Chicks dying... what can I do?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by jwh02017, Jun 6, 2011.

  1. jwh02017

    jwh02017 Out Of The Brooder

    11
    0
    22
    Apr 12, 2011
    I hatched my first eggs and the chicks are now about a month old. I read different reviews about whether to medicate or not. I decided not to give them any kind of medication. I think this might have been a big mistake. I have just been giving them food and water since they were born. About a week ago I noticed one chick was just standing in a corner with his head down. It seemed like his neck feathers/fuzz was really puffed up. When I picked him up it seemed like he was very weak and limp. He ended up dying within a day. It has been a week since that first chick died and I've now had 6 more chicks die. [​IMG] I don't believe the chicks are getting too hot since the area stays around 85-90 degrees. The chicks were all full of energy when they hatched. When the chicks die they all show the same symptoms.... just standing around kinda wobbly with their head down. I've read about Marek's disease.... could my chicks be dying from it? If so, what can I do to keep the rest of them from dying? [​IMG]

    Thanks,
    Justin
     
  2. Anianna

    Anianna Chillin' With My Peeps

    959
    10
    143
    Feb 28, 2010
    N/E of Richmond, VA
    85-90 is still pretty hot. Are you able to observe the chickens in the heat of the day to see if they are panting? Do they have plenty of shade? Another possibility is Coccidiosis. Please see the video in Coccidiosis information below to see if your chickens are behaving the way infected chickens behave. Also, check poops. Bloody poops can be another sign of a Coccidiosis infection.


    Heat

    Chickens can die if they are too hot. If you see your chickens panting, they are too hot.

    Shade – every animal should have plenty of shade to get into on hot days.

    Ice in drinking water – keeps the drinking water cool and helps lower body temperature.

    Frozen water bottles – chickens can lay against these to keep cool. Use larger 2 liter or gallon jugs to last longer before needing refreezing. Put a towel over them for chicks that are not fully feathered.

    Wading pools – fill inexpensive kitty litter trays with water for chickens to wade in.

    Fans – fans can be used, but keep in mind the dangers of chickens and fan blades.

    Misters – a mister is a system that shoots a fine mist of water into the air to cool the air. This works best in dryer climates and can be used in the run, in a shady spot, or in the coop so long as you are aware that it might leak a bit and cause wet bedding.

    Electrolytes – if a chicken suffering from heat becomes lethargic, treat with electrolytes. Powdered electrolytes can be purchased from feed stores and veterinary suppliers. Store bought electrolyte drinks can be used but have a high sugar content. Pedialyte, found in the infant food aisle is better than Gatoraid because it is lower in sugar content.



    Coccidiosis

    Coccidiosis is a parasitic infection in which parasites frequently found in soil or bird feces infect the intestines of domestic birds, growing quickly. It can be fatal but any chicken surviving an infection will be immune to future infections. The video here may be difficult to watch, but is educational and shows how a symptomatic chicken behaves.

    Medicated feed – grower feeds medicated with Amprolium do not prevent infection. Chicks receive low doses of medication to better manage infection once chicks are exposed. This gives chicks a better chance of surviving their initial infection and earning their natural immunity. Feed medicated feed until two weeks after chicks are put outside where they may be exposed.

    Corid – larger dose of Amprolium used to manage infection. It is easier on the chicken’s system than other treatments, but does not treat as many strains.

    Sumlet 12.5% Solution – this is Sulfamethazine, which is harder on the chicken, but effectively treats a wider range of coccidiosis infections.

    If you are unable to find either of these locally, here is a pdf list of medications that may be used to treat Coccidiosis.
     
  3. ams4776

    ams4776 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Id say to hot. From what i read 90 is only ymthe first week then drop the temp. Are they in a brooder or outside?
     
  4. jwh02017

    jwh02017 Out Of The Brooder

    11
    0
    22
    Apr 12, 2011
    The chicks are in a brooder inside my shop building so they are out of direct sun light. A few days ago I put a fan over the brooder to slowly move some air, but that didn't seem to help much. I have seen the chicks panting... they don't pant all the time though. I haven't seen any bloody poops.

    My wife is going to the feed store to buy some electrolytes. Hopefully that will help.

    Thanks alot for the coccidiosis video. My chicks kinda act like that, but more than anything they just stand around wobbling with their head down. I've tried putting their beak in water, but they don't seem to want to take a drink. I don't see any blood and it sounds like blood is a sign of coccidiosis.

    Does TSC sell medicated feed? I've been feeding 20% Dumor.

    Thanks for your help. I'll let you know how the electrolytes work.

    Justin
     
  5. Anianna

    Anianna Chillin' With My Peeps

    959
    10
    143
    Feb 28, 2010
    N/E of Richmond, VA
    If they aren't fully feathered, they are even more susceptible to heat. The feathers help act as an insulator against harsh temperatures and young chicks that haven't gotten their feathers aren't as equipped to regulate their own body temps.

    I don't get my feed at TSC, so I'm not really sure if they sell the medicated, but unmedicated is very hard to find in many locations, so you are more likely to find the medicated than the unmedicated. Just check the label for Amprolium. The grower feed I get at Southern States is medicated.

    If they are still in the brooder, they are less likely to be exposed to the cocci parasite, so you are probably correct that it is just the heat.
     
  6. equinelyn

    equinelyn Chillin' With My Peeps

    400
    0
    99
    Jun 4, 2011
    Southern York County
    You could try to get the Tylon antiobiotic which you can purchase at Tractor Supply if you think they might be ill. You put it in their water. I did that with my chicks.
     
  7. Anianna

    Anianna Chillin' With My Peeps

    959
    10
    143
    Feb 28, 2010
    N/E of Richmond, VA
    Quote:Using antibiotics when there is not a bacterial infection produces drug-resistant bacterial strains that are almost impossible to treat. It is better to only use it in situations where you know for certain there is a bacterial infection or a bacterial infection is very likely to occur.
     
  8. stubbornhill

    stubbornhill Chillin' With My Peeps

    469
    0
    109
    Apr 11, 2011
    Shapleigh, Maine
    I would say the heat may be a big contributor as well. 90 degrees is for the first week as others have mentioned. Then one would reduce the heat by 5 degrees every week until the birds are fully feathered and able to handle normal temps. So at 4 weeks old, they should be at 75 degrees. Hopefully, by reducing the heat, your little babies will do better. [​IMG]
     
  9. jwh02017

    jwh02017 Out Of The Brooder

    11
    0
    22
    Apr 12, 2011
    Here is the exact feed I'm using, I'm not sure if it's medicated or not... http://www.tractorsupply.com/livest...ed/dumor-reg-chick-starter-grower-20--1039256 I don't see Amprolium in that description.

    The chicks are pretty much fully feathered. They still have a little fuzz, but they have more feathers that fuzz.

    If they are still in the brooder, they are less likely to be exposed to the cocci parasite, so you are probably correct that it is just the heat.

    Good that gives me some hope [​IMG]

    My wife mentioned that maybe it was time we put them outside in a pen since they were pretty much feathered out. But the bad thing is, the outside temps have been around 95 for the past couple days and I'm afraid putting them outside will make them even more hot.

    Thanks,
    Justin​
     
  10. Anianna

    Anianna Chillin' With My Peeps

    959
    10
    143
    Feb 28, 2010
    N/E of Richmond, VA
    Quote:That is a non-medicated feed.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by