i am the chicken angel of death

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by MarissaMHM, Aug 4, 2013.

  1. MarissaMHM

    MarissaMHM Hatching

    May 28, 2013
    we were so, so, so excited about becoming chicken parents... but we have killed EVERY SINGLE ONE. i just don't know what to think anymore!

    here's my history as a chicken killer:

    we got three chicks from california hatchery (an easter egger, barred rock, and a sussex) in early june.
    got them set up in the brooder and within 24 hours the EE and the BR died. just laid down and died.
    i figured they must have been too weak/stressed from the journey (california to florida). they died within 2 hours of each other and it was heart breaking.

    we had the sussex left and waited 48 hours before adding in three more babies (three golden buffs from meyer hatchery).

    they all lived happily together for 5 days before i gave them some hard boiled egg yolk and within 30 minutes ALL FOUR DIED. clearly, something was up with the egg. they all had seizures and died in exact size order (smallest to largest). SO SAD.

    back to square one.

    we got three 3 week old chicks from the local feed store: barred rock, orp, and a rhode island red.

    they all lived through their chick hood (finally!!!). then, two weeks ago we left town for two weeks when they were about 2-3 months old and had a family member coming to let them out in the morning and lock them up at night... but we came home to find out a racoon had gotten into the coop and killed them all! :****(

    back to square one.... again.

    just two days ago we got three one week old babies from the feed store (barred rock, EE, and black laced wynd.).
    they've been okay for two days, growing and active, and just now we found the EE dead. she was the biggest one and everyone seemed to be getting along great... but she's dead.

    i'm very, very suspicious that the BR will not make it through the night. she's acting kinda funny; not very balanced on her feet. so far the wyandotte seems okay, but with our luck there's no way she's going to live.

    why in the world are we so incompetent at this!?!?! it's so very, very sad.

    any thoughts??

    our coop is a big, big plastic tub. we've been using sand as bedding (but, with this batch we hadn't even gotten to the sand yet, as it seems like if i put in in too early they eat the sand instead of their food, so i've been keeping them on puppy liners and paper towels for a few days), they are on medicated feed and nothing else (no treats after the egg incident), and plain water (nothing added). we use the brinsea eco glow for heat, which doesn't seem like a problem, as they go in and out at will to regulate their temp. what else could or should i be doing???

    i'm fairly certain we are going to be chickless again in a day.

    so we start over AGAIN? am i missing something???
    do we throw in the towel and give up?
    do we just get full grow chickens and forget about trying to hand raise them ourselves?
    how is this so hard??????

  2. farmgirlroots

    farmgirlroots Chirping

    Apr 20, 2013
    My Coop
    So sorry...that has got to be beyond frustrating. I'm sure someone on here will have some feedback for you (wish I did)!
  3. My only thought is that, there might be something wrong with your brooder box, you did a great job explaining you ordeal, I am sooo sorry...maybe, one of your first lots of chicks, had some disease that has gotten in the plastic? Some diseases never go way, and can live on you, in your house, on your land, ect. one of them is Marek's. not saying that is what it is...but am highly suspsious, since you continue to lose birds, that something, disease wise, is going on on your premisies....the only thing that you mentioned that is consistant with all the chicks is the same brooder box...I would start there, change to a new, or even build a wooden one, can be done very cheap, they will do the cutting, and all you have to do is nail it together...

    Just seems it is not usual, everything else is different...are you being care with not tracking things back into your home or premises? Like from the feed store, or where ever you buy feed? Do you bleach out and rinse their water container, and feeder before using them? Or between batches of chicks?

    Sorry I'm not any help...just trying to brain storm from readin what you said...this is baffleling for sure but doesn't sound like you are killing them...just not sure what is????

    Again, sooo sorry, this has to be horrible for you...praying things get better!!! You seem to be doing all the basic care right, I read nothing wrong in what you are doing!!!!
    1 person likes this.
  4. Angelicisi

    Angelicisi Crowing

    Mar 26, 2013
    Baton Rouge area
    My Coop
    Where is your brooder located? Do you have a lamp? Is it too hot? Or is there a draft? Have you sprayed pesticides within 3 months near where chicks are? Like spraying a bug barrier spray that's residual to kill bugs longer, a dying bug gets gobbled up so does the toxin. Or a wasp nest sprayed and some got in the water dish? (happened to a lady I know :( ) .

    Temperature, toxins or just horrible luck? Don't stop trying! Sorry it must be heartbreaking :(
  5. Angelicisi

    Angelicisi Crowing

    Mar 26, 2013
    Baton Rouge area
    My Coop
    Maybe the small number orders got banged around a bit in shipping? Gave them a rough start? Can you find some local chicks to raise? Or add vitamins and electrolights upon arrival?

    I feel for you, just throwing out possibilities, no accusing or blame meant at all.
  6. Fancychooklady

    Fancychooklady Crowing

    Jun 14, 2012
    Tasmania. Australia
    I would have to agree, change your brooder box. The first 7 days of a chicks life are when they are at their most vulnerable . Are you feeding medicated chick starter? I'm not familiar with "hatchery birds" as I'm in Aus, but I would be thinking about having some corrid( amprolium ) on hand. Perhaps the chicks are already infected when you buy them. Could also just be wrotten luck! Sorry for your loss.
  7. The bigger hatcheries do pretty good, although the genes are all mixed up so you get a "mutt" chick, but the bigger ones do have less loses, around 5-10% of what they hatch...but the chicks are from the same production chicks that are used, so they are basic production mutts...bred to be great layers for a couple years, then you run into problems with egg retention, ect...the smaller hatcheries drop ship, ie, order eggs from a bigger hatchery or sell, at a profit to themselves direct from the bigger hatcheries and have them shipped to the person....a few smaller hatcheries do lay and hatch their own chicks but I have not found the ones that do yet...still, they make good pets..maybe get some eggs too...but are FAR from the standard...and with the genetics being a mix match, you can get get problems from that later in the chickens life or lately, I have been reading a lot of chicks are sick and dying, and I am not so sure it is shipping stress...but more genetic issues or even diseases that they didn't catch in time...Just so you know a little more about hatcheries, from across the pond [​IMG] How do you all get your chicks? I love learning!!
  8. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Crossing the Road

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    I think you have been getting chicks who are stressed in shipping--and you can even get those at feed store because I have seen a few at Tractor Supply just start dying. Even feed stores get them in the mail. The ones that died after eating egg yolk--did you mash it first? Anyway, I think you need to get some chicks locally from a breeder near you. That would probably insure that they are not stressed in shipping.
  9. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    I hope it's not too hot. Are they eating and drinking? You really see them eating and drinking? Are they all being fed from the same bag? Could it be bad feed?
  10. Fancychooklady

    Fancychooklady Crowing

    Jun 14, 2012
    Tasmania. Australia
    Thank you for your detailed description, I think I now have a better handle on " hatcheries" in the US!'. I grow my own. I just now went in lock down. I have silkie, coronation & light sussex and some silver laced Wyandotte in the incubator . Last spring I bought some day old slw, but they were delivered by the breeder, a 4 hour drive. I can't imagine the RSPCA allowing live chicks to be posted in Aus.

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