BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures › Meat chicks dropping like flies, it seems
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Meat chicks dropping like flies, it seems

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Hey, all. We have raised meat chicks for about 4 years now. They are located at a friend's farm. We received 125 Cornish Rock chicks last Wednesday (a week ago today), a full day earlier than we had been told. My friend was out of town and didn't have a container ready for them, so he had us put them into a rabbit hutch. We gave them regular starter chick feed and he had a 3-gallon waterer (with electrolytes) in there as well. We put Spanish moss down as bedding to keep them from getting stuck in the bottom of the hutch and to help keep them warm. My 11-year-old daughter loves chicks, so we brought 5 home to start with. The next day when I went to check on them, five looked like they had bathed in the waterer and had gunk caked all over them (not sure if it was just food or a mix of food and poop) and so I brought them home as well. I pulled two dead chicks out of the hutch, figuring they had either gotten chilled or trampled. Over the course of the last week, all five of the sick ones we brought home have died, as have 3 more there. My daughter was just holding the biggest chick when it suddenly chipped like crazy, started flopping its head around, and looked like it had some kind of seizure and just dropped dead. Any ideas? Is this just the average loss rate of meat chicks? We got them from Mount Healthy.  Thanks for any insight.

post #2 of 3
Welcome to BYC. Did they have a brooder lamp for heat? If they were kept warm with a lamp, at 90 degrees F, then they could have suffered from shipping stress. I like to dip all chicks beaks into the water and feed, and use electrolyte water for the first day or two in case of stress or dehydration. Pasty butt can also be a problem with shipped chicks, and they can die from.
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your reply. Yes, they have heat lamps and we dipped their beaks. They all seemed to be doing very well at first. I know that sigh their fast growth, they can stress their hearts out, but I have never had his many chicks die before.
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