chicks dying one by one

abooot99

Chirping
11 Years
Jun 12, 2009
90
2
96
New Ipswich
First time getting chicks in the mail. I live in New Hampshire where the weather is still crazy.
Ordered 12- they sent 13 from MPC
It was less than a smooth transition to get them home. The post office called my cell when I was at work and I never got the message until later that day. The PO wouldn't let me get them after hours and they spent the night there in the office. I was livid

Got them Wednesday morning at 7. One turken had perished already.

12 left- they were weak and wobbly from the trip but they all took in food, water....

Thursday a.m. - found easter egger chick foaming-activly dying- died shortly after- everyone else looked strong and active

Thur night- a delaware chick appeared lethargic- wasn't active/eating/drinking- hand fed her sugar water-not a lot

Friday- same chick- weaker- died Friday afternoon

Friday night- noticed another chick lethargic- another delaware.

Saturday a.m. still lethargic. I am down to 10 but this chick doesn't seem to be doing great-presented like the other one I lost.

Why are they dying? Stress from transportation???

I have diligently managed all pasty butts, brooder at 95-I am also a temp natze and clean water, chick starter, etc. I have them managed like text book-

I am frustrated because I promised 6 to a friend of mine so we'd have 6 and 6. He has no chickens and his kids are waiting patiently but they are already pumped about them. So, I am going to try to still give him his 6 and I get the remaining.

I hope this isn't typical for mail order chicks.

Anyone have advice?
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ranchhand

Rest in Peace 1956-2011
11 Years
Aug 25, 2008
13,295
78
291
SC
Oh my, I am so sorry you're having these problems.

Shipping day old chicks this time of year is iffy at best because of the weather along the way. I advise waiting until spring in the future.

Though your temp is fine now, what about during the trip? Overnight at the USPS office was definitely not at proper temp.
Other things like type of bedding could be factors too, but I suspect the shipping in winter is the real culprit.
You might try giving an electrolyte booster and/or vitamins to them. Finely chopped scrambled or hard boiled egg as well as the starter food.

Good luck!
 
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ChooksChick

BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist
11 Years
Aug 17, 2008
7,738
169
341
Larry, KS
My Coop
My Coop
So sorry!!

I have had both stellar and horrible luck with shipped chicks.

I highly recommend having baby parrot food and/or GrowGel on hand for their arrival. I keep the baby parrot food on hand for emergencies, too, as it has probiotics, vitamins, electrolytes, minerals and high protein. I mix it 1/2 with starter feed for the first few days.

Sadly, when they are stressed too much in their first few days there's just no bringing them back from a certain point, but make sure they have a hot spot in the brooder and a cool spot away from the light so the different breeds can self-regulate. I have an area right under the light at 100 and then they can wander at will into cooler areas, coming back to warm when they want, just like they would with Mama. This is an important feature- not having the whole brooder the same temp.

Try the parrot food and the mashed boiled egg. Try 'pecking' at the food with a chopstick or pen like the tapping of a Mama beak to stimulate the innate behavior in the chicks to peck at food. Tap inconsistently, not in good rhythm.

Best of luck, and don't be afraid to call them to replace the chicks- make sure the PO knows they're coming and give them other numbers of people to call or your work number, so they don't have a wait again.

Sorry for your losses!
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abooot99

Chirping
11 Years
Jun 12, 2009
90
2
96
New Ipswich
I did email the hatchery but I recieved no reply- that was yesterday. I will call them on Monday and let them know by phone.

I have polyvisol without iron and I've been putting a few drops in their waterer. I have probiotics I sprinkle on their food.

Their brooder is the best I've had- it is an xxxL varikennel top half- it fits a great dane-

I line it with paper towels and add a layer when it is messy.

The lamp is 250 watt red lite suspended on a tall chair over the center of the brooder. They self regulate and they never huddle.

I have a paper towel cardbord roll in there. This morning a chick was missing and we found her stuck in the roll.LOL

Anyways- I hope the hatchery doesn't give me too much trouble about wanting replacements- I wonder if I have to pay that pretty pricey small order fee again?

I am however reluctant to get them via mail again- given the situation- I guess we will see.

I just really want them to stabilize before I hand them off to my friend since he has young kids and don't want them dying over there.

Its sad.

Thanks for your support as usual. Im cooking them up some eggs.
 

ChooksChick

BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist
11 Years
Aug 17, 2008
7,738
169
341
Larry, KS
My Coop
My Coop
Sounds good, and I hope the eggs help.

I would try putting the light over one corner of the brooder- they may actually be too hot, and the center gives them less space to move away. Often the mucky bum indicates the temp is too warm for the birds, and the lack of huddling could be saying the same. Not that you want them to huddle, but they often will pile when comyfy.

I think I would risk replacements, and you don't let them charge you for the second shipment- that's bonkers! If they try, say, "No, thanks, I won't be paying for the replacements."

Our feed stores are getting birds here, so you may find that is also true there- we've got piles of them in stores now. Those come through the mail, too, though, which is partially my reason for thinking you'll be okay if you order again. Your first batch went through more than a normal batch would have, I imagine.
 

Ariel301

Songster
10 Years
Nov 14, 2009
1,355
20
151
Kingman Arizona
I'm having a similar issue with the bantams I just got from Ideal. One of 28 was DOA, and since I got them home, they have been dying one or two at a time. They will be fine when I look in on them, and then an hour later one or two will be laying down like they are napping. They will never get up again, they get weaker and weaker and then start flopping around gasping, then die. It's not looking like any of them will make it now, and I have only had them home 24 hours. They arrived on time at the post office, and everyone ate and drank and was running around at first, though they were all very noisy. I'll be calling the hatchery on Monday to see what I can do about this.
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It's sad to get so excited for baby chicks and then they are all dying and we can't do anything about it.
 

chickenwhisperer

Songster
12 Years
May 29, 2007
927
2
159
Chicken Country, U S A
Are you sure they are getting food and WATER?

When I got my chicks home from the LFS, after being shipped there that day, there were so thirtsy that they drank 3 bowls of water then gorged on food.

I think since they were from a hatchery, they were hatched and put straight into a box, given NO food or water, then spent (in your case) an longer than normal amount of time in a box being shipped.


I would physicallly make sure each chick is at least drinking water.
They dehydrate VERY quickly, and are so fragile its hard to get them back once it starts.

PS, I know my chicks came from a store, but they werent there more than a couple hours after being shipped themselves.
Once in the store, they get put into a bin with tons of other chicks.
Its probably very stressful, and hard for them to settle in enough to eat or drink anything.


This would be my thoery, over things like disease or anything . . .
 

abooot99

Chirping
11 Years
Jun 12, 2009
90
2
96
New Ipswich
man, that really sucks.

I am definately going to call for replacements....

I just feel bad they aren't surviving. At least I'm not the only one with issues.

I see them all drinking and eating- I cooked the eggs up and put em on a paper plate and they wouldn't touch them. I added water to a small pile of starter crumbles on a paper plate and they love that even more than the regular feed.

I did that yesterday and today. I find them all on the paper plate, content, eating up the moist stuff.

It sucks that I promised the guy 6 of them because that leaves me with only 3 when the weak one passes away which it is doing. I tried karo and parrot chick food. I am just letting things happen without too much stress at this point.
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Dora'smom

Songster
10 Years
Dec 14, 2009
916
11
121
Oregon
I got my chicks from a local store on Wednesday, and despite the fact that they had been eating and drinking in the store, they stood and peeped wildly when they were in my brooder at home. I took several little ones over to the water and gently dipped their beaks in it. They immediately started drinking, and the others stood by and watched. I guess once the others realized no-one was keeling over from poison in the water, they all joined in. I then picked up a couple and set them in their feeder (same type as in the store) and pushed a little beak or two in the feed. They ran away for a few moments, and then came back and ate. The same doubting Thomases stood by, and then joined their flockmates. Silly birds. Sometimes they don't know as much as we give them credit for.
 

MANNA-PRO

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