Chick death

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by appysky1, Sep 20, 2013.

  1. appysky1

    appysky1 New Egg

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    Sep 11, 2013
    This is our first year having chickens. We bought 6 chicks from Tractor Supply in February and they all did great. They're out in their coop now, laying well, healthy. No problems whatsoever. I like our chickens so much I decided to get some more chicks this fall. Of course TSC doesn't have any this time of year and minimum orders from hatcheries that I've seen are 25 chicks, so I bought a dozen chicks from a local backyard breeder. He threw in 2 extra so I had 14. All was well for the first few days, and then on the fourth day one looked constipated. I treated it as best I could with advice from threads on this site, but it died. I bought some a vitamin/electrolyte/probiotic supplement and added it to their water. It is "Rooster Booster" brand; they were out of Save-a-Chick. The following day another chick looked weak but no signs of constipation. I separated it with it's own food, water, and heat lamp, but it died as well. We lost another 2 the following day (yesterday), and this morning another one looks weak. That's a total of 4 dead, and 1 sick. I have no idea what is wrong with them. The first one was definitely constipated, but the others don't appear to be. I am wondering if I could have caused this by giving them a few raspberries the other day (which I later read I shouldn't have given them anything other than chick starter)? Their feed is medicated. I did everything the same as I did with the first 6 chicks we had in February. Any ideas? Advice on keeping the rest of the chicks alive? Thanks.
     
  2. Bodee

    Bodee Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 3, 2013
    Feed them chick starter until the hens start laying then to other stuff .Would you like to know a few hatcheries where you don't have to buy 25 chicks each time ?
     
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    Chicks can have all kinds of things wrong with them that came with them from the parents or the conditions. Vitamin deficiencies, infections from the egg,the broody hen, or incubator. How people raise chickens that they sell may affect the health of the chicks. You are doing what you should--feeding them chick feed, clean water, electrolytes, vitamins, and probiotics. There is not a whole lot more you can do other than to provide adequate warmth and a cooler are in their brooder. A lot of people have trouble with shipped chicks from hatcheries dying from stress, but most hatcheries have very strict health regulations for how the chicks are hatched where backyard breeders don't. Hopefully you won't lose any more, but I probably wouldn't buy from that breeder again. Wait until 2-3 weeks before giving treatas, and always give them chick grit if they eat anything other than their crumbles.
     
  4. appysky1

    appysky1 New Egg

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    Sep 11, 2013
    Bodee: I would love the names of some hatcheries that sell in smaller quantities. I did notice Stromberg's will ship 5 or 10 chicks. Kind of pricey that way but that's better than dead chicks by a long shot. If you know others please LMK.

    Eggcessive: Thank you for the reply (and the reassurance). :)

    If I end up losing all of my chicks, at what point in the fall is it too late to start new chicks? ie, I don't want them in my house all winter because it's too cold to put them out in the coop. At what age can a young bird (large fowl) handle Michigan winter? I would buy some chicks now but I don't want to mix new chicks in with what I've got in case they have something contagious...right? Maybe I should just wait until spring.
     
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    Meyer Hatchery in Polk, Ohio ships as few as 3-4 chicks, and MyPetChicken does the same, but they get their chicks from Meyer and other hatcheries, so you pay more with them. I have had good luck with Meyer, and I would always recommend a hatchery closer because of time in shipping. Chicks really need to be fully feathered around 7 weeks to be placed outside in cold weather. Personally I would wait until March when the TSC's and other feedstores get chicks in for spring. With Meyer Hatchery, the shipping is always much more with the fewer chicks you buy. Sometimes it is actually cheaper to buy 15 and give a way the extras since they don't have to add heat packs.
     
  6. appysky1

    appysky1 New Egg

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    Thanks for the hatchery info. So I kind of lied earlier about the six chicks that did so well: We lost 3 of them to predation when they were 4-5 months old so we're down to 3 (but they really did do awesome and were healthy until something ate them). I'm worried if there is any more predation that I may end up with a solitary hen in the middle of winter. We've tightened up security of the roof/fencing of the chicken run and haven't had any issues since. They do free range in the day time. From what I understand, chickens are very social animals and therefore should be with other chickens. Is this true? If so, does that change your answer about waiting until spring to get more chicks (assuming I lose the rest of this batch of chicks). I considered buying some adult chickens but I don't have the means to do a proper quarantine right now.
     
  7. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    Yes chickens need at least one or two others to be happy. Be careful buying older chickens--some people will pawn off sick birds to unsuspecting new people. Get to know some other chicken people. I give away birds a few times a year to make room for more. A good reputable breeder sometimes would be safe, but stay away from swap meets.
     

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