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Help with new chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by KaziCritter, Feb 21, 2014.

  1. KaziCritter

    KaziCritter Out Of The Brooder

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    Just got my first first batch of chicks, had ordered a mixed group of ones listed as good layers (can give breeds ordered if wanted/needed) as well as a few white broilers from Meyer. I did a ton of reading and research before and after ordering, but ofcourse that is no where near hands on experience so I expected running into some complications. I also have experience with a wide variety of animals and am not new to having to nurse them back to health when needed. But here's what I need help on, the chicks all seem to be dying one by one and nothing I have tried has done more then give then an hour or two.

    The chicks hatched on Tuesday and I got them on Thursday at 2 pm. When they arrived, there was 1 shipping casuality (it looked like it got squashed by the heat pack). The rest seemed lively and took right away to drinking (with the electrolyte/vitamin mix from Meyer). They took an hour or so to start investigating the grow-gel. The brooder was all setup, has a heat lamp with a digital thermometor that puts its ground level temp (under the center of the lamp) at 95-98. The house is kept between 65-75 (in case ambient temp is a factor). Most of the chicks were exploring (and trying to investigate my dog). All of them had clear bums and haven't pasted up yet.

    After about 2-3 hours i noticed that one was just laying and wasn't moving at all when bumped or stepped on. After picking it up, I found that it was limp, not moving, but still breathing. I pulled it out to keep it from being trampled, put it on a warm covered heating pad and started offering water. It drank just fine but couldn't stand and wouldnt open its eyes at all. Occasionally it would chirp. In about 2-3 hours it was dead. The next check on the chicks showed another just like it (limp and not moving but still alive). It died quicker then the first.

    So far I've lost 5 like that and have another that is nearly dead (no longer drinking and barely breathing. I've offered plain water, electrolyte mixed water, chick starter "gruel", tried adding honey, and I've tried egg yolk. Only ones that got any response was the electrolyte water (they seemed to drink better with a little honey in it) and the egg yolk.

    Also all of them pecked around a bit when they first went into the brooder, but even with feed scattered about the floor they didn't seem interested in eating it and still don't. I have some on the floor, in the dish I had used for the grow-gel, and a feeder, but it all gets ignored. And now all the chicks in the brooder are passed out (still respond to being disturbed though) but they have spent all day like that and not moving around unless I move them. Just want to make sure I'm not doing something obvious wrong. I didn't expect them all to survive to adulthood, but I can't help but thing I must be doing something wrong since it's one after another. So any advice or help would be much appreciated, if any other info is needed I'll provide it best I can.
     
  2. granny hatchet

    granny hatchet Tastes like chicken Premium Member

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    did you contact the seller? do it right away for warranty. mix 6oz. baby bottle warm water with a tablespoon of sugar. keep dipping their beaks in it. until you see them swallow some. do this as often as you can. i find 10 seconds in the microwave warms the water back up pretty close to what they need.
     
  3. granny hatchet

    granny hatchet Tastes like chicken Premium Member

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    you can also moisten their food with this mix and pick it up in pinches in your fingers and slowly let it drop in front of them . like mama dropping them the food. and use a pencil or fingernail to tap on the feeders and water
     
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    How long have you had them? I'm assuming they came through the mail? Did you pick them up at the post office, or wait until they were delivered to you? What kind of bedding do you have them on? Most hatcheries have a 48 hour replacement warrantee. contact the hatchery right away. The hatchery is probably closed, but they may have voice mail, and you can also use e-mail. My guess is that they got stressed in the mail. How are their poos?
     
  5. KaziCritter

    KaziCritter Out Of The Brooder

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    According to Meyer's site, they want a single death report 48 hours after arrival so I am going to be informing them at lunch time tomorrow.

    Im actually out of sugar (hence using honey). I am offering it (using a 1/2 tsp which they seem to be fine taking it from) every few min. The current one isn't showing any signs of improving yet and so far it's been about 4 hours.
     
  6. granny hatchet

    granny hatchet Tastes like chicken Premium Member

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    you dont have ceder chips or anything like that on the floor do you? and they have air flow, not enclosed like a fish tank?
     
  7. KaziCritter

    KaziCritter Out Of The Brooder

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    I picked them up at the post office at 2 pm yesterday, they were hatched and shipped from Meyer on Tuesday. They shipped from Ohio to California. They are on paper towels right now for bedding. As for their poo, its mostly white and a bit sticky with periodic ones being more normal looking (wet to liquidy white with black bits).
     
  8. granny hatchet

    granny hatchet Tastes like chicken Premium Member

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    Gatorade?
     
  9. KaziCritter

    KaziCritter Out Of The Brooder

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    Brooder is a full table, with a custom sized box that has 3" high sides, panels from those cube storage things (where you can design the storage unit yourself), and window screening to keep them from escaping through the panels. There are no drafts in the room they are in. Haven't put anything but reptiles or fish in a fish tank since I was like 6 and that was mice.
     
  10. granny hatchet

    granny hatchet Tastes like chicken Premium Member

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    its shipping stress and they need to eat. 3 days is pushing it. plus ohio was cold on tuesday. sugar would help i dont know if honey does the same or not. kool-aid?
     

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