Dying chicks, need some help, tips....ANYTHING!!


In the Brooder
8 Years
Aug 10, 2011
Warren, Ontario
I bought some EE chicks at an auction on Saturday. Most appeared in decent shape, some were missing a few feathers, however all seemed active and happy, no outward signs of any illness, clear nostrils, clear eyes, energetic and frisky. They ate and drank like starving lions when they got home, while some were a little skinny...it wasn't outrageous. Fast foreward to yesterday morning, I go in the barn to do chores, and check babies, One is dead as the proverbial doornail. I think ok, maybe it was stress? Last night, after bringing in what some people say passes for cows (sissies really) I check in the brooder and ANOTHER ONE IS DEAD!!!!
This mornign resulted in no deaths. So I was like, ok... maybe its over!
Come home at 4 and lo and behold I thought I had another dead one, grabbed it up and it BLINKED! So Ive brought "her" inside and gave her a mix of water, corn syrup and a prenatal vitamin with a bit of tetrecycline in it, because I had no idea what to do....

(I apologize for the rambling)
Heres a rundown of her vital stats before treatment and after:
-Lying flat out on side legs extended.
-shallow quick resp.
-neck extended (closed mouth, nose clear, no raspiness, gurgling etc)
-eyes closed

Gave " Anne's homemade I-hope-this-doesnt-kill-it Chick juice by dropper and!
Approx 5 minutes later it was:

-no longer recumbent but sitting up, eyes open and chirping. Offered a boiled egg yolk and wetted crumbles it has no will to eat. She's scarily thin, her little crop is empty. But she stood up and even tried to jump out, shes currently sleeping on her sternum. She also pooped (which appeared normal)

Anyone have any clue at all what this could possibly be?? Thanks if you do, if you don't I appreciate you reading this long winded rant anyways!
I'd bring them inside. It's untelling how long they were without food or water while awaiting their turn at the auction. Very young chicks do no do well with so much handling especially at an auction. Bring them in and provide vitamin enhanced water and chick feed moistened with plain yogurt.
Temps are fine. There doesn't appear to be any sign of actual illness, because nothing to my knowledge should kill that quickly. There should conceivably be some sort of outward symptoms. Its only the under 1 month old's that are dying off. They're all currently in the barn in separate brooders. They are separated accordingly into the lots I purchased. aside from 1 week old chick that died they all came from the same box.
I just got chicks a few days ago, and one ( a small hamburg) passed one the 1st day, but that was to be expected and the rest were very healthy and they included an extra hamburg...but just now I noticed another hamburg cannot stand/walk (3 days later) it's legs are not out to the side....yet, but it is going down I can feel it...what types of things do chicks get....how do I prevent the rest of my chicks form getting sick...I did not give them shots...I dont even know how or where to get them from, an have never done it before...could that be it? could it just be a weak one...it seemed fine the last few days? It is never fun to see a dead baby
Try adding some PolyViSol vitamins (infant drops available at drug stores in Ontario) make sure you get the regular ones, not the ones with iron in them. It sounds to me like they're run down and undernourished from the auction. I'm no expert but I've read online here that auctions are not recommended places to buy chickens, you just don't know what they've been exposed to, how they've been handled and cared for. I like the idea of moving them indoors too, just until they're over this bad spell. Hope some of them survive, poor babies! Good luck.
Just did some quick re-search as my chick seems the same as yours...they seem fine and then poof...the 1st I chalked up to shipping stress, now the next has gone down, 3-4 days later... no sickness, so spradle leg, no joint swelling, clear eyes, very alert, eating and drinking fine, but it does not want to get up, and has to use its wings to balance its self when I make it move....Avian encephalomyelitis causes damage to the central nerves system, there is no cure, but some chicks do survive and then have immunity, they get it from the egg and their mom if it has not been vacated...MM had an outbreak in 08 I believe, and I found alot of information about it through them....I tried holding my baby on its back to see if I could see the 'tell tale' tremors but I did not see any...It may not be this with your either, just a thought, but try holding them on their back and if you see leg tremors after a few min, then that may be it...separate them and clean the brooders...I hope no more of mine get it, and that the quarantined one has something else wrong with it, and that it will recover
it seems FINE except for it will not walk...Any Other Ideas???? This is just my shot in the dark at it
sooooo frustrating! I know!

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom