Dead chick... Accident, disease, or fate? :(

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ShortHenTallPen, Mar 1, 2015.

  1. ShortHenTallPen

    ShortHenTallPen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hoping to get some answers from the more experienced folks on here...

    Just got our first batch of chicks, and they all seem to be doing pretty well. We had 14, but one died this evening — we put the poor little thing out of its misery. The chicks are currently 6-8 days old.

    So when we got them, one in particular was noticeably smaller than the rest, and had a bent toe — he was unable to walk because he couldn't balance on it. Once I'd patched his toe with a sticking plaster cast, he was able to walk, and pretty active, ate and drank, although he possibly slept a little more than some others. I had to wash his butt off several times from pasty-butt though. I was always gentle, plus dried him so he didn't get chilled. Took off his sticking plaster today, and his toe looked great, nice and strait, and he was able to get around.

    I'd had problems with the chickies not figuring out how to use the chick trough feeder I'd bought (a regular yellow plastic one) so I'd been using a heavy, shallow dish (so it didn't tip up) for a few days. This afternoon, I replaced it with the trough again, so that the feed would stay clean. I went up after dinner, and my little guy was stuck *inside* the trough :(

    I think he'd been like that for a while ;_: I took him out, but he was limp, and his neck was twisted at a weird angle, and he was unable to hold it up unless it was basically doubled back over his back. His legs were sticking out straight behind him, toes pointed. I started trying to look things up to see if we could help him, but he was so limp, and seemed in so much distress, that I decided putting him down was the best thing. Thankfully my hubby is a hunter, so knew how to make it easy on the poor little guy.

    I've looked at things like wry-neck, and diseases, but at this point, I'm just a newbie trying to wade through a mass of information, and really not knowing what to think. Was this an accident/injury because of the feeder, or was it just a weak chick? I'm desperately hoping that it's not a disease.

    Other info that might be helpful:
    -They had been on chick-booster (antibiotics and vitamins) that the hatchery gave me, but I stopped giving that when I ran out of that first litre.
    -Their feed is unmedicated chick starter
    -they haven't been vaccinated against anything yet, despite my efforts (have called 3 different local vets, but none of them have been able to offer me vaccinations for Marek's or Coccidiosis).

    All of the other chicks look great, apart from one of the Speckled Sussex ones, who is also smaller than the others, and also getting pasty butt.

    Any advice would be so welcome... trying to take it philosophically, but worried about my other little guys :(
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2015
  2. LoveThemBirds

    LoveThemBirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    O would give a nice check for mites.

    Also,do theu have fresh water?No poop,dirt on.water at all?
     
  3. RJSorensen

    RJSorensen Chicken George

    I believe that the toe problem will most likely be due to the chick getting its foot caught in the mesh wire of the incubator floor. Nothing you can do, that you have not. A slow start means the chick in question is not getting what it needs, when it needs it, and is thus living off of its scant reserves. It will, as nature intended, fight to the very end… and should it find its way into a place it can not escape from, regardless the reason, it will need to be 'taken care of' as you have done. Nothing you can do for this, hand feed? Not something that is going to happen, so you are where you are… and it is ok. Part of the business of keeping birds, you did good.

    The other one, runts happen, it is in the breeding, the condition of the hen that laid that egg/chick. A few come from every hatch, most likely every hatch. Again not something you can control and or do anything about, except to love them and do the business that is at hand. There are many times that I wished that I was one of those, whom are unable to cull. A healthy flock is more important than any single member(s). I believe you and yours to be sound, I don't think you can vaccinate when the chicks are as old as yours. Medicated feed in a clean operation where lots of older birds are not around, is… I don't think it matters. If you have not had it, it is just something sold to keepers to prevent the buggy man. If you needed it for real, you would know it.

    Your milage may vary, other may have their own thoughts, everyones flock and management style is different. I think you are fine, stay then course and it will all pass.

    Best to you and your birds,

    RJ
     
  4. ShortHenTallPen

    ShortHenTallPen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi, thanks for the reply!

    I'll get back to you on the mites — I think i would have seen, because I had to get pretty up close and personally when washing for pasty butt, but I'll have to check how to check, and get back to you on that one.

    I change the water 2-3 times per day. There's usually chick starter in it, and occasionally chick poop, hence the frequent changes — hopefully this is enough :/ It's in one of those plastic jars that screws onto a little dish.
     
  5. ShortHenTallPen

    ShortHenTallPen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks :) your kind reply will let me sleep a bit easier tonight. I read some articles where people had nursed chicks back to life, and good for them, but I think my hubby and I both looked at this chick in pain and knew that wasn't going to happen. I'm pretty darn grateful to have had someone capable and kind at my side tonight, and kind folks like you on the forums.

    Although our chicks are farm animals and not pets, they are very precious to us, as part of our ethical and just desired way of living, as well as being living creatures, and it's been a tough evening - I appreciate the encouragement very much.

    Rach.
     
  6. fried green eggs

    fried green eggs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If the little chick got stuck in the feeder and hurt his neck, I wouldn't assume it was wry neck. Your chicks are now to old to get the vaccines for Mareks or cocci so, you can put them on medicated chick feed so they don't get Cocci and If the chicks are having pasty butt - I would add Mothers Apple Cider Vinegar to their water. Sorry for your loss.
     
  7. ShortHenTallPen

    ShortHenTallPen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks so much.

    Yeh, for the vaccine I was desperately trying up until the a weekend, and then gave up, as it was beyond the period I'd read — thank you for confirming this, I was still kind of browsing to see if it might be useful or not. I think next time I may order from a hatchery that will do it for me, but then I'll probably have to get them shipped :/

    Thanks again, appreciated!!!
     
  8. LoveThemBirds

    LoveThemBirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like your chicks have drunk bacterial,which cause pasty vent,or,known,pasty butt.Be sure it's high enough to where the chicks can drink it,but not poop,or get dirt in it.

    Clean the water stake (s) very good,to assure alk bacterial is OUT!
     
  9. ShortHenTallPen

    ShortHenTallPen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the feedback :) all my other guys look like they're doing well right now, and as the two who had pasty-butt arrived with it, I don't think it's from my waterer. After a (bad) night's sleep, i think it was really a freak accident. But I am worried about the waterer and how dirty it gets — I've been washing it thoroughly every day, but am still not thrilled with it — I think I'm going to replace it with a nipple-waterer system — currently looking up about the small-animal bottles that you use with hamsters and the like, as that seems like it might work. I could place a couple in the bigger brooder they're moving into this weekend.

    How ironic that both the feeder and the waterer I bought seem to be more dangerous than useful right now! :/

    I'm also going to put some apple-cider vinegar in the water, for the pasty-butt, as Fried Green Eggs suggested!

    Thanks for the reply :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2015
  10. LoveThemBirds

    LoveThemBirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You're welcome.
     

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