chicks have uncontrolled muscle movements then are dying

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mkell, May 11, 2009.

  1. mkell

    mkell New Egg

    May 11, 2009
    I got twenty cornish x chicks on Friday. since then I have lost 14. They go down, and some of them swing their heads way back, others nod their heads around. Sometimes they will shoot a wing or a leg out, which causes them to tip over, and they can't get back up by themselves. Some of them die quickly (I find them dead before noticing any symptoms), and some last twelve hours or more with these symptoms.

    When I notice one having trouble I have been isolating it and wrapping it in a paper towel to stabilize it and help keep it upright. I put them near a waterer, but they do not seem motivated to drink on their own. If I dip their beaks they might drink a little.

    Thanks in advance for your help. I have been raising meat birds for about five years now but have never had losses like this.
  2. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    I would call where ever you got these guys- feed store or hatchery and let them know immediately. If a hatchery, they may already have found out there is a problem- and looking into it
    Examine your food- what are you feeding. Check how old, check for mold, smell ect. What are they bedded on? Diarrhea? Is the brooder new- any thing that could be outgassing in the heat, or sprayed recently?
    Did they seem normal on Friday? (eating/drinking/peeping). Are your temps ok?
  3. mkell

    mkell New Egg

    May 11, 2009
    Thanks for your response. They all seemed healthy on Friday. I know all of them were drinking and peeping. I am using the same setup I have used the past few years--mason jar waterers with tap water and electrolyte powder, medicated chick starter with egg cartons as feeders, same lamps for heat, plastic bins as brooders. The plastic bins are brand new. I don't notice any off-gassing or odd smells but certainly the chicks would be more sensitive to it if there was anything. I had them in two bins. One bin had birch shavings on top of paper towels and one just had paper towels.

    Before they go down they are walking around, eating and drinking, and don't seem too hot or too cold. I noticed some of these last few are on the smaller side, but I have found that at this stage (less than 1 week old) there is sometimes variation in size.

    This is awful. I think I'm going to take some time off from chickens this season.
  4. The Wolf Queen

    The Wolf Queen Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2009
    Albuquerque, NM
    2 of the times that I have ordered chicks from a hatchery, at least a few have done that, and the sad thing is that everyone that did that eventually died, then or a few weeks later, [​IMG] Try Kayro syrup mixed with hot water then add cool water so the chicks do not burn their toungues. Also if neccesary get a syringe and hand feed/drink them (only once per time or they choke [​IMG] )
  5. nzpouter

    nzpouter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 19, 2009
    new zealand
    what is the temp in the brooder..?
  6. patyrdz

    patyrdz The Madd Hatcher

    Feb 26, 2009
    Southern Pines, NC
    I'm not sure if birch shavings are good for them.[​IMG] But I could be wrong. I hope you solve the mystery soon!!![​IMG]

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