Chicks are dying

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by BeaverQB, Jul 13, 2016.

  1. BeaverQB

    BeaverQB Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 18, 2015
    This is our third time buying and raising baby chicks, and the second time we've purchased from McMurray hatchery. This year we bought 10 White Orpington roosters, 10 Light Brahma roosters, 10 Delaware roosters, 1 Ameracauana hen, 1 Brown Leghorn hen. We also have 2 Black Copper Marans from a local breeder.

    We received our order of birds from McMurray last Friday, and all the birds seemed healthy except one. One White Orp had splayed leg or a slipped tendon (couldn't determine which). We separated it and tried to treat it with band-aids and such, but it never figured it out and eventually died after a couple of days.

    The next day, we discovered a White Orp dead for no apparent reason (no pasty-but, no signs of trauma, etc). We were noticing a lot more pasty butt than we had in the past, which led us to wonder about the feed (we're using Union Point's chick starter, feed specs attached as a pic -- more info about Union Point at We're trying to be quick to try and get rid of any pasty-butt as we find it, but aren't sure if that is somehow over-stressing the birds. On Sunday, we found one of the Light Brahmas that had had a bout of pasty-butt dead.

    Yesterday, we noticed that two other birds -- a Light Brahma and a Delaware -- were lethargic, and this morning we found them dead, too. That brings our total dead birds to 5 out of an order of 32 from McMurray. We put some apple cider vinegar in the water as a probiotic, and we're going to add Chick Grit from Purina today and put some scrambled eggs in for added protein today, too.

    We are not big Purina/commercial food fans, and are trying to work with a local producer that is well respected and has a quality product for feed, but we've never had a single bird die, and this year we've lost 5 in six days! Any thoughts folks have would be appreciated.

    Other notes -- they are not on pine shavings, they're on pelleted bedding from Wilco. They've been kept under a red light at 90-100 degrees every day. They get clean water every day. They've got plenty of room in their 3' x 3' brooder box. They were not vaccinated from McMurray (but we've never had our McMurray birds vaccinated and none have died).

    Last edited: Jul 13, 2016
  2. chickcrack

    chickcrack Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 27, 2016
    Ontario, Canada
    Any blood in poop? I think most would suggest to treat for coccidiosis asap as it won't hurt if it's not that. I have used finely ground plaid oats sprinkled on top of feed a couple times a day to quickly resolve pasty butt. I'm not an expert on feed so don't want to comment as it looks fine to me. Hope your luck turns around.
  3. BeaverQB

    BeaverQB Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 18, 2015
    No blood in any stool. Is Corid 9.6 the best for coccidiosis?
  4. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Flock Master

    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Can you post some photos of your brooder setup?

    29 chicks in a 3x3 brooder sounds a bit cramped, do they have room to move out from under the heat? Is it possible the ones that died were suffocated by piling?
    Pasty butt can be from too hot conditions, ideally they should have one spot that is warm and the rest of the brooder remain cool.

    Add some vitamins/electrolytes to their water. You may also want to feed them wet feed for a few days, just mix some of their food with water to make a mash.
    How is this food mix made? Is it fine crumbles or is it "chunky"? If it is chunky then you may want to offer chick grit free choice as well.

    If you suspect Coccidiosis (weakness, lethargy, not eating, diarrhea with mucus or blood, loss of balance, and puffed up appearance), then you would treat with Corid in the water for 5 days.

    Corid dosage for Cocci is 1 1/2 teaspoons Corid powder per gallon or 2 teaspoons of 9.6% Corid liquid per gallon
    Give for 5-7 days - make sure this is the ONLY water available during that time period. Mix a fresh batch at least once a day.
    After they finish treatment offer some poultry vitamins and probiotics/plain yogurt.
  5. jobydog

    jobydog Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 25, 2014
    Help! I ordered a total of 16 chicks from Meyer. Hatched on Monday, received on Wednesday morning. I went to the PO as soon as they arrived and brought them right home. I ordered 9 Light Brahma females, 2 Light Brahma males, 4 Cuckoo Maran females, and 1 Meyer Meal Maker (which looks like maybe a Rhode Island Red, I'm guessing). One of the Brahmas was dead on arrival. One died that night. All the rest seemed healthy. I gave them electrolytes in their water, checked their butts, had them all drink. Another one died this morning. When I got home this evening, my husband said another one had been lethargic and he separated it from the others-I checked on them and it was dead. Now the little RIR or whatever is lethargic. Every one seemed fine except for the first one that died after arrival. They have been eating chick starter and drinking, I have a red heat lamp that I've always used and they have plenty of room to either get under it or away from the heat if too hot. I am no expert on raising chicks but I have ordered before from Meyer (in fact about a month ago) with no problems and used the same brooder area (cleaned and disinfected before I put these new chicks in and fresh bedding, clean water and feed containers, etc.). I have 80+ chickens all together that I have raised from fiddles from Tractor Supply, Meyer, and some I hatched myself with broody hens. All have had HVT vaccinations. No blood in stool, no pasty butts, fresh water, fresh food, in a cage with plenty of room. I am at my wit's end. Help...what is the problem?

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