Failure to thrive question ??

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by realsis, Mar 6, 2016.

  1. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

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    my chicks for this year have not arrived yet. they won't ship until April 11th. But I love to read about everyone's experiences and I've seen many of what I'd consider " failure to thrive" incidents. Not eating,not drinking, not walking, and not growing. I was wondering if anyone knows what CAUSES this to happen? is it a illness? Is it a internal deformity we can't see? I've read of folks trying EVERYTHING to help these little guys and it seems most cases no matter how much supportive care, don't end well.
    is there always at least 1 failure to thrive in each hatch? or is it a random thing? or was the shipping stress just too much for the little guys? What do you all think causes this condition? I'm very curious. Did something go wrong while forming? or genetics? I'd love to hear what you all think. Thanks.
     
  2. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

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    I could write a book on "failure to thrive". It's a subject dear to my heart. Usually three things can cause this.
    1. travel stress. here's how td deal with the stress, all other things being correctly supportive of the chicks:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/746509/how-to-deal-with-travel-stress-in-baby-chicks
    2. Illness. That's the breeder's responsibility. Not to sell diseased or deformed chicks. Sometimes the best thing to do is cull them, get a refund and start over. The 1st 2 weeks are very important to the chicks overall life potential. Experts will tell you not to breed birds which have been sick. , esp. during this time as it has a negative effect o their overall growth to potential. I know it sounds hard. If you have sick chicks, replace them and start over again. The best adults grow from robust chicks!
    3. Failure to meet the neonate chicks special developmental needs. The chick is hatched as an immature being. The 1st week a huge amount of development goes on in the G.I. tract. Never believe the nutty notion chicks don't need to eat for the 1st 2 days because they have a yolk sac.
    The chick needs the yolk sac to provide nutrition for developing body systems when it hatches. If feed is withheld, the chick uses the yolk sac for feed purposes . This means it is not used for the underlying development of the chick and it does cause the chick not to grow to its entire potential.
    The trick with neonatal chicks is to get the G.I. tract up and running with the proper ratios of the proper flora as soon as possible. Do not feed your neonatal chicks all kinds of weird stuff. That's not the issue they have. What they have is an immature, rapidly developing G.I. tract which needs to be able to uptake quickly and efficiently all the nutrition it needs to nurture the foundation upon which its immune system will mature.
    Yes, the immune system is maturing and it needs an adequate supply of nutrition for it to become the best foundation for the immune system. Never forget this fact.
    There are multiple ways to meet the chick's nutrition needs in a way it can process the nutrition. Quick-Start is a commercial chick feed additive which has the things a chick needs to thrive.
    http://en.engormix.com/agranco-corp/quickstart-sh24_pr43.htm
    Personally, tho I may transition to Quick-Start, I have had fab success with Bovidr Labs Poultry-Nutri-Drench. http://www.nutridrench.com This top flight emergency nutritional supplement does not need to be digested. It mainlines directly into the bloodstream. I add it to the chick's water from hatch. The water looks like very weak tea. I have used it on my chicks and have never had a death or sickness with them. They thrive and are robust big chicks. I get my small bottle of Poultry Nutri-Dench at tractor Supply. The 6.99 bottle I enough for a whole season.
    So there ya go, that's the short version of the problem. All other things being equal, it's all about supporting the G.I. tract. Think of your chicks as walking G.I tracts.
    Best,
    karen
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2016
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  3. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

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    I can't thank you enough!! Your answer is AWSOME!! I even book marked it so I can refer to it in the future! THANK YOU SO MUCH!! I do have a brand new bottle of nutri-drench I also usually give my chicks and adults probios for poultry. it's a probotic that I came across when a chick of mine had pasty butt years back. it works wonders. it has 10,000,000,colony forming units per gram. it's by far the best and most diverse probotic I've seen yet. what's your take on probotics? I've always given to my chicks after how well it helped my babies with pasty butt. I'd love to hear your opinion. Thank you so much!!
     
  4. DaveNay

    DaveNay Out Of The Brooder

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    I have absolutely zero experience raising chicks, so anything I say should in no way be taken as an argument against those of you with experience....

    My base theory is this...birds are fragile creatures! Even mature birds of all species are fragile when compared to mammals. We have lost five chicks (out of 38) in this, our first ever batch of chicks. We have provided electrolytes in their water, we have used the feed gel product (the exact name escapes me at the moment), we have cleaned their brooder, we have changed the water twice per day, we have a large heating plate with plenty of room for all the chicks, there is plenty of cool space for the chicks to self-regulate their temperature, we have checked for and cleaned pasty-butt.

    Just this morning when I checked on the them before going to work, there were two dead. One was outside the heater plate, the other was under the plate in the middle of the flock.

    Did the one outside the plate get lost in the dark and not able to get warm again? Maybe? (We don't have a light on at night)

    Did the one under the plate get stuck in the middle and was unable to get out from too much heat? Maybe.

    I don't think we have done anything "wrong" with our flock. Birds are fragile creatures, and 0-7 day old chicks are even more so.
     
  5. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    3rivers, you need to put that post into an article if you haven't already done it! https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/create/type/0

    My experience with failure to thrive was with two chicks over the years. Neither had a good ending.

    One was a "runt", and refused to eat, was lethargic and I did pull him through to survive to three or four months when the little guy was picked off by a predator because he was so small.

    The other was recent, and it was probably a combo of shipping stress and genetics. She lived a total of five days.
     
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  6. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

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    This is the only reason I may move to Quick-Start. It has probiotics as well as the other things like vitamins and enzymes, etc. for which I gave the Poultry-Nutri-Drench. However, I don't know if Quick-Start will need to be digested or not. For me, that is the huge advantage of the Poultry Nutri-Drench. The Drenchs' ability to bypass the digestive system and still supplement the chicks. I have never given my chicks anything but the chick feed and the Nutri-Drench water solution. This leads me to believe there is something going on where for some reason they do fine without the probiotics if they have the Nutri-Dench water. It is something I am researching because I want to know "why". I need to get with some researchers to get the answer.
    In the meanwhile, I would never say no to probiotics, esp. since the huge hatcheries of commercial broilers find them so advantageous. Is there something in the forumulation of the Drench which is helping cause the proper ratios of flora to form in the G.I. tract without actually using probiotics? It is part of the research project I am doing which hasn't been done yet. I know that in Fastrack Canine Gel for canine neonates ( which should be given to newborn puppies by mouth within the 1st 18 hours of life { before colostrum closure} )....this Gel contains specialized proteins which make it hard for the harmful pathogens to get themselves up in the puppies' G.I. tract. I have wondered if something in the formulation of Poultry Nutri-Drench has the same effect. I need to find out.
    My problem with probiotics is the hot atmosphere of the brooder in which they are used. I am not familiar with the ability of yogurt and such dairy probiotics to stay safe under 90 degree temps. Esp. with a hot light shining down on it. How long should the dairy products be allowed to stay in the brooder before they go "bad"? If they do go "bad" does it impact the chicks heath? ( personally I think so), but I do not have data on it yet). So I have not used dairy products in my brooders for probiotics for chicks.
    Now these new commercial formulations like Quick-Start are another matter. I think I will find when I check that the probiotics in them are specialized strains which have been adapted to withstand high temps before spoiling. I am working on that now. Just need to contact some folks. From reading the scientific journals and Company blogs, the various companies making these "pre-starter" ( 1st 12 days of life) chick feed supplements are very proud of the various probiotic strains they have combined or created for their products. Personally ( no data) I think it would be foolish to go to that trouble without making sure the probiotic strains would stay stable and safe under a wide range of conditions and temps in the commercial marketplace.
    Best,
    Karen
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2016
  7. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

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    Oh I am so sorry for your losses. Sounds like you are doing everything right. Everything you are giving your chicks, including the electrolytes, needs to be digested. If they are under any stress ( who knows what it could be from?) then their G.I. tracts don't function optimally. They will not efficiently uptake all of the helps you are giving. That's why a cattle breeder created the Bovidr Labs drenches for many species. To bypass the gastrointestinal challenges of the new hatched and newborn, speeding them the helps they need.
    Warm Regards,
    Karen
     
  8. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    I like to track the weight of my chick to help see early signs of failure to thrive. From the data I've collected it seem that most chick lose weight for the first 2-5 days, but by day 6-7 are usually trending up.



    Data is entered on this page:
    [​IMG]


    This one just charts their weight from the day they hatch
    [​IMG]

    This lines up to day zero for all chicks and plots their gains and losses from day zero
    [​IMG]

    This shows the losses and gains for the first ten days
    [​IMG]

    This calculates the four medications shown based on the most current weight of a chick

    [​IMG]


    -Kathy
     

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