1 to 3 day old chix flop on back and die... Please help!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by fishnchix, Mar 20, 2011.

  1. fishnchix

    fishnchix Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 20, 2011
    I am distraught at this point. I have a small flock of Buckeyes, I have been incubating their eggs for couple months and have no problems with the chicks that are 1 week and older. 3 days ago, my babies started falling on their backs and dying. I have found a few before they die, they are gasping and I have even revived a couple only to have them die later.
    This is my first season trying to incubate, so no advice will be seen as "stupid" and all comments are appreciated. I did try to search, am brand new here so not that great at running around the site. If someone can direct me to an existing thread, that would be appreciated too.
  2. clairabean

    clairabean Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 7, 2010
    Kootenays of BC!
    A few things that come to mind- is the heat at the optimal? Drafty area? What are they in? Are they drinking and eating ok? Any 'extra' foods to eat? Poop? And what do you heat your house with- fumes?
  3. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
    Yuck, sorry you are having this issue.

    I'd suggest going through your entire incubating and brooding process, step by step, and double checking everything, starting with temps.

    Check it ALL:

    feed & water
    brooder size and shape
    climate changes around the brooder
    incubator cleanliness
    brooder bedding

    Basically, do a restart on the whole process. Sure hope you can figure it out!
  4. fishnchix

    fishnchix Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 20, 2011
    Thanks. Temperature is where I have focused my attention. It is not optimal, but it was working with all the previous chicks so I am not 100% convinced it is just temperature. I have stopped starting new eggs, and was going to disinfect my entire operation, but wondered if this problem might be linked to a specific pathogen I should look for, or if any old-timers mights say 'Why, sure! You have a case of "dead chick on back" there, and here is the cure..."
    They are in a box with 100 watt bulb heat source, straw bedding, starter feed, grit and water. It is on my enclosed porch, which is a tad drafty, but not like outside or even a coop.
    The one I "saved" this morning is still hanging in there, but not a healthy little peeper. 3 days of dead chicks with everything else is the world does not make for the happiest chicken rancher on the planet. Thanks for the kind words!
  5. fishnchix

    fishnchix Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 20, 2011
    In case anyone is wondering... The carnage seems to have stopped. All the eggs that I started incubating on the 21st died the same odd way, and no chicks from other start dates. I think I must have done something the day I started or candled them? The last one to die was snuggled down into a bed of straw with a block of wood to keep other chicks away, and to keep it from flopping on its back. It hung on all day, then found a way to flop over and die. It is sad enough when they deflate on their little bellies, but this was just bizarre.
  6. sparklechicken

    sparklechicken Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 8, 2010
    Creston, Ca
    That happened to one of my chicks this week -- she flipped over on her back, started going into convulsions, then died. The others (other breeds from a hatchery order) were fine. I'm glad it got worked out for you, though. I still can't figure out what happened to my chick, either. Maybe she choked? Very sad.
  7. secuono

    secuono Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 29, 2010
    Are you talking about the chick is stuck on its back trying to get up or just flops back and lays there??

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