Chicks (6 weeks old) suddenly dying, please help!!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by NumberOneEggCo, May 26, 2012.

  1. NumberOneEggCo

    NumberOneEggCo Hatching

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    Please help!! I have had 3 babies die recently and a few other of my new chicks are acting strange. There are approx. 30 all together, half are from mcmurray hatchery and the rest were incubated at home. The first one died about 2 weeks ago, one day i noticed it was acting lethargic, separated it from the others, took it inside and by a day later it was dead. It was the only one to act at all out of the ordinary so i figured it was an isolated case. Then about a week ago i moved the rest of the chicks to an outdoor pen, (they were in brooder indoors) The pen is next to my adult flock and both pens are attached to the coop, which has an area sectioned off for the small chicks.

    Two days ago i let them out in the morning, all of them seemed fine. I went back out maybe 2 hours later and found one laying there dead. It was the same type as the one that died before (leghorn). Still all the other chicks seemed fine, until later that day when i noticed several of the others sort of standing around lethargically, eyes closed, wings sort of drooping. They were easy to pick up and seemed to have no energy, dont seem to be eating. Then this morning i found another one dead, again it was the same kind although the others that have been acting weird are different breeds ( polish, silkies, sultans) The majority of the sick ones are from McMurray and came with the cocc. vaccine.

    I havent seen any strange feces or anything else out of the ordinary. It has been hotter this week (75-80) then before but they have had shade and water.

    Please help i am so worried. Ive given them an antibiotic and wormer in the water and the only other thing i can think of that may have had an effect was that i had given them layer crumble for a few days since i was out of the chick feed.

    thanks!!
     
  2. featherz

    featherz Veggie Chick

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    6 weeks old and recently placed on dirt is prime age for cocci. I know you said some were vaccinated - did you feed medicated feed as well? The medicated feed can interfere with the vaccination, making it ineffective. You won't see bloody poop in all cocci cases, often they just stand around looking puffy and ill and then dead.

    As for the heat.. are they panting or acting heat stressed? (holding wings out etc).
     
  3. NumberOneEggCo

    NumberOneEggCo Hatching

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    no, always used un medicated feed, they dont seem to be panting or anything and they have cool areas to go into
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2012
  4. nychickenman55

    nychickenman55 In the Brooder

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    Hi, Like the other guy said the food and water. I would go and buy a new bag of starter feed for chickens, maybe it could have got contaminated. Give them for a while the same water out of the tap you use in the house. Check for insects, lice or parasites and give the coop a dusting. You never know if something like that gets in. Clean your coop and get some of that coop cleaner you can buy or use some soapy water and clorox deluted. If all that fail I would take one of the sick looking ones to the vet as soon as posable.

    NYchickenman55
     
  5. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress

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    Chicks can get Coccidiosis even on medicated feed. I , too, would start with a new bag.
     
  6. featherz

    featherz Veggie Chick

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    Corid is fairly cheap, with those symptoms I'd go get some and give it a shot. You could also use Sulmet, but it's harder on their systems so IMO might not be the first choice if you are not sure what it is. Corid is more benign and shouldn't hurt them if it's not cocci. With the 'appearing ill, then dead' and about 6 weeks old, that's where I'd go. And yes, change out out the bag of feed JUST in case.
     
  7. NumberOneEggCo

    NumberOneEggCo Hatching

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    I got them a new bag of feed and have been using Sulmet in their water since Friday. This morning there was another 2 dead and the other sick ones havent seemed to improve. Im at my wits end with this =(
     
  8. tiny529

    tiny529 Songster

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    Could it be the layer feed? I know I read somewhere that too much calcium in a chick's diet is bad for them but I don't know if it's enough to kill them.
     
  9. featherz

    featherz Veggie Chick

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    I tend to doubt a few days of layer feed would kill them. My chicks get into the layer now and then even though it's well protected from littles and have never had a problem. ALL layer feed isn't good but a few days I highly doubt would kill them. Hmm. Could they have gotten into anything? Seems very odd. I guess we could throw in the old standby "worms", but they seem too young for that. Still sounds like cocci - I've never used sulmet, but I know it's hard on their little bodies.

    That said, if it was cocci, I'd think it would have worked. Any respiratory problems?
     
  10. leadwolf1

    leadwolf1 Songster

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    The thing that comes to mind is that they aren't drinking enough of the medication. Sulmet tastes terrible and alot of people mix cherry koolaid in the water along with the meds to make it taste better. I would 'dose' all the sick chicks. Also, sulmet only kills a specific kind of coccidia whereas, Corid will kill them all. I would switch the medication to Corid and begin dosing the weakest. Take a syringe or eyedropper and drop the medication right into their beaks. Make sure that you drop it towards the front and under the tongue if possible. Do not put it in the back of their throats...you will possibly drown them. Just give them what you would think they would drink at one sitting....and, continue to dose every 2 hours until they are drinking well on their own. I would also get some probiotics into them...this will help their little intestines recover from the illness.
     

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