Frustrated!!!!!!!!!!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by bird-brain, May 30, 2012.

  1. bird-brain

    bird-brain Chirping

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    I'm not sure where to put this post. If this is not the proper spot I apologize. We recently acquired our first baby chicks. We've had adults and I have several parrot breeds so I am not a complete bird moron but I am chick clueless. For that reason (and I need less than 10 chickens) we bought from a farm. The man seemed to have a great deal of knowledge about the breed I was interested in and in raising chickens in general. He had a beautiful coop, everything was clean, birds were friendly, he made me a brooder because I didn't have one and had lots of questions about doing it properly, he was going to sex my chicks for me...and on and on it goes.

    We missed and exit on the way home and so our trip ended up being about 3 1/2 hours. 6 2 week old Chicks in a closed transport box. Got home, immediately set up the brooder, chick starter, water etc. brooder is in a bathroom with the a/c vent closed and well away from the brooder to prevent drafts. I am a nervous mommy so I got up all during the night to check on them.

    Things that went wrong: I had to add another light AND put a heating pad UNDER one half of the brooder he made to get the temp right. I did this within the first half an hour and continued to monitor the temp to make sure I had not gone overkill and gotten it too hot. But the short is that the brooder was not adequate.

    That I noticed one of the chicks sneezing. I read forums, could be environmental, quarantine and watch closely. Next day more sneezing chicks. First chick has nasal discharge, called the vet, began antibiotic therapy. Called the breeder to inform him, he asks "is it just a cold?" ARE U KIDDING ME?

    Oh, and lets talk about the "sexing" of the chicks...They all have black wing feathers. ALL of them. I don't know if he bred from hatchery stock so I will have black tips on my hens or if everyone of them is a roo.

    Then to top it off, the one chick that I had that had never sneezed nor developed a runny nose was dead in the brooder yesterday afternoon. He was sleeping, no labored breathing, not huddled under the lamp as if freezing. We had dispensed with quarantine as everyone else was symptomatic and it was purely pointless. I am usually very adept at telling if one of my birds is "off" but these guys are so new to me maybe I just missed something.

    I am just so frustrated right now. I have brought my exotics through yeast infections and pneumonia, through liver disease and injury, horses through founder, dogs through cancer and I am flat failing these baby chicks who are 100% times hardier at this age than my psittacines are as adults. I know that nothing incubates in 24 hours and that my chicks were ill when I picked them up. This guy just seems clueless. His chickens will likely always carry respiratory illnesses and he is selling to the public and encouraging them to breed these chickens every year and a half to "replenish their stock". I'm not sure if I need to sacrifice a chick to necropsy to see if it's something that needs to be reported? I am scared to death of my parrots getting ill. I am torn between culling this flock and trying to save them (I'm not a breeder). Right now I wish I didn't know what a chicken was!

    Words of encouragement are appreciated.
     
  2. kearstin17

    kearstin17 Chirping

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    I am new at this chick thing also. Don't be so hard on yourself. you are doing everything you can. I lost a baby chick a few weeks back. (it was 4 weeks) and it was very hard but I didn't give up. My chicks have went through the sneezing and all that as well. i don't have a vet around here that will see / treat chickens so I called the feed store I got them from and they told me to watch them and if they weren't better in a in a week then they could get me meds but after 3 days all was well. I would try not to worry to much about your parrot as long as you are cleaning your hands after handling the chicks and not keeping them in the same room. I keep my baby chicks in a shed outside with the heat lamp and they are just fine. Maybe you could move the babies outside in somthing that would keep them safe but away from the parrot?
     
  3. n8ivetxn

    n8ivetxn Songster

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    I'm new to chicks too, so sorry about your experience. Sneezing doesn't have to equal illness, the runny noses could be any number of things, but I've been told chickens don't have colds. You may consider a necropsy on the dead little one..

    I have some questions:

    Are they eating/drinking/pooping normally?
    What about mobility? Are they moving around?


    My 2 week olds were delivered to me Friday after a 7 hr road trip....

    I have a 250watt red lamp, about 3ft over head, they seem comfortable with that. IMHO you may have too much heat. Try reducing it a little and check to see if they look/act cold.

    I don't know what breed you have, but black wing tips doesn't always indicate roos, feather sexing is not applicable to most breeds. Their feathering will change dramatically as they grow.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. bird-brain

    bird-brain Chirping

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    May 26, 2012
    North GA
    My parrots have a room of their own that actually does not share vents with the main part of the house. Fear of them becoming ill is paranoia on my part. We had just lost our older chickens. One hen and one roo. The hen, pearl, had long ago stopped laying but was delightful to be around and our roo, noodle, was a lap pet. My husband cried like a baby when he buried that roo. These chicks were his early father's day present. The chick that died was sort of his "pick of the litter". I just feel awful.

    I THOUGHT I had done my research. I got an uh-oh vibe from the breeder when he was "sexing" the chicks by feather color ( they are SF's) and kept showing me black feathers and looking under different lightings and saying, "see this is dark brown, this is black" and I could see no difference. NOW I know that the "brown" should be very light and the black is black. I really think he ordered lots of chicks from hatcheries or bought lots from a local feed store and has just started breeding and selling but passes himself off as knowledgeable and a veteran. And as a breeder of lovebirds, horses and former breeder of doberman's and shepherds, I have a real issue with poor backyard breeding technique. If I want everyday quality, I will go to an e hatchery, an auction barn, a puppy mill, a pet store. I go to individuals because I don't want to support the milling of any animal. So yeah, I feel douped and that is a really tough thing for me to deal with because I am a nurse and clinical research associate and am so careful about facts. I just feel stupid right now because I should have gone with my gut and walked out without any chicks.
     
  5. n8ivetxn

    n8ivetxn Songster

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    I have SFs, and yes, they can be feather sexed - he told the truth there.... I'm so sorry. At 2 weeks old mine are easily distinguished - except for one (I think its a roo).

    Some people don't realize the heartache they cause others - plus, damaging their reputation and business when they do unscrupulous things like that....

    Will he take them back?
     
  6. bird-brain

    bird-brain Chirping

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    May 26, 2012
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    Salmon Faverolles so at their reported age feather color can indicate gender with a degree of accuracy.

    Nasal discharge is thick and yellow and indicative of infection per my vet.

    Thermometer reads 84-86 degrees consistently which is on target for 2 wk old chicks after I modified it. (Breeder gave me a set up with a 60 watt light bulb that ran about 74 degrees with light as close as I could get it.)

    mobility... they get up and eat, and drink. I don't have enough knowledge to know how much is normal. Original chick with symptoms, Sneezy she is called now, became very lethargic, I dropper fed her water with antibiotics and hand rearing formula for lovebirds for a day and she perked right up.

    Their poop was runny until I switched to medicated starter which they were not on.

    Hope that clears a few details. :)
     
  7. bird-brain

    bird-brain Chirping

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    May 26, 2012
    North GA
    I feel he should have offered to take them back when I called him with a sick chick but he was evasive and like I said utterly clueless. Just no concept of how severe respiratory infection can be in birds of any kind or the consequences. But to be honest, I am so emotionally invested in this little flock that I have to try to save them. I am not raising meat birds or breeders so I can't escape the thought that culling them is just laziness on my part because I have the time and money to treat them. Other's make their decisions about what works best for them and I have every bit of respect for what they need to do but this is just me and I am incapable of NOT trying to heal something. LOL

    But seriously, dude does not need to be selling chickens. I do understand that SF's can be feather sexed but he had no idea what he was looking for "females have dark brownish black and males a more grayish black" he said. On what planet? I know better now but now is too late. :/
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2012
  8. n8ivetxn

    n8ivetxn Songster

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    I totally understand where you're coming from. I would try to save them too....

    As long as they are eating and drinking, I wouldn't worry about how much....

    It sounds like you're doing all the right things. - The medicated feed helped the runny poop, which is an indication of cocci infection (possibly from unclean environment). The antibiotics appear to be working too.

    You're right, this man should not be selling birds.

    What did the vet give you for antibiotics? Are they water soluble or individually admin w/syringe? I think the latter works better, even though it's more work

    - I have to take lunch, check back later
     
  9. cary 1973

    cary 1973 Songster

    you may want to give them yogart I swear by it and thats one thing that helped save my baby chick when i first brought her home
     
  10. sumi

    sumi Égalité

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    Tipperary, Ireland
    I totally understand your frustration. I've been through 2 dishonest dealers with chicks myself. First time I bought "pullets" that were all roos, except 1 lonely hen and the second time I ordered 2 week old RIR pullets and got day old x breeds of which many turned into roos...
    And I totally understand that you don't want to cull. You fall in love so quickly with those fluffy butts! [​IMG]

    I read through the whole thread now and I think you must report this guy. I'm friends with our local state employed vet. I've been talking to my friend and his employer about disease, neglected flocks, quarantine etc. and they really, really want to know if anyone has sick chickens that can potentially affect neighbouring farms and they will freak if they hear of anyone round here selling sick chicks. They take things like this very seriously. Believe me. If this guy is selling sick chicks, knowingly or not, he is potentially causing lots of problems. You are worried about your parrots. What about other customers who may have large flocks of chickens?
    Please contact your state vet or someone overseeing poultry matters in your state and tell them what happened. He/they will probably ask you for the dead chick so they can send it off for tests etc. (They do that with my chickens)
     

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