Chicks dying...advice needed

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by atabby, Oct 3, 2013.

  1. atabby

    atabby In the Brooder

    New chick mummy here so need some advice...

    I got home from work this afternoon and all of my chicks seemed fine - absolutely no different to usual. I went and did some gardening, put dinner in the oven and then went back to check on the babies (might've been gone an hour and a half at most). One of my chicks was laying down and had her wing puffed out a little. She was very unresponsive and when I dipped her beak in the water was not interested at all and tried to lay down again. We segregated her a little (to stop the others from trampling all over her) however she passed away about 30 minutes later.

    We buried her in the back yard and then went to give our other chicks their hard-boiled egg treat and noticed another chick was laying down and not being very interested in anything. She has been a bit of a "loner" since we brought her home, so I didn't think much of it until I tried to pat her and she didn't move at all. I noticed she had a bit of pasty butt so we cleaned her up, and put her back in the brooder. We ended up having to segregate her as well (trampled on by the others) however about 3 hours later she had passed away.

    Now, I'm assuming the second one died from pasty butt. This is completely my fault but being a first time chicken owner I wasn't 100% sure what I was looking out for. In regards to the first one, I honestly didn't check. Both of these chicks were 5-6 days old. Should I be concerned for the rest of the flock of anything other than pasty butt? I was thinking I might mix some yoghurt in with their food tomorrow afternoon, but any advice would be greatly appreciated :)
  2. Bens-Hens

    Bens-Hens Songster

    I had a chick once that was a bit 'down' compared to the others. I just mixed some sugar into the water supply (as suggested here) and she perked up just fine.

    She was only 2 or so days old then though, by Day 5 she looked like the rest.

    You may have bigger issues that I am not experienced with, but I would give that a try first.

    This is also assuming that the brooder conditions you have are correct and that they are all getting access to food and water.
  3. atabby

    atabby In the Brooder

    I did put some sugar into the water supply for her on Sunday (got them on Saturday afternoon) but she still just continued to sleep a lot and spent a lot of time by herself.

    All of them have access to food and water 24/7. Posted a pic of the brooder in the brooder thread on Sunday, but everything is set up for them in there...have even been changing their water daily to keep it nice and clean.

    Just not sure if I should treat the rest of my chicks with an antibiotic? Or if I should try yoghurt tomorrow to decrease the risk of pasty butt. We've checked the rest and they are all fine so far - and their behaviour is normal. They're all pecking the box and running around - doing the usual and making lots of noise when it's sleeping time [​IMG]
  4. tatertot

    tatertot Songster

    Aug 20, 2013
    Do you feed them that medicated chick starter
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Medicated starter or not doesn't sound like it's going to make a difference here. Chicks don't sound like they have cocci, so not using it isn't causing them to die.

    My first thought with dead chicks is always overheating, but I looked at your brooder pic and your set up seems good. I've never had issues with "pasty butt" so I really can't help you with that, sorry. I do know sometimes I've had chicks just die, it sucks but everyone else has been fine. I'd advise AGAINST antibiotic treatment, I really can't imagine chicks this young having a bacterial illness and not showing signs.

    Hope everyone else stays healthy!
  6. tatertot

    tatertot Songster

    Aug 20, 2013
    Sounds like their bum sealed up
  7. atabby

    atabby In the Brooder

    Thanks for the replies. They are on chick starter but not sure if it's medicated or not. The rest of them are absolutely of our bantam chicks is obviously smaller and a bit quiet sometimes and is the only other one I'm concerned about but at least she's eating [​IMG]

    We've checked them all for pasty butt and everyone is fine which is good. Does anyone have any experience with mixing yoghurt in with their food in a small container? I remember reading on here that the ratio is 2 or so teaspoons to 1 cup of food but can't remember exactly....
  8. atabby

    atabby In the Brooder

    Thanks, Donrae. I've got my fingers crossed that everyone else is healthy! I don't think it's bacterial, either, so I'm not going to give them any antibiotics.

    I'm hoping it's just a predisposition and that they have just been unhealthy from when they hatched. Wish there was a way to know for sure though.
  9. Martine1

    Martine1 In the Brooder

    Sep 28, 2013
    I dont know what your laws are in the US but in south Africa if there is any medication in animal feed it needs to be prominently displayed on the label.
    Pasty butt in chicks is usually an indication the feed is not agreeing with them too rich in protein or not enough roughage.
    Your idea of yoghurt is the best one.
    Dont mix it into the feed, give them a separate tray with yoghurt in it.
    You can also add a little electrolyte vitamin powder to the water.
    Hope this helps. M
  10. atabby

    atabby In the Brooder

    I'll have to have a look on the bag, I would've checked but our power's been cut out in our shed where we keep it.

    I'll give the yoghurt a try tomorrow morning, in regards to the feed potentially not agreeing with them or them not having enough roughage, what are my best options?

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