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Dead chick

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by oEch0o, Feb 5, 2017.

  1. oEch0o

    oEch0o Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 5, 2017
    I got six chicks two days ago. Two java, two marans, and two Iowa blue. Earlier the two Iowa blues had to have their butts cleaned off. I haven't paid too much attention to them before, but I noticed one Iowa blue I call Grumpy sleeping a LOT. I picked Grumpy up and she didn't really seem to notice. Didn't struggle much, just tried to burrow down in my hand for a nap. I held her for a while then put her back. I came back again later and Grumpy was still asleep. I knew it was the same chick because Grumpy has a 'mustache' whereas the other Iowa blue does not. I picked her up again and her response was about the same as last time. I put her back and left the room (for the whole whopping two days I've had them they've been in my room).

    My grandmother came over and asked about the chicks since they spent half a day at her house while I was at school so I took her to my room and she noticed before I did that Grumpy was trying and failing to walk. She had one leg working and the other not responding well. I picked her up and didn't put her down after that.

    After maybe an hour of me holding her she started slightly panting. She was gulping for air a few minutes after as though she straddled to breathe. She would occasionally peep and move her head around in discomfort. This continued for about an hour before she finally died.

    The only time I saw her open her eyes was right before she died when she flailed her head around wildly for a few seconds and tried to move her feet before going still

    She's dead now. I've never had a chick or grown chicken die that fast and I'm scared that what's happened to her will happen to the rest of the babies. The other Iowa blue is runty and acted weak yesterday but is completely normal today. Could someone please help me find out what this is please?
  2. Chicken Bff

    Chicken Bff Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 20, 2016
    Do you have any electrolites in their water? Also are you feeding them medicated feed and whats the temp in the brooder?
  3. oEch0o

    oEch0o Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 5, 2017
    No electrolytes just water, and no medicated feed but I do give them Pasty Butt (and buying medicated food now is out the question), and the brooder is near 100 in one area, then gets lower the farther away from the light it is
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Welcome to BYC. Did you get the chicks in the mail or from a feed store? Chicks can suffer from stress while being shipped. The ones in feed stores are shipped as well, and then they sometimes suffer from over crowding or neglect. Not always, but sometimes they can run out of water or the water is so far away with a hundred or more chicks to go around to get it. You may not know what they have gone through already. Pasty butt is a sign of dehydration or overheating. Give them water with SaveAChick or other brand of chick electrolytes. Poultry NutriDrench and Poultry Cell are ones that can be given directly bymouth or in the water, but just read directions. Dip their beaks into the water several times an hour to get them to drink, especially if they appear drowsy or inactive. Of course let them sleep some too. Make sure that your brooder temperature (check with a thermometer on the floor under the light) is 90 degrees. They will go to a cooler spot is overheated. If they are huddling under the light, they may be too cold. Check for pasty butt daily for at least a week. Wash just the bottom gently with soapy water and your fingers--rinse quickly and dry them with a tissue.The same ones usually get it more than once. Sorry for your loss, and I hope your others do well.
  5. dogkahuna

    dogkahuna Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 11, 2015
    Southworth, WA
    Sorry for your loss--it's hard and jarring, but some chicks don't make it. It's not you or what you may or may not have done. Once they live a few months, they are hardier and fewer succumb to odd conditions and maladies. I don't know anyone who hasn't lost a chick or two. Sad, but part of life....
  6. duluthralphie

    duluthralphie Chicken Wrangler Premium Member

    First off, Welcome to BYC.

    One dead chick can be a lot of different things. If the other chicks all look healthy and seem fine it could just be "failure to thrive". Which is a catch all for chicks that just do not make it. Whether they have a birth defect of some other problem is hard to figure out without testing by a vet.

    Chicks go from eggs to chicks in 21 days. Sometimes (lots of times) something goes wrong in those short three weeks and things to not get "assembled correctly".

    I try to keep the temp at around 96 degrees so you might be a little high, but they do self regulate to the temps they want. Pasty butt though can be a sign of the temps being too high.

    The other thing is handling of two day old chicks is not really advisable. I only hold mine to inspect them and mark them in the first week, and to box them for sale.

    I am sorry your chick died. Do not over worry the one dead chick, I know that is harder to do than it is for me to say it. I had my first one of the year die this week at 3 days, so I know how you feel. He had no pasty butt or indication he was sick either. I just went to look at them and he was dead.

    Good luck on the rest!
  7. oEch0o

    oEch0o Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 5, 2017
    It's not that they have pasty putt, that's the product name I give them to help get rid of it. Sorry if that was confusing. And I get them from a local feed store. I'd like not to go into detail but a family member told me it was my fault Grumpy died
  8. duluthralphie

    duluthralphie Chicken Wrangler Premium Member

    Holding it too much?
  9. RPClark

    RPClark Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 30, 2016
    Southwest Iowa
    We got 16 chicks last July from a mail-order hatchery. One died after the first week; it acted much the same way as you describe from your chick. The rest have thrived and are doing well.

    I wouldn't put a whole lot of worry into "whose fault" it is the chick died.

    It happens.
  10. oEch0o

    oEch0o Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 5, 2017
    I'd only ever held her twice before all this happened. Once was only about a minute to take a picture. I get it happens. It's happened every year I've had them but this one was so quick

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