Chicks dying . . . no idea what to do

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by gottsegnet, Apr 21, 2011.

  1. gottsegnet

    gottsegnet Chillin' With My Peeps

    377
    5
    131
    Mar 19, 2009
    Nebraska
    We received 17 chicks in the mail yesterday. All but one seemed healthy. That one was smaller and seemed sleepy. Went to a funeral, came home to two dead chicks and one that was limp. It died. Now we have three more in that condition. They act like they're sleeping, but you can't wake them up. Then they fall over and just sort of lay there. Their necks are real floppy and their heads just sort of roll. Then thy lay there opening their mouths like they're gasping and die.
     
  2. gottsegnet

    gottsegnet Chillin' With My Peeps

    377
    5
    131
    Mar 19, 2009
    Nebraska
    One of those died and now another is "sleepy."
     
  3. Hot2Pot

    Hot2Pot Fox Hollow Rabbitry

    Feb 1, 2010
    West TN
    First of all, call the hatchery right away and report your problem
    Ask them if they are having issues . I am no expert on chicken diseases, but I read that coccodiosis causes symptoms of droopy wings, ruffled feathers and sleepiness. Treatment is corid liquid in drinking water at the rate of 2 teaspoons per gallon of water for 7 days. Then skip 21 days and begin treatment with sulfadimethoxine at the rate of 1 ounce per 2 gallons of h2o for 5 days. Then skip 21 days and start all over and repeat until the birds are 5-6 months old or hens begin to lay. I am quoting the march issue of the poultry magazine
    I would also add vits and electrolytes to the water, at least to start. Make sure they are warm enough as well. Good luck, and sorry for your loss .
     
  4. Erica

    Erica Chillin' With My Peeps

    821
    32
    133
    Dec 5, 2010
    Hi Gottsegnet, would you mind describing your brooding setup? That would help others suggest possible causes.

    For me the first one that springs to mind is chilling. Chicks need a particular temperature to survive those first precious few days (after that the temperature can be reduced slightly). I think in Farenheit it's something like 90 degrees at their back-height under the rim (edge) of the lamp. Here we use celcius and it's about 36. You can also go by chick behaviour (huddling usually means the brooder is too cold). Sometimes unfortunately chicks chill before or during delivery to their new home, and the effects take a while to show up — I've had chicks die much later after being chilled on the way here. [​IMG]

    Second on the list might be that they haven't been taught to eat and drink, but I'm sure you've already noticed if they're eating and drinking properly. I doubt this is the issue because as you say the chicks began to die soon after arrival.

    There are other possible scenarios like systemic infection (sometimes chicks are infected through the navel at hatch) but perhaps you could double check temperature first.

    Sorry for your present problem — it must be very upsetting! [​IMG]
     
  5. gottsegnet

    gottsegnet Chillin' With My Peeps

    377
    5
    131
    Mar 19, 2009
    Nebraska
    They are in a kennel with fresh bedding and a heat lamp. They were huddled at first, but spaced out quickly. When they acted sleepy, we separated them so they wouldn't get picked on with a heat lamp on them. I'll go watch them some more.

    The kennel is like a hard sided carrier and the heat lamp is on the front just outside shining i so they can get away from the heat. We brooded 26 like this last year in the garage with no issues but right now they are in the house.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2011
  6. BrattishTaz

    BrattishTaz Roo Magnet

    4,445
    17
    213
    Jan 8, 2011
    Tampa Area, Florida
    Did you dip their beaks in water? Have you seen them drink and eat?
     
  7. gottsegnet

    gottsegnet Chillin' With My Peeps

    377
    5
    131
    Mar 19, 2009
    Nebraska
    Yeah. We made sure they all ate and drank yesterday before we left. They were running about like little chicks do. The healthy ones are eating and drinking now. One is dying, one has been sleepy but seems to be perking up a bit. We'll see. I just wish I knew for sure what we were dealing with.
     
  8. BrattishTaz

    BrattishTaz Roo Magnet

    4,445
    17
    213
    Jan 8, 2011
    Tampa Area, Florida
    Some polyvisol without iron may give them a little boost. Feeding some egg yolk probably wouldn't hurt either.
     
  9. gottsegnet

    gottsegnet Chillin' With My Peeps

    377
    5
    131
    Mar 19, 2009
    Nebraska
    Cooked or raw? They seem so normal running about until they go off and get all sleepy and slowly die.
     
  10. BrattishTaz

    BrattishTaz Roo Magnet

    4,445
    17
    213
    Jan 8, 2011
    Tampa Area, Florida
    Quote:Boil the egg and crumble the yolk up. You can also mix yogurt with it for added protein and probiotics. The polyivsol without iron perks them up very quickly.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by