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2 wk broiler chicks, gasping/weakness, excessive death rate

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by jasmtnljj, Sep 26, 2011.

  1. jasmtnljj

    jasmtnljj Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 7, 2011
    About 2 weeks ago I had 78 chirping chicks arrive from Townline hatchery. This is my 3rd batch of chicks from them this year and I only lost 2 chicks in my first two batches. I realize we are running a little later in the year and thus colder but I was optimistic I would do fine. Oh how I have been ever so mistaken or was I? I had 100 chicks together because I had silkies too that were a few weeks older. I had all drafts blocked off but we had a few cold nights. I had a single heat lamp on them. I started losing them about day 4-5. Here I am roughly 2 weeks in and I have lost getting close to 50%. Yes, a LOT of deaths! I thought I had it solved by going out several times a day for fresh water. I underestimated how fast they'd blow through the 1 gallon waterer. Then my friend picked up her 20 chicks from me and that brought me down to only 40 chicks (silkies are in the house now for warmth and their own light cause those dropped like flies too for a little bit but i think it was heat related) They have food available 24 hours a day. Sometimes their water does run out but not for very long and even my chicks in the middle of summer went longer without any casualties. So I kept up great on the water and thought it solved everything. I went 2-3 days without a single death. Nights have stayed around 50 and day time around 70. THe heat lamp is still on and again, only 40 chicks in there... no drafts. Then SIX dropped dead in the last 18 hours... SIX! Sometimes I wondered if some were being crushed by roosting brooder mates but I realized that they were being weak and yes thus stood on. So what was making them so weak? THey have feed and water and heat? why are they being weak? Then I watched one gasping with its eyes shut at the light when the rest were wandering around. So I grabbed it out and took it to the water and it was acting so odd. It looked back and forth but couldnt' seem to see the water. All the other chicks were drinking so i would have thought it had to be thirsty. I stuck its beak in and it drank up but pecked at it like it was feed but hey, it drank but then it couldn't find the water again. Again i had to stick its beak in and again it went crazy for the water. After about the 10th time I went and took it to the feed which it bites at but again, doesn't act like it can otherwise see the feed but it just keeps going back and forth with its head and also sticking it up. It acts like theres something wrong with it. I dont know if its acting blind or if its just in distress. Another one did the same thing earlier and it was dead within a half hour.

    So now I am wondering if these chicks got a sickness? and what it would be? Like I said, im looking at almost 50% mortality. My friend has lost most of hers but shes a first time chicken person so I cannot attest if her deaths are related to her newbieness or same thing as mine. I dont know what to do. What a waste of $108 plus all the electricity and feed in the last 2 weeks.

    I raise free ranging hens otherwise and they act healthy for the most part. I have two with a little chest rattle that has been there for months but never has effected their laying or vigor. I have lost 2 hens to being egg bound and another one to tumors... (i do autopsies on them) But the broilers are in their own pen and not mingled. I have another batch of slightly older broilers and their growth did great til about week 7 and then now we are sitting at week 3 of very little growth so i started butchering them on the smaller side. None of them have died though- just some stunted growth.

    What can I do? and what could it be? i'd like to see the last 34 chicks live to be on my table but at the rate im going, i wont have any and i might as well save the feed burden on my husband and make them into chicken nuggets
     
  2. jasmtnljj

    jasmtnljj Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 7, 2011
    I think we are actually starting on week 3... but you cannot tell by their growth. They are not growing very well at all despite constant feed
     
  3. jasmtnljj

    jasmtnljj Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 7, 2011
    Can they get gape worm this young??
     

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