Advice to me from Cackle Hatchery today.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by DonnaBelle, Nov 4, 2016.

  1. DonnaBelle

    DonnaBelle Songster

    Feb 15, 2009
    McIntosh County, OK
    I called Cackle Hatchery today for information regarding the 21 Black Astralorp Chicks I purchased in March of 2016. They all arrived in great shape, looked really good, and thrived through chick hood. I called them because the hens are all different sizes now. Some are very large, some smaller. Also 3 have died, no warning. I put one down yesterday. Her neck was a S shape and it was sunk into her body. She was dragging one foot. I have lost a total of 6 to something.

    The lady at the Hatchery said they could have had Coccidia. The treatment for that is Sulmet, which I would have given them had I known to. Also she said to not ever give chickens "scratch" only chicken starter till they begin to lay eggs, then regular chicken pellets. They have finally began to lay large eggs, for a long time it was only "pullet eggs"

    She recommended the Cinnamon Queen breed. She has those herself.



  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Issues that come to mind; Nutrition, as a good fresh balanced all flock diet with oyster shell separate, or if all are pullets in lay, a good fresh layer feed. Parasites, either mites or lice, or intestinal parasites, like coccidia or whatever. A fecal check at the veterinarian's should help there. Marek's disease, if there's been exposure during their lives, especially if they weren't vaccinated. Having bird(s) necropsied at your state vet lab would be very helpful! Mary
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Chicken tender Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Could be you got a bad bag of feed. What brand did you use? I start giving my chicks scratch at about 2-3 months of age and mine are always healthy. It is important to pick a good brand of feed and make sure it's fresh and smells good.
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    Hey Donna. Sorry for the issues you had. The fact that they were all variable in size is troubling, since they were all on the same feed. What feeding regimen did you have them on? Specifically, what kind of feed, and how much scratch did they get on a regular basis? Any treats? Did they get out to free range? The hen you culled yesterday sounds like she had a neuro problem. That could have been malabsorption issue, diet issue, or disease issue. I think the lady at the hatchery was oversimplistic in her response. And to tell you that any particular breed will be the solution to the problem you had this year was IMO foolish. Cinnamon Queens come with their own set of issues b/c they are a production breed. I ask about your feeding regimen to see if any further light can be shed on your issue.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2016

  5. bald Rooster

    bald Rooster Songster

    Oct 18, 2016
    Orlando area
    I bought 24 RIR chicks from Cackle in mid sep. they are about 8 weeks now and all seem very healthy. I got 4 roos in the deal.
    About the size difference . I can tell my chickens have many different traits such as size, slight color differences and other features.
    I don't know but id say that my chicks had several different parents and all are not related to the same Egg.
    Over all I am happy with my new flock.
  6. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    Chickens do die sometimes. And the above poster is correct, in that the birds maybe flock mates, but it is very possible that they are not closely related to each other. I would not treat healthy birds because one sick bird, but I would keep a close look out.

    I do agree with culling a sick bird. Really I don't think your issues are feed related. Sometimes birds just die. I know that there are posts on here of very old chickens, but that is more of rarity than the norm.

    Mrs K

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