Does anyone else in SoCal have sick 4 week old chicks?


In the Brooder
8 Years
Sep 4, 2011
We have gold(rooster) and silver(hen) seabrights that hatched out 7 chicks. They are about 4 weeks old. One got a goopy eye a couple of days ago- it was the runt so we thought it had been picked on. Anyway, it is doing ok; however, one of the larger chicks started sort of gasping for air today and by this evening it was dead. When we looked under its wing feathers there were not any feathers and some of the skin looked like it had small sores on it. I didn't see any evidence of mites. We have had chickens for years and never had any get sick. The weather here last week was super hot! My son watered down their outdoor pens to keep the ground cool. We haven't seen any evidence of bloody poop. I bought Duramycin and Sulmet today. We are using the Duramycin in the water currently-started it this afternoon. I've looked up everything I can find on the internet. Coryza and mycoplasma seem the most similar to what we have observed, but there is no horrible smell coming from the chicks or their parents. They are all outdoors in a 5x10 foot door kennel with chicken wire wrapped around the bottom 2 feet.

I would love to talk to anyone near us who is having similar issues. I've tried calling cdfa, but since it is Sunday and tomorrow is a holiday, we can't speak to anyone. I double freezer bagged the affected chick and put it into the freezer. I don't know if tests can be run on it after it is frozen, but otherwise it would rot. HELP! We don't want to lose any more birds. We also have a leghorn who just hatched 7 chicks last weekend.


10 Years
Nov 9, 2009
Hawthorne, CA

Specimens Packing Guidelines
Several inexpensive options exist for packing your laboratory samples in a manner that guarantees your specimens will arrive in optimal condition for testing. CAHFS receives many samples that are needlessly destroyed or made unsuitable for testing because of poor packaging.

See our Shipping and Courier Services page for information on various delivery options.

The most common specimen/sample packing problems can be prevented with these simple guidelines:
Isolate the submission form from the samples in a waterproof bag. Your specimen may arrive in "processable condition" but if we cannot read your submission form due to liquid leakage blurring the information, we cannot process the specimen.

This package is a good example of the proper way to prepare a shipment:

1. The individual specimens are separated into the correct type of individual containers and further secured in plastic bags, as necessary. 2. The packages are placed within a box with gel-pack ice and the submission forms are placed in separate zippered plastic bags. 3. The box is filled with crumpled paper (or other filler) to minimize movement of the specimens.
This package is a poor example of shipping a specimen:
These specimen tubes were sent via U.S. Mail in a regular, non-padded envelope. The submission form was also unprotected within the envelope. All the glass tubes were shattered, the contents destroyed and the submission form was barely legible.
* Double-bag any fresh tissues. Organs placed in a single Ziploc or whirl-pak bag will leak.
Do not put multiple loose glass tubes in a container (bag or box) for transport as one or more tubes will often break. We recommend using Styrofoam mailers or the foil-pack method pictured below for shipping all glass tubes.

Place the glass tubes in a sheet of foil with end caps alternating top to bottom so that the rubber caps may add a cushioning effect to the neighboring tube bottom. For all vacutainer tubes, we recommend packaging the tubes in groups of ten and in the same order that they are recorded on your laboratory submission form. Fold the foil securely across the tubes while keeping the tubes flat on the surface of the table. Compress the foil tightly around the flat row of tubes to further help prevent the tubes from moving. Place one foil packet inside one zippered plastic bag. Push as much air out of the bag as possible and then zip lock the bag closed. Label the bag with the corresponding number sequence that is noted on the submission form (samples 1-10, 11-20, etc.).
Place these individually wrapped and labeled packages in a box with adequate padding, such as crushed newspaper, and include ice packs as necessary. It is also highly recommended that you place some cushioning material between an ice pack and a package of specimen tubes.
If using a vacutainer box, you must secure the tubes in the box by placing strips of packing tape across the tops of the tubes and adhering the tape to the box or by wrapping the entire box in foil. If the tubes are not properly secured in the box, they could fall out and break if the shipping container is turned upside down.

If your samples must arrive at CAHFS frozen, you must ship them using dry ice. Do not transport specimens using wet ice which will melt and leak.
For formalin-fixed samples, choose an appropriate container (no yogurt/cottage cheese tubs) and seal it tightly. We recommend also using parafilm and/or placing in a double bag with absorbent material. CAHFS frequently receives containers with leaking formalin.
For snap-caps to seal, you MUST place your thumb on the top of the cap and use a very firm pressure downward to "lock" the cap tightly. If the cap freely moves, the cap is not tightly sealed. Once the cap is firmly snapped in place, the plastic cap will not move. Adding a parafilm wrap around the cap will provide an extra measure of safety and security for the formalin, or any liquid in any type of tube.


In the Brooder
8 Years
Sep 4, 2011
Thank you for your replies. I finally got in touch with the lab in San Bernardino and I was able to drive the dead chicks there after work today. Thankfully I had read the replies and knew I needed to refrigerate them. I frozen the chick that died on Saturday and refrigerated the one that died last night. Hopefully they will have results tomorrow so that I know what we are up against. So far the rest of the flock seems to be fine, but the other chicks were fine in the a.m. and dead by evening, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I will report back when we get results from the lab.

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