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Please help me figure this out, so frustrated!

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

I've been posting on her on and and off for the last week since I got my chicks. They are now a week old. I have to say this has been a pretty bad experience. This is my first time raising chicks and I got them from a local hatchery in my state. Initially I had them mailed to me since I figured thats what  most people do and I thought it would be fine. The hatchery was about an hour away. We, it was not. I got the chicks and right away we had a weak one. Then slowly they all became weak and died. All 8 of them. This of course was terrible, so I actually then drove to the hatchery, told them what happened and they gave me a new set of chicks. They said it could have just been a " rough" shipment. 


Well.... so I got the new chicks and everything initially was going well with the new ones. Stronger and healthy. After about a week another chick got sick and slowly died too.. Now this morning, I was watching my chicks and they were all running around happy. I went to go get my coffee, and came back. One was on its back dead. WHAT. She literally was running around and playing like 2 seconds ago. I'm honestly at a loss for words. At this point, out of 12 chicks we have three left. I'm going to just ride this out and see what happens with the chicks and maybe start fresh with a new " batch" from a different hatchery. 


I'm using a larger brooder, with a red light. The chicks are able to come and go from the heat when they like. I have commercial medicated chick starter, like the hatchery told me. I have electrolytes in the water- that my local feed store gave me. I have them over pine shaving, initially I had a sheet I changed out covering the shavings for the first 1-2 days- again like the hatchery told me. 


What in the world is going on with these chicks!? Is there something I need to change? Did I just get a sick batch of chicks? Please someone, fill me in. My friend recently got 6 chicks from the Meyer hatchery and they are ALL doing well. We are pretty much doing the same thing :hu

post #2 of 21
I'm so sorry you are having trouble i wish I could help. Are you using a different Brooder than the first time? If not did you disinfect it? Maybe the first batch had a disease and it is still in your Brooder.
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
Yup, after the first chicks died we completely changed out setup. The only things that were kept was the water container and feed holder.
post #4 of 21
Can you take a picture of your set up?
post #5 of 21
Do you have a thermometer in your brooder? Is it staying warm enough? Should be 95 for the first week. Are they inside your house or outside? You might consider a smaller brooder till they are a few weeks old. They may not be spending enough time under the light and if they get to cold it doesn't take long. Just be careful with the heat lamp they scare the crap out of me. I'm not a chick expert so I might be wrong about the whole temperature thing.
post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Yah I can try later.. Im not currenrly around the brooder. Its basically a larger wire crate for dogs. I wrapped it with a box to protect from drafts. I have the light hanging over top of it with from a metal garment rack. There is a thermometer in there as well. I took the top of the crate off so the light could get close enough.
post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
Yup the brooder is the correct temp. The chicks spend time under the lamp. Also run away when they want.
post #8 of 21

I have received shipped chicks from Meyer and I have hatched eggs from Meyer.  I know everyone says they can go 72 hours without food or water, but it seems to do them a whole lot better if they can eat and drink ASAP.  Every batch of chicks I've had shipped sat for a full day at a USPS terminal.  First shipped batch I had 2 chicks get weak and lethargic, at the time I had them on medicated feed.  I had read that medicated blocked vitamin B1 from being absorbed by the chicks.  B1 is a metabolism vitamin.  I stopped the medicated feed and put them on non-medicated, 1 chick improved, 1 didn't, too far gone.  My personal practice now with shipped chicks is nutridrench in the water and I wait on the medicated feed till about a week before their toes hit the ground. 

post #9 of 21
Offer them plain water...they can get too much sodium and potassium from the electrolytes which can cause issues with the conduction of nerve impulses (including to such muscles as the heart). It's okay to use them for a day or two if they are sick with diarrhea, but since chick kidneys are underdeveloped, they have a hard time ridding themselves of the excess.
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 

So I called the Hatchery and had a long convo with them. They asked a lot of questions about how the brooder is set up and the feed. They stated they could not think of something that is causing the chickens to die like this. He states that the chick that " flipped over" this AM likely had a sudden heart attack. They stated they would work with me and see if they can figure something out. I'm happy they have been so nice about this, but it still so sad to see all these babies die :/. He did not think it was anything contagious and said the symptoms were not consistent with coccidiosis. I guess I will see what they figure out. Thank you everyone for the input! 

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