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HELP!!! baby chicks dying--no clue why:(

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Hello! I am hoping that someone here can help me out, I am at my wits end. I ordered 35 baby broiler roos and received them last Thurs. One little guy was listless and limp when I got them, he died that afternoon.   Over the next 3 days I lost 4 more. They all went the same way---first they would keep opening and closing their beak spasmodically. Then one or both legs would seem as if paralyzed. Then, despite attention and care, they died. Now another one is starting to do the beak thing. They are on pine shavings in a brooder, temp is kept between 85 and 90 now that they're a week old (was 90-95 first week). Plenty of food, starter crumbles, and water with vitamins/electrolytes added. This is only my 2nd batch of chicks, and first time with broilers, so any help is appreciated. Can I save this little guy, and how do I keep this from happening again? Thanks in advance for any help!!

post #2 of 16

Is the food you're feeding fresh and free of mold, bugs, etc? How about the shavings? Are they new? I'm at a loss.


 

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post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thansk for your post:) The food is DuMor starter, just purchased two weeks ago and stored dry, etc, not moldy. Their water is fresh too, I dump it out when it starts to look nasty and refill, probably 3+ times a day. Their sawdust has also never been wet, but it is an older bag. Although the first chick to die was sick right out of the shipping crate, and had the same symptoms, so I don't think it is anything material wise on my end.
I'm at a loss too. It is breaking my heart to see these little peeps dying and be so powerless to help.

post #4 of 16

I started one of mine on Pedialite (unflavored)....I had to drop it on his beak....he came around in about an hour....we're still watching and waiting...but he is walking and pecking now...

Red Barn Farms, breeding bantams:  Black Cochins, Blue OEGBs, BBR Moderns, White Crested Black Polish, Rosecombs and Golden Phoenix!
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Red Barn Farms, breeding bantams:  Black Cochins, Blue OEGBs, BBR Moderns, White Crested Black Polish, Rosecombs and Golden Phoenix!
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post #5 of 16

do they have pasty butt?

post #6 of 16

Make sure the temp is accurate in the brooder..too hot and you've got brain damage. 

Could be marek's (with the leg paralysis)?

Check for pasty butts - poop blocking the vent will poison them and be fatal.

Could they be eating the pine shavings?  Gasping is a sign of blockage in the throat.  We cover ours with paper towel for the first few days to make sure they know what the food is.  And you sure it's not cedar?  Cedar is toxic.

Just some initial thoughts.  Shipped chicks can be very stressed and broilers are even worse.  Have you put vitamins and electrolytes in their water for the first few days? If so, did you measure accurately?

I hope you can figure out what's happening so you don't experience any more losses.

edited for typos..

Jody


Edited by hinkjc - 8/8/08 at 6:53pm

Breeds: Lavender, Buff, Black and White Orpington & Tufted Rumpless Araucana (lavender, white and nonstandard colors)

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Breeds: Lavender, Buff, Black and White Orpington & Tufted Rumpless Araucana (lavender, white and nonstandard colors)

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post #7 of 16

Jody's got a point. Put some paper towels over the shavings for now. You can sprinkle some food on the towels so they can peck on the ground but they just might be eating the shavings.
Unflavored Pedialite might not be a bad idea. You don't have to measure it so there isn't a chance of OD'ing them on it. Give it to the weak ones via dropper in the beak. Do not force it. Just drop it in their little mouth and let them drink it themselves, otherwise you could risk choking them.


 

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post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thank you everybody for your replies, you guys are great!!
I will cover the shavings wiht paper towels, that is a great idea. They don't have pasty butt. I had to deal with that last year with my Delawares so I'm familiar with it (I'm such a newbie with the rest of it that it's scary!!)
Can it be Marek's when they're that little? I called and asked about that at the hatchery where I ordered them after I los tthe first 2, since it seemed, based on what I read, to sound like Marek's, and they insisted that chicks wouldn't be showing symptoms that young. They told me that the only thing it could be is that they got overheated when they were shipped, but that doesn't explain why they aren't all sick.
If he maybe has a throat blockage, would gentle massage help?
The gulping chick was trying to eat tonight, and he did take some water with vitamin/electrolyte in it, so hopefully he will make it until tomorrow when I can get out and get some pedialyte. I will definitely give that a shot.
I sure hope he pulls through. Losing 6 would just be too much!sad


Edited by ansluasi - 8/8/08 at 7:44pm
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 

He is still alive today but very wobbly, still opening and closing his beak all the time. He has taken some crumble mixed with electrolyte/vitamin water via eye dropper, and has pooped ok, but he seems to be fading. Beneath his little beak, his skin along his throat seems very puffy, and waterfilled, almost like a blister. The hatchery said  it couldn't be marek's, are they right? Does the water-retention under his neck skin ring any bells with anyone? I am so clueless and feel so bad that I can't help him.

post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by ansluasi 

The hatchery said  it couldn't be marek's, are they right? Does the water-retention under his neck skin ring any bells with anyone?


hmm How would they know it's not Mareks? Were these chicks vaccinated? I don't think they can be so sure.
Water retention under his neck... I have no idea. Could it be swollen? Are you sure they couldn't have gotten into anything poisonous? Are you absolutely sure that you're NOT using cedar shavings?
I'm just as stumped as you. :aww


 

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