Bantam Chicks Dying in the First Week

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by GreenAcresKS, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. GreenAcresKS

    GreenAcresKS Out Of The Brooder

    10
    0
    22
    Apr 5, 2012
    Central Kansas
    I purchased 35 Bantam Cochin chicks from McMurray Hatchery. They were shipped last Friday. I picked them up from the post office early Monday morning. Upon acquiring them, I dipped their beaks in water with Quick Chick in it and showed them the feed. They all started eating and scurrying around. Throughout the day I checked on them multiple times, the first time I noticed about half of them were huddled together so I moved the heat lamp slight closer. The second time I checked on them they were all spread out in the brooder doing well, eating, pecking at food on the ground and they looked really healthy. The next morning I went out and one of them was lethargic. Laying on its side listless with closed eyes away from the heat. I warmed him up closer to the heat lamp, fed him some water with sugar in it and he still couldn't get his balance. He'd fall on his back and his neck would flop. He died that night. The next morning I went out and 3 more were dead. Several others were flopping (almost in a paralyzed state) with their eyes closed. I dipped their beaks in water and they were responsive and drank it. I sat them up, but they'd fall right back over. That day 10 died. The same thing has been happening all week. Today I have 8 left. What in the heck is going on? I'm assuming they got way too cold and dehydrated being in the post office all weekend. I can't figure out, for the life of me, what could possibly be wrong with them. They were vaccinated for Marek's and their poop has no blood in it, so Coccidiosis is not a culprit. Thanks to McMurray, I'm getting a refund for those that DID die, but I plan on buying more at a local farm store. (The new chicks will NOT go in with the other Bantams if they happen to survive.)

    What happened here?
     
  2. FarmGirl01

    FarmGirl01 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2008
    AR
    What type of brooder and bedding are you using? Are you using a thermometer? And what type of feed?
     
  3. GreenAcresKS

    GreenAcresKS Out Of The Brooder

    10
    0
    22
    Apr 5, 2012
    Central Kansas
    I am using a galvanized oval tank as a brooder (it's what I've used for the past 10 years every time I get chicks in). They are on PINE (NOT CEDAR!) bedding. The flakes are too big for them to eat, and it's not fragrant. They are on a medicated chick starter. I ground it up a little more so the pieces weren't too large for them to eat. The thermometer reads 95 spot on in the middle of the heat.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2012
  4. SilverFire5467

    SilverFire5467 Out Of The Brooder

    47
    0
    24
    Aug 2, 2011
    CT
    How long were they waiting in the post office? Did you get them the day they came in?
     
  5. GreenAcresKS

    GreenAcresKS Out Of The Brooder

    10
    0
    22
    Apr 5, 2012
    Central Kansas
    They were shipped Friday. I picked them up early Monday morning. During those times I have no idea as to their whereabouts.
     
  6. SilverFire5467

    SilverFire5467 Out Of The Brooder

    47
    0
    24
    Aug 2, 2011
    CT
    My guess is they stayed in the post office too long without water and heat.
     
  7. dela1991

    dela1991 Chillin' With My Peeps

    195
    1
    101
    Apr 21, 2010
    Delaware
    My first chicks came under the same scenario. McMurray. Hatched on Friday. Arrived at the local PO on Monday. I picked them up early that morning. I didn't lose any. You will never know if something happened to them in shipping but I don't think that the time interval was the problem. Sorry to hear that you have lost most of your chicks. I know that I would have been pretty upset as I thought about their arrival from the time I ordered them in early January till they arrived in April. I only have three chickens left from that first batch of hens. I am going to add some more this year but I am buying them locally. Good luck with your survivors.
     
  8. dela1991

    dela1991 Chillin' With My Peeps

    195
    1
    101
    Apr 21, 2010
    Delaware
    I forgot to mention. Mine were standard sized chickens, not bantams. I have no experience with bantams.
     
  9. micareli

    micareli Out Of The Brooder

    46
    1
    36
    Apr 5, 2012
    we ordered ours through Cackle.... and they were delivered to our local Farmers Co-Op, Delivery on March 7th, I am assuming they hatched either march 5 or 6th, put them on pine pellets ( horse bedding but didn't hydrate the bedding) a light and cover, and had zero loss... we have 30 Silver Wyandottes and 10 Cinnamon Queens
     
  10. HennyPennyHenHouse

    HennyPennyHenHouse Out Of The Brooder

    47
    2
    26
    Apr 3, 2011
    Long Island, NY
    I also ordered bantams from Cackle. I can happily report one week later they are all fine. They were so tiny when I picked them up. I worried that first day until it looked like everyone was eating and drinking.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by