You can even order fertile eggs if you are interested in hatching different breeds. I'm sure if you keep trying you will have your chicks in no time. Sounds like YOU did things correctly but it was the chicks that had issues. I know it's still difficult to loose them and I just wanted to chime in and say how sorry I am you lost them.I also want to offer some encouragement to keep trying. Keep us posted on how things progress in the future. Best wishes.

I agree with realsis.

How about this? Pick a  breed you like. Buy some fertile eggs from a breeder. They will have tested their roosters for fertility and taken measures to make sure the hen was fed properly and the eggs are fertile. Buy them local so you don't have to ship them.  Stay on this thread and tell us which is your favorite breed and we can help you find a breeder close to you. Now as to these chicks you lost? Stop beating yourself up about it. Chicks die. It happens.  The fact that these didn't hatch till 24-26 days was a real problem for them. Weak from the get go.

   Here's what I would do to feed future newly hatrched chicks. Buy the smallest bottle of Poultry Nutri-Drench by Bovidr Labs. http://www.nutridrench.com

It is a superb emergency nutritional supplement which doesn't need to be digested and is wonderful for quick energy for new chicks. Put it in their water so the water looks like very weak tea. Do this for the 1st 2 weeks of life. I have never lost a chick using the Nutri-Drench in the water. Also, give them access to some yogurt but don't just leave it in the hot brooder as it might spoil. Probiotics are excellent for their little G.I. tracts.

   Now here's an extensive study I have been doing. The chick's G.I. tract undergoes extensive development after hatch. Support that healthy development and your chicks will thrive, given they have water, warmth, and light also.  Feed them a top quality chick feed like Naturewise chick feed. Doesn't need to be organic. Use bottled water to eliminate any local water problems.

  Do not believe anyone who tells you chicks don't need to eat for the 1st 2 or 3 days because  they can live off the yolk sac. This is very important. During the last 3 1/2 days of incubation the chick's mouth opens and it gets its nutrients from the amniotic fluid in the egg. Now these nutrients are an important part of the nutrients available for the developing G.I. tract. When the chick hatches, it continues to need the yolk nutrients to "feed" that developing G.I. tract. However, if the chick isn't fed during the 1st 2-3 days, those nutrients go to support it's feed needs and not the developing G.I. tract . So the chick will not grow to it's potential. If the chick is fed from the moment of hatch, the yolk nutrients are reserved for the G.I. tract development. A better G.I. tract means a healthier, more robust chick.

   Also make chick grit available to the chick from hatch. Sprinkle it over their feed for the 1st 2 days and then put it in a cup once they figure out it is not feed.  This is important you don't want them mistaking the grit for their chick feed the first few days of life. They will figure it out. You will not physically see any advantage from giving them the chick grit while they are growing. Many folk will tell you it's not necessary if all you are giving them is chick feed. That's true from a food grinding standpoint. The advantage to the bird is all internal. What is happening is that giving grit to the chicks, the right size at the right age, is that the exercise the grit is giving the gizzard of the bird while it is growing will result in a larger and stronger gizzard.  Here is a research project I did on the subject of grit for poultry. Read all 5 posts. That Gran-I-Grit brochure has size and age feeding instructions on the 2nd page: http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/891051/the-science-of-feeding-grit-to-poultry  I get my Gran-I-Grit at Agway. The bags are big but can be used for many other things than poultry and the price is very cheap. Under 10.00 for 50 lbs.

When the bird reaches egg laying age, this healthier and stronger gizzard will process its food better for digestion further down the G.I. tract  The end result is up to 20% more eggs from that bird.

 Best Success,

 Karen


Edited by 3riverschick - 2/23/16 at 5:29pm

Walt Boese strain and Tewart flock of Pure English  Light Sussex

My flock now resides with Farmer Karl in PA.   

  I know he will do well by them. Karl is a knowing poultry man.

RIP Hellbender, my friend. Good friend, good heart, gone too soon.

Reply

Walt Boese strain and Tewart flock of Pure English  Light Sussex

My flock now resides with Farmer Karl in PA.   

  I know he will do well by them. Karl is a knowing poultry man.

RIP Hellbender, my friend. Good friend, good heart, gone too soon.

Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Raising Baby Chicks
BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Raising Baby Chicks › All my baby chicks died...WHY???