Argh! Really upset as to what is happening...

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Mizzy, Jul 31, 2010.

  1. Mizzy

    Mizzy In the Brooder

    Jul 15, 2010
    I know I posted a few day ago about having a baby chick just die out of the blue. He seemed healthy and everything was fine then he just died. Well, I was glad to get replies about how some chicks just don't make it once the yolk is gone etc....

    Well, that I understand, but I am losing a chick everyday now. I'm not happy as to why this is happening. I started out with a bunch of chicks about 3 weeks ago. 7 turkens, 3 white crest polish. I got them from a lady that is very reputable and this isn't the first time I bought from her and have always had great birds from her. I then got 3 blue silkies shortly after. They looked really great too.

    Then one day one of my turkens died. It was weak and I made a post about it. I figure ok, one just might not have been ok to begin with. Then the next day I noticed a silkie runt was weak. It started laying around like the turken and not wanting to eat or drink. Later on checked cage and it was dead, then next day another silkie, then yesterday the last silkie which was super healthy out of the bunch of silkies, then today I get home from shopping and my polish is dead. Now 2 birds did seem sluggish right before they died and I kinda knew it was going to happen, but the rest was in good shape, eating drinking, running around pecking at things so I really do not know what is happening. I feel like my handful of chicks I have left could go any minute.

    Is this common to lose this many? I;ve raised chicks before and had not have this happen. I keep food and water fresh, their living spaces are clean, I have heat lamp adjusted up or down depending on how their act (huddled or spread out etc) Could it be a bad batch of food I got? I have them on that little green and yellow bag of medicated food from TSC.

    I'm really feeling like from now on if anymore die, I'm just going to hatch my own from now on. Unfortunately my guy doesn't like chicken math and he doesn't look at this as ok get more to replace these....and jeez if I get more who's to say they wont die? I really hope this is just a freak thing. Is there anything I should do? Take the living chicks out and sanitize the cage they are in, change bedding? idk?

    Like I said a couple chicks dying sure i can handle that, but my whole bunch dropping like flies every day is too much! Especially when they are all growing and healthy looking one min then dead the next.

    Thanks in advance guys - I'm just really at a loss of words on this [​IMG]
  2. LizGled628

    LizGled628 Chirping

    Jun 13, 2010
    Rhode Island
    I have no idea what happened to your babies, but I am so sorry for your losses. It sounds like you are doing everything right. Hang in there [​IMG]
  3. atimme

    atimme Songster

    Feb 3, 2010
    It is in fact uncommon to loose that many. One or two yes, but more than that is an indication of a larger problem. it is hard to diagnose it from here, have you noticed any poop stuck to their butts, runny droppings, sneezing, watery eyes, or other indicators? Is the brooder too hot or too cold? Could it be something they ate that they shouldn't? Certain "treats" can cause major digestive problems in birds that young, it very well could be the feed. Do you notice any musty smell? Droppings in the grain? Bug parts or other foreign matter? Does it smell fermented? I would definately take the remaining chicks out and completely sanitize all of the food and water containers and the cage twice with bleach. Anyone else have some ideas? Good luck and keep us posted! [​IMG]
  4. friskebluegills

    friskebluegills Chirping

    Jul 17, 2010
    What have you been feeding your baby chicks? Have you added grit? What temp do you have them at? We had the same problem with guineas, and for some reason almost always do. They live for 3 weeks then all of a sudden they start dying one a day. We lost 7 this last hatch [​IMG] You might want to try adding electolites to their water for 5 days too. I think that really helped ours. Also you should always make sure their bedding is completely dry. sometime bacteria can build up in their water too, so you may want to just scrub them up, not with soap, but just a brush or something.

    I hope this helps. Good luck
  5. chickee

    chickee Songster

    How terrible for you! [​IMG] Do their droppings look normal? Are you feeding them anything else besides the medicated chick starter? What kind of litter/shaving are you using? Sounds like your problems started after you got the Silkies and most of them died first, so they may have been a carrier of a disease. I would clean everything using a tiny bit of bleach in the water. Start your birds on a vitamin powder, I use GQF vitamins plus and probably a antibiotic, but I have never used one so I can't give you advice about that. I'm sure the feed store has some and you can follow the instructions. I feel so bad for you and wish I could help~ Good luck with your babies! [​IMG]
  6. Mizzy

    Mizzy In the Brooder

    Jul 15, 2010
    I'm not feeding them any treats or anything other than that medicated food. Oh and for the poop on their butt...none had any. I check them throughout the day to make sure their bottoms are clean. No bugs, or anything out of the norm. No blood, no smell other than that chicken poo smell, I keep their cage clean and dry. I'm constantly changing water throughout the day. I don't use the regular water thing with the top attached...just a feeder dish, so the water isn't sitting. And every time I change their water or food out, I clean the dishes, wipe them dry, refill. I went to our TSC to look for vitamins...someone had suggested it and they don't carry anything like that there..our TSC is small and they really don't know much there. What else could I use for vitamins or as you said friske electrolytes?

    As far as litter, I had started them the first couple days on paper towels. I changed those frequently because you know how little chicks poo the place up fast. I now have them on pine shavings. It is completely dry and I am a stay at home mom and have tons of time to devote to cleaning them up ya know...I do add grit and sprinkle it on their food like salt as I read you should do. I don't see any swollen fronts like I read about it you don't give them grit and they aren't digesting.

    I will try bleaching everything out and scrub everything down good. The cages were already super clean from where I scrubbed them out from the last batch of chicks I raised and kept. They were not sick and are now 7 months old.

    As far as the bedding and the food, I thought maybe thats it, but I have another set of chickens I have been using the same things with and they are pretty healthy. I keep them outside since they are 4 months old. I wash hands good in between taking care of them and the chicks.

    Oh and the chicks are not sneezing or anything. They always act fine then out of no where one dead.

    The ones that seemed sick and I knew they were going to die, laid around looking like they were gasping for air. They had open beaks and was opening and closing them like their little nose wasn't working. They were totally flat and limp with eyes closed. I would touch them and they would softly chirp, but acted like they were paralyzed and couldn't move. When they died they were flat as a pancake and neck twisted weird and felt like they had no insides. I'm not sure if that means anything? Or if this is how all birds die?

    Thank you guys so much for the replies so far.
  7. chickee

    chickee Songster

    I would go online and type in common poultry diseases. I looked through them, and some of the symptoms sounded close, but it is hard when I don't know all the circumstances. Good luck! [​IMG]
  8. froggie71

    froggie71 Songster

    Apr 18, 2009
    Shamong, NJ
    Kind of sounds similar to what we had going on. Had a bunch of chicks from a wonderful BYCer and they were all in with chicks we hatched from our own eggs. None had been outside. On medicated chick starter with poly-vi-sol in water. And 1 by 1 the chicks we got from the BYCer started to look lethargic and stop eating and drinking and would die very shortly after. No blood in poop or anything. I did see someone had posted a pic of their chick with cocci and it looked how my chicks looked. So I started them on Sulmet and gave them plain yogurt. I did not lose anymore. 1 still had a twitch which I heard is a symptom from cocci and I did give them vit E and Selenium in their water, but these guys are fine now. The odd thing is none of the chicks that came from my eggs had the symptoms even though they were all together. Don't know if this is your problem, but it could be worth a try.
    Good luck.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2010
  9. HeatherLynn

    HeatherLynn Songster

    May 11, 2009
    Kentucky, Cecilia
    Ok I am no expert but dang do I feel bad for you. I cannot imagine how hard it is to care for them and watch them drop like this. Sooo I did some digging.

    This is from an avian vet website Its for pet birds like parrots but they did list issues for chickens also. So I pasted those.

    Infectious Bronchitis Virus (IBV) - Affects chickens. Symptoms: The disease affects the respiratory and urogenital tract of birds resulting in respiratory distress, sneezing, rattling and . lesions in the trachea.

    Infectious laryngotracheitis (ILT) - Affects fowls, pheasants and turkeys. Water fowl, such as ducks and geese, show no signs, but ducks are known to carry ILT - Common symptoms: contagious respiratory disease which is characterised by gasping, neck extension and conjunctivitis (inflammation of the membrane around the eye).

    Newcastle Disease: Respiratory distress, and rasping followed in 1 or 2 days by a paralysis of legs and wings and bad down between legs or straight back over shoulders, twisting of neck (stargazing). In adult birds, loss of production along with some respiratory distress and paralysis after 4 to 6 days.

    Coryza (common cold) - A disease affecting chicken, pheasants, guinea fowl, turkeys and other game birds. Common symptoms: Respiratory distress accompanied by watery and swollen eyes

    This is a site from the University of Florida concerning hatching issues. I know they hatched but near the bottom they also have a list of problems that can arise from nutritional issues and diseases. Worth looking at. I just bookmarked it for when I start hatching my own eggs. Being able to access these university studies and such really makes me love the internet just a little bit more.

    You might also try calling your agricultural cooperative. I know ours has been very helpful in the past with all sorts of livestock issues. I would give it a shot. It sounds like you are doing everything right and I really hope you get an answer to the problem soon​
  10. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    I agree with the other poster who felt your troubles started with the silkies. You said you added them later did they come from the original byc seller? If not I would have quarantined them first. That doesn't help now but, I would contact them and find out if they are having a problem.

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