1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

ALL PURPOSE SAND for 4 week old chickens........ FALLING OVER AND LAYING ON THEIR SIDE!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Jacksoneagle, Nov 16, 2015.

  1. Jacksoneagle

    Jacksoneagle New Egg

    8
    0
    7
    Nov 16, 2015
    I just moved my 5 chicks to a larger brooder box with sand. The sand is Quikrete ALL PURPOSE SAND. It was recommended by an employee at Lowe's who uses it with his chickens. The chicks loved it at first. They pecked, scratched, and nestled in it for 30 minutes. Then, my strongest, top two laid over on their side in the "death position". They kept doing this over and over. Then a third did it. They were not dust bathing. They appeared in distress. I have lost several chicks and am familiar with the end moments. "Side sleeping" is not a good sign it seems.

    Any suggestions? Should I have washed the sand? Is it not natural sand and perhaps Quartz crushed and bad for their respiratory systems? Is this normal behavior, and I am just paranoid? I have lost the majority of this years chicks to what the vet said was most likely a virus. I would love to keep my five left. It has been such a labor of love.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2015
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

    15,896
    3,466
    436
    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Are they doing this in the sunshine.
     
  3. Jesusfreak101

    Jesusfreak101 Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,020
    151
    171
    Sep 2, 2015
    Texas
    My Coop
    Where they vaccinated and do you feed them medicated feed?
     
  4. JRabbit90

    JRabbit90 Out Of The Brooder

    36
    2
    29
    Sep 6, 2015
    I use the same exact sand for my 4 week old chicks and they're now 7 weeks. They seem fine and I personally think they like the sand more than the wood shavings I had in their brooder. They lay around when it gets pretty hot (I live in Florida and the highest has been around the 90s, so the sand feels super cool for them). And they obviously love to bathe in it. They also prefer to lay in the sand at night rather than using their roosts (or maybe they still haven't gotten the concept of roosting yet lol). I haven't noticed any respiratory problems and there hasn't been any deaths. But then again that's been my experience for the past three weeks.
     
  5. Jacksoneagle

    Jacksoneagle New Egg

    8
    0
    7
    Nov 16, 2015
    JRabbit90, did you wash the sand first?

    Jesusfreak101, they were vaccinated which is why I think I lost so many at first. But I have a friend who has 70 down the road and he lost half his flock to Marek's Disease so I chose to do it. Their feed is organic from Coyote Creek and their water has low level of Corrid (Amprolian) for Coccidiosis prevention. They will wean off of this after teenage period.

    Oldhenlikesdogs, no. I had just moved them into a larger brooder box. Once they began falling over, I moved them back into their starter brooder box. They slowly got better.

    Not sure if I should wash the sand? Give it another try tomorrow? They were pecking at a lot of sand. Would consuming it cause a problem?
     
  6. Jacksoneagle

    Jacksoneagle New Egg

    8
    0
    7
    Nov 16, 2015
    One more thing. The sand was still a bit damp. Could they have gotten too cold?
     
  7. JRabbit90

    JRabbit90 Out Of The Brooder

    36
    2
    29
    Sep 6, 2015
    I've never washed it. It looked and smelled pretty clean so I didn't even think about washing it. I just thought people only washed it if they wanted to reuse the sand that has poo on it. And my chickens have never been vaccinated and they're eating purina medicated feed. Has your friend been near your chickens? Maybe cross contamination from his flock?
     
  8. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

    12,673
    5,412
    436
    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    This one sentence sent up a red flag for me. What kind of virus was the vet thinking it might be? Are these chicks in the same brooder box or in close proximity to where the other chicks were held? How long ago did you lose the other chicks?
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2015
  9. Jacksoneagle

    Jacksoneagle New Egg

    8
    0
    7
    Nov 16, 2015
    In the smaller box, the 5 chicks are now doing fine. No more falling over and laying there like they are about to die. Is that what chicks do when they are stressed? Would the sand have stressed them out or do they fall over if they overeat "grit/sand".

    Blooie, when the chicks arrived, the children from the farm down the road came to play with my children within the first few days. It is possible they caught something though hands were washed. I had 21 chicks and lost the first one the second night they were home. Since then every few days one has died. Over several days, they would stop growing, become lethargic, wobbly, puff out, and begin heavy breathing. By the morning, they were gone. We sent the first few to Auburn for a necropsy but no word back weeks later. We didn't separate the sick ones out because all the chicks shared water. The vet said there was no need to pull them out since all were contaminated. We tried a week of meds from the vet. Probiotic water. But they continued to die. The company said it was shipping stress. The vet said virus or vaccination stress. I have chalked it up to learning a lot and thankful five were thriving! ........ Then thirty minutes of sand and change seemed to put them over the edge.

    JRabbit90, did your chicks peck at the sand too? Surely it is a bit like grit and they know when to stop?
     
  10. JRabbit90

    JRabbit90 Out Of The Brooder

    36
    2
    29
    Sep 6, 2015
    Yes I've seen most of them scratch and peck at the sand. Thats mostly the reason why I got it. I figured it would be easy to clean, wouldn't make the coop smelly or dusty, and it acts as grit. It's been perfect for my coop and run so far.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by