Chicks suddenly died

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Elza, Jan 22, 2017.

  1. Elza

    Elza In the Brooder

    Apr 12, 2016
    I bought 3 baby chicks from a pet store, usually i would buy from a local but kids saw them and well you know how it is, anywho they died, i dont know how or why, they had their heat lamp, water, food, comfy bedding all the above, they were walking around eating and happy then out of know where the first one died early hrs of day 1 of being home, then the 2nd went day 2 then the third on day 2 aswell but in the evening, i dont get it, we have never experienced anything like this before. I think they may have been about a week or 2 old. They were fine and then out of know where just went lethargic and then died. What could have happened.
  2. There is no accounting for chickens' health but t would not expect to get vigorous and healthy chicks from a pet store. A pet store's business model ls selling cute fluffy animals to people who don't expect anything better.

    I know that this will get me scowled at but one of those big bad heartless commercial hatcheries will produce better chicks from healthier breeding stock.
    2 people like this.
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    If they were doing OK when you brought them home, it sounds like it was probably something about what you did. It sounds like you’ve raised chicks before, so did you do anything different this time? Three 2-week-old chicks are not going to just keel over because they were from unhealthy stock that quickly.

    Can you describe how they were acting just before they died? Did they just keel over or did they act lethargic, fluff up and just stand around a while? It sounds like it was pretty sudden. If the brooder were either too hot or too cold you should have been able to tell by their actions. I assume here were no wounds on them like a rat or something killing them.

    It sounds like some kind of poisoning. How well ventilated was the brooder? Was that the first time you used that specific heat lamp bulb? Some bulbs supposedly have a coating that turns to a poisonous gas when they get hot, I can’t remember what that coating is. Did you use cedar shavings as bedding? Cedar can release a gas that can cause problems. How sure are you that your feed was OK?

    There are just too many unknowns to be able to make an intelligent guess of what actually happened. Some more information might give a clue but mainly if you’ve done this before what was different this time, other than their origins?
    2 people like this.
  4. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    I agree. A pet store is the last place on earth anyone should buy an animal. Most pet stores, the origins of the stock is highly suspect. You really have no way of knowing where these animals came from and under what conditions they were bred and raised.

    Make a rule not to buy chicks from any source unless they are NPIP certified against numerous contagious diseases. The issue now is have these chicks imported a long lived pathogen to your premises such as Marek's or Leucosis? Scrub every thing down well, wait a good interval, and then order chicks from a reputable, certified source.
    3 people like this.
  5. seashoreduck

    seashoreduck Songster

    May 6, 2013
    Pet stores are no place for pets or livestock. I would encourage you to yelp and google review them into a black hole and learn your lesson. Buy living things from places that treat them decently.
  6. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

    May 19, 2009
    I am so sorry your chicks died. The kids must have been devastated. Plus all the work you put into the brooder and equipment. Sometimes these things happen. I happened to me with a parakeet I bought my son. at a pet store. Good news is it's just the start of the hatching season and folks everywhere are marketing chicks. Just clean out and disinfect the brooder and you can start again. Go onto craigslist and take a look at the chicken ads. look for someone who has a breed you like and writes like they have a history of breeding chicken. If the have the anagram NPIP in their ad that is very good. It stands for national Poultry Improvement Plan and means their flock has been checked by the government to be free of nasty diseases.
    There are so many different breeds of chicken You can buy them for color, for egg color, for fancy trappings. Some like the Cochins and Orpingtons Sussex, and other breeds are known for being great docile children's pets. There is a chart online called Henderson's Chicken Chart. It is a great help when deciding on a breed.
    I used it a lot when I first got into chickens and was trying to decide which breed I wanted.
    Now when you get your next chicks you want to make sure to combat any stress they may have from traveling to their new home. it is common in baby chicks. The stress makes it harder for their little immature G.I. tracts to process all the good food you ae giving them. So it helps a lot of you give them and extra helping of nutrition which doesn't need digesting.
    I use a product called Bovid Labs Poultry Nutri-Drench. I get it at Tractor Supply for about 6.00 for the smallest bottle, which is all you need. Give each chick one drop only by mouth when they arrive. if the chick seems needy, repeat as need every 8-10 hours until perky. Now put the Drench in their water for the 1st 2 weeks in their new home. The water should look like weak tea. This will get them off to a strong start. This nutritional supplement mainlines directly into the bloodstream. Measurable there in 10 minutes with 99% utilization, all natural. It helps prevent pasty butt and the runs. I have never had a sick or dead chick when raising them on the Drench water. Just robust, healthy chicks.
    Really all you need nutritionally to raise heathy chicks is a good medicated crumbled chick feed like Naturewise, the Drench water and ( after they are a week old) a small cup of chick grit. Easy Peasey.

    Now a word about chicken grit. Many will tell you that chicks don't need grit because they don't need it to process their crumbles. That is true But it is not why you are feeding them the grit. The chicken has a gizzard muscle which pre-grinds the feed so it can be digested better further on down the G.I. tract. The more exercise the gizzard gets, the larger and healthier and more efficient it becomes, just like any other muscle. You probably won't see any change in the outward appearance of your growing birds. Everything is happening inside the bird. But when the birds finally start laying eggs, that larger, healthier stronger gizzard can mean as much as 20% more eggs from each hen.
    Again, I am so sorry your birds died It happens and is just heartbreaking after investing so much joy in obtaining them.
    If you would like to tell me where you live and want an assist, I would be glad to help you find the chicken breeds of your choice from local people. This time of year, I would be real surprised if you had to go to the trouble if ordering from a hatchery.
    Best regards for future Success,
    Karen in western PA, USA
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2017
    2 people like this.
  7. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

    May 19, 2009
    Sources for Chicken Info and Products

    Henderson's Handy Dandy Chicken Chart
    An Alphabetical List of More than 60 Chicken Breeds
    With Comparative Information

    Poultry Nutri-Drench

    NatureWise Chick Starter Grower Feed Medicated
    Notice this feed has 18% protein instead of 16% protein, that is a good thing.
    No you don't need organcie feed. The medication helps prevent coccidiosis,
    which effects the G.I. tract. This is also a good thing.

    The Science of Feeding Grit to Poultry ( a BYC thread, the 1st 4 posts)
    I use Grani-Grit. They have been making chicken grit since 1935.
    Note the feeding schedule which exaplains which size grit to feed at which age
    for best development of the gizzard. I get mine at Agway.
    it is less than 7.00 for a 50. lb. bag which has many more uses
    around the house than poultry feed, smile.
    Here is an average price for a 50 lb. bag.
    Other brands want this much for 5 lb. bags!
    As an aside, as I understand the history of poultry grit in America, Stone Mountain was
    making poultry grit ( Stonemo) and then it quit and Grani-Grit became the premier poultry
    granite producer.

    When your birds get older, you can buy a bag of Black Oil Sunflower Seeds (BOSS)
    and give them as a treat daily.
    The oil in the seeds will give their feathers a lovely shine!
    Bags come in all sizes of bags and prices You want Back Oil not Grey.

    Best Regards,
    1 person likes this.
  8. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    Elza, how big was your brooder? What was it made of? What were you using for a heat lamp? How high was it placed? What was the temp below the heat lamp and what was the temp at the opposite end of the brooder? What did they look like in terms of their feathering? Just wing feathers? Sprouting feathers elsewhere on their bodies? What part of their bodies were showing feathers?
    1 person likes this.
  9. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

    May 19, 2009
    Now then, if Elza comes back to this thread, which I surely hope she does, I don't want to see any more haranguing about the source of her chicks. We all know this could have happened to chicks bought most anywhere. Chicks that sometimes don't make it are a fact of life during hatching season. What we can do now if help Elza get off to another successful start for her and the kids.
    Best Regards,
    5 people like this.
  10. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

    May 19, 2009
    Honestly lazy gardener,
    Personally I think their passing has all the hallmarks of stress. Who knows what stress these baby chicks had been thru in the pet store. I suspect one more transition to another home was just too much for them. It's not the buyer's fault. The Nutri-Drench will combat stess in the next chicks Elza gets.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2017
    2 people like this.

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