I just watched 5 of my day old chicks suddenly act strange and then die in ten minutes!!!Please Help

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by VioletBlueIvy, Feb 13, 2014.

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  1. VioletBlueIvy

    VioletBlueIvy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Please help, about a half hour ago my normal healthy vigerous chicks that hatched yesterday were going about thier buisness as usual, my daughter was holding her favorite. When she put her back in the brooder we were all standing around watching them. Her favorite started acting odd, pecking her feet cheeping loudly then stumbling, falling over, chirping loudly then flopped around with siezures and then went limp breathing heavily with beak open, and died. Before that one was gone several more started doing the same thing, and within 10 minutes there were 5 dead. Most of the others are acting the same way but instead of falling over they were pecking at thier feet and stumbling, and laying down, breathing heavily, and suddenly jumping straight up like having a spasm, kicking thier feet like they had something on them repeatedly. I have been raising chicks for 7 years and never seen anything like it I dont know what is happening please help!!!!!
     
  2. VioletBlueIvy

    VioletBlueIvy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Brooder setup is a 40gallon aquarium, lined with clean plain white bounty paper towels. Brooder lamp hanging on one end, temps perfect. I gave them Dumor chick starter grower from the bag in the coop I have been feeding the rest of my flock for two weeks. waterers were washed, sprayed with bleach & water solution let set then rinsed well and dried.
    They were eating and drinking and pooping normal.
     
  3. VioletBlueIvy

    VioletBlueIvy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I haven't lost any more since I removed the food and moved them to a new brooder. It has to be the food? But my whole flock has been eating it for two weeks. Maybe the paper towels? I always use paper towels for the first few days. They were jumping and shaking their feet. This is so wierd :(
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Check your heat lamp, and make sure it is not a teflon coated heat lamp, but one specificazlly for chickens. There were some deaths reported a couple of years ago from toxic gas coming from those type of heat lamp. Sorry for your loss.
     
  5. bluefrog87

    bluefrog87 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Please don't show your daughter this post. I don't want to break her heart. I've been there. At the same time, I want to help. I am so sorry for your loss and I hope I can prevent more.


    Have you cleaned the brooder and with what % of bleach. It's kinda like fish. If it's too high it can kill them. With that many has to be a gas or poison.

    • heat lamp coated with Teflon
    • undiluted cleaning solution (or not diluted enough)
    • contamination from outside source (Your daughter having messy hands and handling all of them. Please don't tell her this.)
    • severe food poisoning*

    With the seizures, Change the food asap. Your problem could also be bad food and it's worth a shot.*

    If you can boil you waterers and feeders that may help if it's bleach contamination. Clean the coop with hot water to get rid of bleach. The goal is to dilute the bleach if it's the problem.

    The paper towels are the last thing I consider. The towels are probably fine if they are dry and clean.

    As for contamination for outside source, How closed is your flock? Do you use hand sanitizer before handling? Do you have other chickens that could be carriers? Don't beat your self up on this one. Pristine closed flock management is near impossible and I don't have a closed flock. Most poultry keepers do not.

    Poison typically comes from 4 sources

    • Air
    • Water
    • Dirt
    • Food*

    You may want to call the USDA if you can't find the cause. They will do a free autopsy and make sure it isn't some horrible disease. Also they give your to a poultry vet in your area. # 866-536-7593. They will be a pain in the butt so that is always last resort. The USDA is, not the poultry vet. Poultry vets are friends when possible.

    *Nothing is really wrong with Dumor Feed but it isn't going well. I would get a different brand entirely just in case of a "lot contamination" problem similar to a dog food recall. Purina and Dumor are more prone to recalls http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/07/preparing-for-chicken-feed-recalls.html
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2014
  6. ten chicks

    ten chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    X2 on the lamp. Symptoms of teflon toxicity.
     
  7. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    It has the appearance of mold or aflatoxin poisoning. Seizures are a common symptom and feed grain is a common way it is spread..
     
  8. bluefrog87

    bluefrog87 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It does indeed. Boiling the feeder should kill it. Make sure to dry through and get different food.
     
  9. VioletBlueIvy

    VioletBlueIvy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank You all for your responses.
    How do I know if the bulb has a teflon coating? It is a clear westinghouse heat bulb, just like the red ones. It has nothing else written on it and it would right?
    I haven't lost any more. They seem alright although I am still seeing a couple shake and shake thier heads and then jump spasmatically.
    Will they be permanently injured from this or should the symptoms completely clear up?
     
  10. VioletBlueIvy

    VioletBlueIvy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If it the feed should I be concerned about the rest of my flock? I have been feeding them out of the same bag of feed for the last two weeks. They appear fine.
     
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