Baby chicks dieing

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by dakinsmimi, Jun 16, 2007.

  1. dakinsmimi

    dakinsmimi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 16, 2007
    Mississippi
    Does anyone have any ideas what is going on? I have had baby chicks for a couple of years now and have not had this problem before. At about 10 to 14 days of age I start finding my baby chicks on their sides. Within 12-24 hours they are dead. No sneezing, sticky bottoms, or any other signs of illness. The first batch was some I ordered by mail. The company said they may have gotten chilled in shipment and recommended Terramycin. Now my chicks that I hatched out are doing the same thing. Any ideas?
     
  2. Chelly

    Chelly Cooped Up

    May 11, 2007
    I don't have any experience, but you should check for toxin's in the area.... something they're eating, drinking or coming in contact with.
     
  3. dakinsmimi

    dakinsmimi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 16, 2007
    Mississippi
    I have tried to find something different and have been unable to identify a problem. I am using the same food and water source I have used before. The babies are in a room that is heated and air conditioned. I thought at first maybe my heat source was faultie so I changed out my brooder lights but that didn't help. The hatchery even asked about them being injured by other animals, but there is no way anything can get in to them. Besides there is no blood on any of them.
     
  4. Chelly

    Chelly Cooped Up

    May 11, 2007
    Wish I could help... I have no idea...

    Cleaning solution perhaps? If they're closed in a room - perhaps a small gas leak?

    Can you put them in another room?
     
  5. AccidentalFarm

    AccidentalFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 29, 2007
    I'm sorry your chicks are having a rough time of it. I am confused as to why the hatchery would recommend Terramycin for the babies if they are just chilled. Providing the right temps would be the answer to that problem, imo. Besides, if chilling were to kill them, it would happen well before 10-14 days of age.

    What kind of chicks are they? Are they meat birds?

    The fact that the shipped chicks and your hatched chicks appear to be dying of the same thing after almost 2 weeks of being in the brooder- I would investigate their brooder, surroundings, and food source.

    Maybe the water source has high mineral or chlorine content as compared to when you brooded other chicks in the past?

    Are they eating anything other than chick starter? Is it a fresh bag of feed? If they do get treats, do they have access to grit? They could be getting something stuck in their crop.

    How is the poo? Does it appear to be normal?

    Are the chicks chirping loudly or excessively? Do they seem to be in distress?

    I don't know much about diseases, but it also seems you may have a lingering disease from a previous ill chick that is slowly infecting the others. Have you tried removing the chicks to a new brooder, or completely disinfecting the one you have, along with all feeders, waterers, etc.?

    Were your shipped chicks vaccinated for Mareks and Cocci?

    I'm just grasping at straws here- I don't have much experience with chick deaths, although I do have one of my own suffering a very strange illness right now.

    Good Luck with the rest of the babies- keep us posted.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2007
  6. dakinsmimi

    dakinsmimi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 16, 2007
    Mississippi
    I have been using a cleaning solution from the vet's office that is supposed to be safe for all animals. I am so paranoid about leaving a residue that I usually rinse far longer than I probably have to, but I had rather be safe than sorry. A gas leak is out - it's all electric heat. I've drove myself silly trying to think of anything that it could be and have not been able to come up with anything either. Thanks so much for your reply. At least I'm not the only one who can't come up with the answer!
     
  7. dakinsmimi

    dakinsmimi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 16, 2007
    Mississippi
    The batch from the hatchery were Polish. When I called them and they said maybe the chicks got chilled I asked them would they still be dieing after 2 weeks and they said it was possible. (I didn't understand this either.) The only suggestion they could make was the Terramycin. Since they were dieing at an alarming rate I was willing to try anything. I am feeding a non-medicated chick starter just like they recommended and have them on corn cob litter covered with paper towels. This is changed daily so they don't peck at the paper and eat it. No treats are offered because I am having so much trouble with them. Wanted to keep what they had available to a minimum. I have hatched 2 batches since the Polish arrived and they do fine until about 10-14 days of age. Water souce has not changed unless the water company has added or changed chemicals. Thanks again.
     
  8. AccidentalFarm

    AccidentalFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow. I'm stumped. How about pesticides...have you sprayed your house recently for bugs?
    Or, how about the Terramycin? How long were they on it? What dosage did you mix?

    I know it may be a little costly, but I think I'd trash the bag of feed, the bedding materials, feeders/waterers, etc. and go with all new stuff...even a new brooder box. This would be the only way to determine if any of these things are at fault.

    Additionally-
    How about adding some ACV or Vit/Electrolytes to the water for a few days? You can also give them some yogurt with live cultures mixed in with feed (or alone if they will take it). Garlic has natural antibiotic properties and can be added to the water, too. Each of these things will benefit the chicks - helping to make them stronger and maybe more able to resist whatever is killing them.

    You can also switch to medicated starter if your chicks have not been vaccinated for cocci already. Actually, even if they have been vaccinated for cocci, you can still feed the medicated food - it will nullify the vaccine, but they will still be protected through the feed. I say to switch to medicated even if the chicks were vaccinated on the off chance that the vaccine was no good. Purina Start and Grow has a medicated variety that I have had wonderful luck with.

    I feel so bad for you- I know how wonderful it is to have hatched out chicks just to lose them a short time later. Please keep us posted.

    On edit: One more thing--> Try cleaning the brooder and equipment with vinegar and then hydrogen peroxide. (Do not mix the two-rinse well between each product). These things are harmless to us and animals, but are more effective at killing germs than even bleach is.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2007
  9. Poison Ivy

    Poison Ivy Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2007
    Naples, Florida
    Were your chicks vaccinated for Mareks?
     
  10. Slim

    Slim Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 16, 2007
    Portage Michigan
    Did you use corn cob litter the other times you raised chicks? I've always stayed away from it. My first batch of chicks started on corn cob litter for about 2 hours, and I got so paranoid after watching them eat it that I dumped the whole mess out and started over.

    I've heard that corn cob can be a problem for young chix. I don't know if they eat it instead of the feed, they'll die of malnutrition, or if it just plugs up the works.

    Don't know if thats the problem, just thought I'd toss it out there.

    Good luck. I hope it gets better.-
    Slim

    EDIT: I suppose you could biopsy a dead chick and see if it's crop was full of corn cob.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2007

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