Baby chick - advice needed

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Twizzle, Mar 13, 2015.

  1. Twizzle

    Twizzle Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 9, 2015
    Hi, we've had a whole batch of chicks at my school hatch and then die 2 days later. They suddenly get weak and die. I have a very weak one at home and need to know how much water to feed it and how often? The eggs took a long time to hatch and someone said that's why they are dying now. Not sure though, as don't know too much about chickens! Thanks
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    They need a contiuous supply of chick feed and fresh water, and they need to be shown how to drink if they are not doing so, by dippping the tip of the beak in water til they fet the idea. They need to be kept around 90 ot 95 degrees F. Click on "Learning Center" near the top of the page for more complete instructions.
     
  3. Twizzle

    Twizzle Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 9, 2015
    Hi, thank so much for getting back to me. Trouble is the chick is too weak to eat or drink, so I'm feeding it via a dropper, just don't know how often and how many drops. It's not interested in eating at all, so have mashed some chick starter in with the water and some sugar. Have given it some electrolytes too. The other ones at work went exactly the same and died that day. I took this one home to give it a chance... I've got a heat lamp on 90.
     
  4. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What kind of brooder did you have for them? Is the temperature in the brooder set at 100 for the first week(ish), then 95 for the second, then 90 for the third week, 85 for the fourth, etc, etc, until they are fully feathered at five(ish) weeks? Does the brooder maintain a constant temperature?

    For something like this, I would immediately head to a feed store and get Corid 20% powder or 9.6% liquid. It's available in the goat/cattle section. Don't worry that it says it's only for them. All remaining chicks need to have this in their water ASAP.

    Dosage is 1.5 tablespoon per gallon for the 20% powder OR 2 teaspoons per gallon for the 9.6% liquid.

    It sounds like they may have come down with coccidiosis. Weakness and sudden death in chicks means they 1) were too weak to make it in the first place, 2) aren't eating or drinking, or 3) have an illness.

    If they hatched on their own, they should be okay... even if it took them a minute. Some eggs hatch up to 42 hours after the 21 day "deadline." If you have food and water for them, and they know how to "use" the water (you must dip their beaks, as Judy mentioned), it shouldn't be that...

    I'm curious. Do you have them on a medicated feed?

    MrsB
     
  5. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Corid is for coccidiosis, or cocci, which is a pathogen they get from soil. If these chicks have never been exposed to soil, they really shouldn't have cocci. It's true, though, that cocci will cause this sort of sudden death of large numbers, if the number of cocci is overwhelming to them.
     
  6. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I hear you, and, yes, that is 100% true. Children are, respectfully, very dirty creatures, though. ;) I'm wondering if it's possible to carry it on clothes or skin?

    It's the easiest, most gentle solution I can think of that *could* help.

    MrsB
     
  7. Twizzle

    Twizzle Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you so much for all your responses, unfortunatly the chick died. The children didn't have access to the chick, but the man looking after then did and he was also dealing with the other school chickens, so maybe it was. There are two eggs that haven't hatched, by they are late now, so maybe they won't. Just out of interest, as I can't seem to find the answer anywhere, when a chick is unable to eat or drink, even if you do dip it's beak into the water bowl, and you have to feed it with a dropper, how much water/food should it have and how often? Would really appreciate some guidelines. Thank you again for your advice.
     
  8. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am very sorry to hear of your losses.

    I imagine you'd have to do it pretty frequently. I believe a chicken's tract take about 2 hours from beginning to end, but a chick is probably significantly quicker. You'd have to fill the crop, and check until it was empty again to refill.

    A chick you have to nurse like that, though, *may* be a weaker chicken in terms of natural immunity and hardiness. :/

    Biosecurity is also important in birds. Next time will be bettet, I'm sure.

    But do get some Corid or medicated feed for their first weeks of life, just in case.

    MrsB
     
  9. Twizzle

    Twizzle Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you - even though the chicks only lived for a couple of days, it's impossible not to get attached to them![​IMG] [​IMG] We'll try to incubate some more and will pass on the information about the medicine! We hatched some last year and didn't have any problems - we didn't have adult chickens then either though, so maybe there was some illness passed by mistake. Thanks also for the advice about feeding! So it's really food and water till the crop is full then check an hour or so later to see if the crop had emptied and then refill? Does that include nighttime?
     
  10. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    The concept about giving water by dropper is that they will hopefully get the idea and also gain some strength from the additional fluid. Then hopefully after a couple of rounds or so, they will begin to drink on their own. I've done it every two hours or so, til they wouldn't pull any more in, which took seveeral minutes -- and had them die anyway. It's not a way to maintain life, but rather an effort to sort of jump start their own instincts. And it's not going to work often, either because they are just too sick, or because there was something wrong with them that is either due to genetics or tosome sort of incubation trauma. The sad fact is, a certain percent of chicks are going to die regardless of what we do.

    To maintain a bird, you would have to tube feed. I have a link to a thread on tube feeding that I'll give you. I don't know whether it discusses tube feeding chicks, but logic (and nursing experience) tells me that you would not be able to get anything but water through the size tube you'd have to use.
     

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