Chicks dying quickly

KarlyH

Hatching
6 Years
Apr 16, 2013
2
0
7
I am asking for expert help. We have week old chicks from Meyer. We had 2 DOA and one die two days later. Today, everyone was healthy - eating, drinking, and active. Two very suddenly were panting, then thrashing, and then they died. We switched them from newpaper with paper toweling to pine shavings yesterday. Does anyone know if them dying had anything to do with the switch. I really need to know what to do to keep everyone else healthy. We don't have a coated bulb and we are using Purina Start and Grow. I would really appreciate any suggestions. Thank you.
 

Mtn Laurel

Songster
9 Years
May 18, 2012
1,534
209
226
Northern Virginia
My Coop
My Coop
I'm sorry I don't have any advice. I've only had chicks for the past week myself. I don't think the change to pine shavings would kill two of them in that short a period of time, especially since one had died previously and two arrived dead. Have you tried any electrolyte solution aka Sav A Chik or anything similar? Don't know that it would make a difference but is the only thing I could suggest.

Best of luck to you and I hope someone with more knowledge than I sees this and can help you.
 

KCref

In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 31, 2013
30
0
22
I am new as welland do not know as much as others but the panting makes me wonder if they may be too hot. I lost one chick of 26 early on and the description you gave was similar to my experience, panting twitching then died. I adjusted the light (heat source) and lowered the tem to about 90F from 95 and saw an immediate approval from the chicks in term of behavior and sound.

Be sure you are measuring the temp down on the floor of the brooder where the chicks are, hanging a thermometer will give you a different reading. I put mine right on the floor under the light for about 5 minutes and took that reading and found that I was making it too hot. i'm at 2+ weeks now and everyone seems to be doing well.

Just my $.02 and I'm probably over charging. :)
 

KarlyH

Hatching
6 Years
Apr 16, 2013
2
0
7
Thank you. They have had Sav A Chick. It is just scary because of how quickly they went down hill. Is it possible that something toxic could have been mixed in the pine shavings? We are watching the remaining chicks and they are almost constantly trying to clean themselves. We are wondering if it could be some kind of poisining?
 

Mtn Laurel

Songster
9 Years
May 18, 2012
1,534
209
226
Northern Virginia
My Coop
My Coop
Try paper towels on top the shavings. That will keep down any dust or odors from the shavings and will make it easier for the chicks to get around. I've been using a double thickness of paper towels on top of shavings and it works well for my chicks. I also agree about checking on the heat as I had problems with my girls getting too hot the first few days and it made them very lethargic. I'm guessing they could dehydrate if they got too hot for an extended period of time.

Hope that things turn around for you and the little ones.

Edit: BTW, my girls clean themselves all the time, too. They usually do it after they've had a big meal and are very happy and ready to take a nap!
 
Last edited:

JerseyHen

Songster
8 Years
Feb 10, 2011
1,549
65
186
Sussex County, NJ
How hot is it in the brooder? If they are avoiding the area under the light they are too hot. It is possible that they have no place to escape to. They can go from ok, to overheated very quickly. Also, the temps can fluctuate a lot if they are not in a temp controlled room. For instance, the brooder is in the garage and you measure the temp in the brooder to be 95 degrees on a 50 degree day and then the next day it is 65 degrees out and the brooder temp is now over 100. It can happen inside as well, unless you have closely monitored room temps. I know my brooder room went from 55 degrees to 70 over a 24 hr period of time this week and I had to make light adjustments to prevent cooking my quail. Mine were ok though because my brooder is 4 feet long and the light is on one end (so they all went to the cool end) and the top is wide open to allow heat to rise, but not to allow a draft.
 
Last edited:

Island Roo

Songster
7 Years
Feb 14, 2012
466
35
151
Duncan, BC
Sounds like they had a rough start with 2 DOA. Probably got too cold / too long in transport.

Switching to pine shavings won't kill chicks.

Like other's suggested, I would use an electrolyte/vitamin solution and keep an eye on temperature. Let the chicks dictate how much heat you provide - if they're all huddled under the heater, it is too cold - avoiding the heater, too hot. They should be comfortably spread around the brooder.

Grooming is normal - it is a good sign.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom