Has anyone had problems with MM chicks shipped end of February? Help


In the Brooder
11 Years
Apr 10, 2008
We are taking chicks to MSU in next 3 days to have then checked for AE. Everything was fine in our home incubation, and hatching until I received chicks from hatchery. Now we have several chick that will not eat or drink. Difficult time walking, they fall over, they try to use their wings to balance. Please Advise.


12 Years
Dec 18, 2007
sorry just found what I was looking for.

This is an unedited email from McMurray. Please cross post.

----- Original Message -----
*From:* <removed by myself>
*Sent:* Thursday, March 27, 2008 12:24 PM
*Subject:* McMurray hatchery

Thank you for your email.
Most of your question are answered in the statement below. Turkeys and
Pheasants are grown and hatched in separate facilities from the chickens and
are there for not affected.

If you have any additional question please contact us.

Avian Encephalomyelitis (AE) is passed from the infected hen (the only
symptom being a drop in egg production) through the egg into the chick. Chicks
from infected hens display AE symptoms within two to three weeks of age.
Those chicks are infectious and should be quarantined until well after
symptoms are no longer displayed. All equipment and housing should be
disinfected and litter disposed of properly. Surviving chicks will be
immune to AE in the future, will not shed the virus, and will pass this
immunity on to their offspring.

In February one of our larger breeder flocks had a well water quality
problem. We took corrective action and treated the well water. There was
also a reduction in egg production as well as poor hatchability at that
time. We falsely diagnosed the egg production problem as being water
related. A few weeks ago we had reports of mortality in some birds and
recently we have had a confirmed report of AE, for which our flocks had been
vaccinated. As you can imagine this left us in a quandary as to how this
could have happened.

By consulting with veterinarians we confirmed that AE runs it course in
adult birds for 1 to 2 weeks and the surviving birds are immune. That
period of time has elapsed; *eggs and chicks from our now immune breeding
flocks will not be infected.*

We are sorry for any inconvenience and problems caused and thank you so very
much for your patience and understanding of this most trying time for
McMurray Hatchery. Just as we done for the last 90 years you can again
expect the same high quality chicks in all future orders.


In the Brooder
11 Years
Apr 10, 2008
So this E-mail is from MM. ?! I have been going crazy at home trying to help my 12 year old son keep his chicks alive to take to the fair in August. I am so tearful. We had chicks last year from local farms. Never had 1 problem. Since our MM shipment we have had nothing but problems and headaches.

We purchased the following breeds from MM
Buttercups-7 only 5 remain and 1 is recovering
Golder Penciled Hamburgs-7 only 6 remain
Partridge Rock recovering, multiple problems w/legs and gait
Columbian Wyandotte- recovered initially then culled, leg sprawl and deformity
Barred Rocks- fine
Black Stars-fine
We have lost 3 of our Ameracauna now that hatched after shipment.
We also bought 2 Isa Browns that are now ill(From local seller) that have it

The IB are going to MSU to be tested for AE in a few days,

Horrible. Thanks for all your help. It is very much appreciated


12 Years
Oct 29, 2007
I received my shipment on 3/17. Lost 5 out of 32 within the first week. Since then no problems, still keeping an eye out for AE though.


In the Brooder
11 Years
Apr 10, 2008
Thank you all for your responses. It makes us feel not so alone in this. Has anyone had contact with MM, and if so, were they easy to deal with?


In the Brooder
11 Years
Mar 16, 2008
I'm so sorry that you're having to deal with this issue. I just came to the forum because, after three weeks of nursing our seven AE infected chicks, we just put three of them down. My husband did it with a hatchet and said it was quick. I, however, have been crying my eyes out. I got so attached to them while hand nursing them for so long, I'm heartbroken. I got to know their little individual personalities so well.....

So, I'm writing this because, as I was saying goodbye to the chicks, I realized how much easier it would have been if we'd done it right away, while they were miserable and sick. I clung to the hope that they would recover but they haven't. In all honesty, the four that we are still nursing will probably have to meet the same fate. They just aren't growing and they still can't walk properly. I just wasn't ready to give up on all seven of them at once. I picked the three whose legs were completely useless to say goodbye to today.

It is also worth mentioning that one of our AE chicks did recover enough to go back with the healthy chicks. However, he never showed as bad of symptoms from the start and we were able to put him with the healthy babies within a week. He was always able to stand up and walk, just a little wobbly. And, he will probably always be a little wobbly and smaller than the rest. He's definitely at the bottom of the pecking order and they all pick at him. So, if you have chicks who don't show good recovery within the first week of showing symptoms, I would (hesitatingly) tell you to consider euthanizing early on, before you get too attached to them. I know it's awful to say that, but my sick chicks have no real life. They can't even get to the water by themselves, I have to help them several times a day. It's not fair to them and it's probably selfish of me to keep them alive. But they are very bright-eyed now that the disease has run its course so it's hard to give up on them....

Good luck with your situation. I know it is a difficult thing to deal with. At least for me it is. These chickens are the first pets I've ever had that were my own and it's been just an awful experience.

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