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Mysterious dead chick.

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone, I hope someone can give me some insight. I'm new to chickens and recently picked up 15 baby chicks from a feed store last thursday. I picked up 8 ameruacanas (specifically said they are NOT ee), 4 RIR, and 3 BR. The guy told me the BR were 3 wks, which I think he either misspoke and meant 3 days, or has no idea what he was talking about. The BR still are all fluffy and just started getting wing feathers a couple days ago. The rest I think maybe just about 2 wks maybe. They all have their wing feathers and some small tail feathers. Everyone was stressed when I brought them home, so I let them rest in the brooder overnight and one of the BRs was dead by morning due to pasty butt. I felt horrible and checked everyone over. Only one of the RIRs had an issue, cleaned her up and she's perfectly fine. However, today another one of the BRs mysteriously died. No pasty butt or any other visible issues were noted. Looking back, she did seem a bit lethargic, but I thought I was just checking in on them at nap time. She would still get up and cower from me, as all the rest do (been trying to establish trust to no avail yet). They are in a very large cardboard brooder so they can stretch their legs and get away from each other if needed. They are on pine shavings with a red heat lamp and have access to chick feed and water 24/7. Everyone else seems happy and healthy running around testing out their wings, but I'm worried about finding another dead baby. She was alive when I checked on them at 4pm and dead by 8:15pm. The chick feed is not medicated and I have given them "save-a-chick" probiotic and electrolytes. Please help me save my fuzzy butts!
post #2 of 4
It's not uncommon to lose a chick or two to shipping stress, which can result from cold temperatures, dehydration, or piling up. I would observe them for periods of time to make sure they are active, eating and drinking. If you noticed any sleeping too much, then take some time to dip it's beak repeatedly into the water to get it hydrated. Pasty butt is a symptom of not drinking enough, or too high of heat in the brooder. It usually subsides in a week or so. As far as breeds that are sold at feed stores, many pass off easter eggers for auracanas and ameraucanas, but they are not usually sold there, but by breeders. It doesn't matter since they are great birds. When yours have feathered in well, post a few pictures and you can find out for sure.
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

I am a bit skeptical that they are true ameraucana's, but they specifically stated that they were. I'm not really concerned with that as they are simply to be beloved pets that will grace us with their lovely eggs. I will definitely be anticipating their feathers coming in to tell for sure tho. I know most of them have that "chipmunk" appearance right now, so not sure if that means any thing one way or another. If I ever have children that want to do 4H, I will hunt down breeders to ensure I get quality heritage. As of right now, I am just wanting happy, healthy girls and feel like I'm not off to a great start. :th

post #4 of 4

I have both wheaten ameraucanas and had lavenders also, but also have EE's from a hatchery. The EE's lay the best, their eggs hatch better, and they also are better at foraging. Ameraucanas were created from the true rumpless auracanas from South America. When I first got chickens, I wanted them so bad, but have found that having different breeds and colors is more fun. My EE's have laid pretty blue green and sometimes blue eggs.The RIR's that hatcheries and feedstores sell, are usually production reds, with only some RIR bloodlines. I'm like you, I just want healthy chickens. Many people will want a specific exotic breed, and then unknowingly bring in diseases from unscrupulous people who sell unhealthy birds. I am sticking to hatchery chicks or hatching from my own in the future. There are several good threads on here for Ameraucanas and other breeds, where you can learn some names of ethical breeders. I found some heritage RIR breeders here that helped me get one of the original lines over a hundred years old. They are very different from hatchery RIRs. Sometimes they will sell and ship hatching eggs. That is a good way to find breeders by getting to know them from their reputations on BYC. 

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