High Chick Mortality Rate - Any suggestions welcome!!!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by louis, Feb 20, 2009.

  1. louis

    louis Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 20, 2009
    Texas Hill Country
    I posted this as a reply to another thread but in case no one's seen it wanted to give it one more try. I want to be the best father to my new babies!

    New member here with McMurray chicks - started with 19 Rhode Island Reds, 9 White Plymouth Rocks, 1 Exotic.

    Received 2 days ago, Wednesday the 18th. They hatched Saturday so I'm afraid the holiday Monday kept 'em in the box a day longer than they would have been.

    Within 2 hrs I head lost 2 RIR and the exotic. By the end of the day, another RIR. Yesterday morning another RIR and one Rock dead 8 am. I've been a temperature nazi, waking up throughout the night to check on them and haven't seen it dip below 88F. Water's clean and plentiful, feed, etc. Keeping their brooder and even their little heineys clean. Started them with GroGel Plus the first day.

    I checked on them 3:30am today-they looked great. Again at 7:30 and 2 more RIR + 1 Rock gone!!!

    This is getting out of hand and I feel terrible. I've lost a total of 9 out of 29 and I know that's WAY too much. Can this just be weak ones from the extended shipment??? If so, I should have lost all I would have by now, right? Any suggestions VERY welcome. Please go easy...this is my first flock.
  2. TXmom

    TXmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sorry you're having such a rough start [​IMG] I'm sure it's because of the increased amount of shipping time.

    I think the GroGel was a great idea, I gave that to mine also. Watch them eating their starter crumbles...when I watched mine I noticed they were picking them up and dropping more than they ate. Even the crumbles were too big for them as tiny babies. I put the crumbles in my Magic Bullet (a small blender) for a few seconds and ground them up smaller. The baby chicks were able to eat more and faster, which would be important for yours who were without food for several days.

    You can also offer them crumbled up hard-boiled egg. It's very nutritious for them and the LOVE it! I've heard that yogurt and cooked oatmeal are good, but mine weren't too interested in those when I offered.

    Best wishes for the rest of you babies!
  3. Chicken Woman

    Chicken Woman Incredible Egg

    Oct 16, 2008
    I would be calling McMurray. They should know better than to ship over the holiday ! [​IMG]
    There have been several other people on other threads that have had the same situation and a few that had DOA's.
    I would insist that they replace the chicks as they were stressed from being in the box to long ! If the person you speak with says no then ask to speak with her supervisor.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 20, 2009
  4. birdsofparadise

    birdsofparadise Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 15, 2008
    North Kohala, Hawaii
    Iʻm having the same problem with Ideal. 25 ameraucanas, three days old and 18 have died. I took one to church today and tracked down the local Vet. He said its probably Aspergillosis and untreatable. He also warned me that I might lose the entire order. Trust me, Ideal has been put on notice to replace them or credit me. If not, Iʻll protest my Visa charge. The 5 each of two other breeds seem fine. Just the EEʻs are dropping.
  5. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    Last year I got the rainbow layers. 11 were dead within 5 days.

    I save the rest by putting tetracycline in their water w/ a little sugar.
  6. AK-Bird-brain

    AK-Bird-brain I gots Duckies!

    May 7, 2007
    Sterling, Alaska
    When you put them in the brooder did you dip everyones beak into the water and food?
  7. birdsofparadise

    birdsofparadise Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 15, 2008
    North Kohala, Hawaii
    Yep, did the dip thing and even put Gro-Gel B on their food. The brooder is 94 degrees at the floor and has 20% humidity. Its open topped, so ventilation isnʻt a problem. Everyone else is eating fine, but the ameraucanas are dropping like flies.
  8. Patchesnposies

    Patchesnposies Chickens.....are my ONE weakness!

    Mar 5, 2008
    Southern New Mexico
    Same thing with my order of 100 prod red chicks from Ideal. 2 DOA then we lost 7 more over the next several days. That is almost 10 percent of our order.

    Their customer service person (Mikaela) hasn't been real personable either. Short terse emails with nary an apology.

    I have another order due to ship on the 2nd of March and I am wondering if I should cancel it.

    I am worried that I won't get the types of chciks I want because ALOT has sold out since I placed the order.

    It is good to know I am not the only one having problems with an order...though it doesn't make me any happier to know others are losing birds too.

    Sorry about your EE'ers.
  9. birdsofparadise

    birdsofparadise Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 15, 2008
    North Kohala, Hawaii
    If you need it, the owners of Ideal can be reached at 800-243-3257 - Ext 5561 for Monroe and Ext 5562 for Janet.

    Good luck.

    PS: The industry standard for large nursery mortality is 3.2% or roughly one chick in 35. If you are having a higher rate, something is wrong.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2009
  10. TammyTX

    TammyTX Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 16, 2009
    I would also find out from your Post Office what their delivery policy is for live animals. I ordered from McMurray for a Feb 16 delivery too and the post office in Austin called me Sunday night and arranged for me to pick up on Monday morning....so someone may have dropped the ball at the post office.

    I haven't been nearly as vigilant as you have been and I have only had one out of 43 birds die. The others are very vigorous (so far). [​IMG]

    But as someone else said I think McMurray should re-think their holiday delivery date through the post office.

    I'm very sorry for your loss.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2009

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