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Chicks ill and dying. Please help. Anyone with sick chicks from Cackle Hatchery?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ChickenNGrinnin, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. ChickenNGrinnin

    ChickenNGrinnin Hatching

    Feb 25, 2012

    I ordered the Heavy Barnyard Special from Cackle Hatchery. Shipped on Feb 6th. One died in transport. No biggie. 6 died within the next 48 hours. BUMMER, but still OK.. (Out of 50, BTW).

    Now they are two weeks old. Last week one was kind of wobbling around and getting run over. Having difficulty with coordination and standing up. I separated it, thinking that it was just smaller than the rest and needed some time to catch up. A few days later now and 4 more are acting similarly. Progressive decline of coordination. Sitting on hocks, unable to walk without toppling over, some tremors noted in a few. They are still eating and drinking occasionally, but it is difficult for them to get over to the food and water.

    We have them indoors in brooders. Lights, clean food and water -- cared for daily.

    These symptoms lead me to believe they have Avian Encephalomyelitis -- (diagnosis gleaned from http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps044#)

    Which would mean that they contracted it from the Hen who layed the egg, right? So that would mean that Cackle could have an outbreak?

    Any help appreciated.

  2. kristenm1975

    kristenm1975 Songster

    Jul 23, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    I had a chick with those precise symptoms a few years back. It happened at about the same age too. I separated it from the others and ended up having to hand-feed it with an eye-dropper for about two weeks. I also gave it homeopathic hypericum. After a few weeks, it was strong enough to go back with the others and was walking and eating normally. I never did find out what the heck it was. Sadly, it ended up dying two months later as the result of being pecked by adult hens when I integrated the young ones with my older hens.

    I will be curious to hear what others say of this condition.
  3. mikecnorthwest

    mikecnorthwest Songster

    Mar 27, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    My Coop
    I googled the hatchery and came up with numerous postings in various places about chick death and lack of customer service. A common complaint was a lack of response to phone calls, emails, and letters. On their website they have a "personal apology" posted for their constantly busy phone lines. Not exactly reassuring.
  4. bwalden

    bwalden Songster

    Jan 16, 2012
    I just received an order from Cackle this week (on wednesday) and have had no deaths so far. I do understand your frustration. Unexplained deaths are no fun at all.
  5. zookeeptd

    zookeeptd In the Brooder

    Feb 15, 2012
    North Mississippi
    I'm going to be waiting to see how everyone does also. We got our 26 chicks in yesterday from Cackle and have lost 1 today. Kinda acted the same way. We also ordered 25 chicks and 30 keets last yr but only lost 1 keet. All the rest were awesome!
  6. ggcajun

    ggcajun Hatching

    May 31, 2012
    Wow, I just bought some polish from cackle and slowly 1 by one they are dying. I have tried everything and I am at a loss. I thought about calling them because they have been nice to me but what am I to say? It has been over the 24 hour window and I think that is all they cover. I have never had this problem before and was deeply sadden that I could not find a solution. I tried, trymicen, albon for chickens, electrolites and nothing helped. I even changed the brooder to another one, with fresh bedding and still they keep dying. They seem to get week and just fall over. It seems worse at night.
  7. California_chickie

    California_chickie Chirping

    Jan 1, 2012
    Napa valley, Ca
    That is such a bummer, to say the least. It is always so difficult to watch a creature slowly decline, and feeling helpless.
    The most unfortunate part is that sometimes chicks just die. Their little bodies just can't take the stress or they have internal and/or genetic issues that would lead to their demise no matter what you did.
    The only way to tell for sure is to send them out for a necropsy, and await the results from the lab.
    I would recommend you contact the hatchery--- I know we all have busy lives and it's a total pain to have to stay on the phone with no result, but they need to know about it. Maybe write a letter as well? This is a well established hatchery, and so the staff should be very well versed in handling this kind of situation, but they probably ARE incredibly busy right now. No excuse.
    I have found that if I go through at least 2 different communication channels (phone calls, formal letter, and emails) eventually SOMEONE takes the initiative and responds. If enough people complain, maybe they can discover what the problem is.
    I'm sorry that you have to go through all of this, and hope the rest of your chicks remain healthy!

  8. marzullol

    marzullol In the Brooder

    I am so sorry to hear about you loss. I hope Cackle responds and does right by you. I have an order in for deliver next week and have been checking on BYC to see what the overall opinion of the different hatcheries are. I choose Cackle because they had the Brahmas we wanted for this month, otherwise I'd have had to wait until fall.

    Good luck and please keep us posted.
  9. AMA Chick

    AMA Chick Chirping

    Apr 10, 2012
    Glasgow KY
    Oh no... I hate to hear this!

    I got 16 Easter egger pullets from Cackle last week, and haven't lost one. As a matter of fact, they seem to be the healthiest chicks I've gotten. They are the only mail order chicks I've gotten, the rest were local.

    Hope yours get better...
  10. JSW99

    JSW99 In the Brooder

    Mar 6, 2012
    I got mine from Cackle Hatchery (well, actually from Farm and Fleet who got if from Cackle Hatchery) and had no problems (in fact they wil be four weeks old tomorrow). They are all healthy and alive. Although out of nine chicks, I think I have two rosters (not best at their sexing).

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