Help... baby chicks are dying

toverly

In the Brooder
Mar 23, 2018
13
3
14
On Wednesday I received 17 chicks from Meyer Hatchery that were hatched on Monday. That day I took them out of the shipping box and put them in the warm brooder box with plenty of heat options and fresh water and organic chick starter. I mixed up the grogel stuff that came with the chicks and gave that to them which they picked at and seemed to enjoy. within 4 hours one chick had died then over night another one died then Thursday the rest all looked active and healthy but then Thursday night another chick died and Friday morning another one died and not Friday night one more has died and its little buddy is almost dead (these two were always together from the start they played together and slept together) its so sad I found the half alive one laying on top of its best friend that was dead. What am i doing wrong? they have clean water and food and enough heat but also space away form heat if they want. of the 17 5 have died and one is almost dead... i feel horrible what am i doing to kill them?
 

sylviethecochin

Free Ranging
Jun 14, 2017
5,499
11,305
701
Central PA
That sounds like it's shipping stress, and almost certainly not your fault.

Try using electrolytes instead of water
2 tbsp corn syrup OR honey OR sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 pinch salt
2 quarts water.

This will hydrate them better, and give an energy boost. Clean it out every twelve hours so that bacteria don't decide to grow in the solution.

Make sure that whatever you're using for heat is warm enough and that they're not huddled under it.

Make sure that none of the poops are any sort of red, and that it doesn't match this common disease. If it does match, you can get a pack of Corid from TSC.

Good luck, and I hope they make it.

Welcome to BYC.
 

ButtonquailGirl14

Crossing the Road
Jul 13, 2017
7,171
15,307
967
Northport WA
That sounds like it's shipping stress, and almost certainly not your fault.

Try using electrolytes instead of water
2 tbsp corn syrup OR honey OR sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 pinch salt
2 quarts water.

This will hydrate them better, and give an energy boost. Clean it out every twelve hours so that bacteria don't decide to grow in the solution.

Make sure that whatever you're using for heat is warm enough and that they're not huddled under it.

Make sure that none of the poops are any sort of red, and that it doesn't match this common disease. If it does match, you can get a pack of Corid from TSC.

Good luck, and I hope they make it.

Welcome to BYC.
x2
 

bobbi-j

Enabler
11 Years
Mar 15, 2010
15,880
33,145
1,092
On the MN prairie.
:welcome
I'm sorry your first post has to be asking about dying chicks. What does their poop look like? My first thought when baby chicks are dying that fast is coccidiosis. You might want to see if you can get Corid for them (check our local feed store - it may be in the cattle aisle) and put it in their water. I have never used it, but I found a post by another member giving dosages:

Sorry your chick is so ill. Have you checked for pasty butt? That and coccidiosis are two of the biggest problems with young chicks. If it's vent is caked with chalky white urates it becomes constipated and backed up and this will kill it quite quickly. Soaking in warm water and gently rubbing (sometimes a moistened cotton bud or Q-Tip is useful) to dissolve and tease out any obstruction is the course of action for this and then coating the vent in ointment to prevent further caking and ensuring that the chick gets plenty of fluids. If it is coccidiosis the chick will usually stand hunched and poop will often be loose, possibly bloody or mucous like. treatment for that is Corid (amprolium) found in the cattle section of the feed store. If you get the liquid, a drop or two directly into the chicks beak is beneficial if the chick is seriously ill and then 2teaspns to a gallon of water, prepared fresh every day for 10 days and it is best to treat all chicks. If you get the powder, then it is 1.5 teaspns per gallon of water.

Another thing to think about is the type of heat lamp you have. If it says Shatter proof or shatter resistant, it could have a teflon coating which is toxic to them.

Sylviethecochin also has some good advice. I would also contact the hatchery about the deaths. They may or may not reimburse you, but they do need to know that at least two of them died almost right away.
 
Last edited:

toverly

In the Brooder
Mar 23, 2018
13
3
14
i did add sugar too the water yesterday but i'll add the soda and salt now.

no red poops.

it's making me rethink my decision for sure... should i find a vet to take them all to or how can i save the remaining ones
 

jonalisa

Codswallop!
May 28, 2013
1,240
1,370
301
NH
My Coop
My Coop
I recommend Poultry Nutridrench. Give a drop directly by mouth. It absorbs quickly on contact, no waiting for digestion. Always keep some on hand, it can be a miracle worker. Get it at tractor supply.

That said, are you checking for pasty butt?
 

bobbi-j

Enabler
11 Years
Mar 15, 2010
15,880
33,145
1,092
On the MN prairie.
i did add sugar too the water yesterday but i'll add the soda and salt now.

no red poops.

it's making me rethink my decision for sure... should i find a vet to take them all to or how can i save the remaining ones
Depending on where you live, you may have a hard time finding a vet to look at them. Most are clueless about chickens. I think the NutriDrench might be a good idea to try.

what is pasty butt and how do i check for it
Read the paragraph I copied in my other post. It mentions pasty butt and what to do about it. (I just went back and bolded it so it's easier to read).
 

PrincessLea2

Chirping
5 Years
Nov 18, 2014
31
9
59
Pacific Northwest
i did add sugar too the water yesterday but i'll add the soda and salt now.

no red poops.

it's making me rethink my decision for sure... should i find a vet to take them all to or how can i save the remaining ones

I say keep your little chicks. Don't give up yet, this is a learning experience for sure! If it's shipping stress there's a chance only the weakest ones will die and you'll be left with the strongest chickens. If it's something else you've got good advice in the other coments and have time to treat them. And if all else fails, just get more and start again! Chickens aren't for everyone, but they're definitely worth it!
 

MANNA-PRO

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