Is my chick sick?

syrekron

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 24, 2014
2
0
7
corn field, iowa
Hi All.

Background:
I finally bit the bullet and ruffled the wife's feathers with my decision to start chickens this year.
I'm a complete noob with chickens--never done it before, not even as a kid.
I bought 7 heavy breed pullets about a week ago at the local farm store.
One of them was dead when I checked their brooder this morning.
She couldn't have been dead long as she was still warm and limp when I found her.
I think she may have had some congestion last night when I was changing their bedding but I'm not sure which one had it.
She sounded like she was making clicking noises with almost each breath.

Anyway, I noticed tonight that another one of them seems to be having trouble breathing.
She is taking fast and shallow breaths and it sounds like she's congested (she's making clicking noises).
Oh--she's sneezing or coughing a lot also.
I setup another box as a brooder and moved her into it...all by herself.
It was sad watching her calling out frantically and looking around her cell for her sisters ...but I'm guessing I did the right thing.

Some of the google results indicated that runny poop or diarrhea is another symptom. I have no idea how to tell what is runny and what is normal as I've never done this before.

Did I do the right thing by isolating her?

If she makes it to tomorrow what can I do for treatment (if anything)?

Thanks in advance!
 

dragonbabyx3

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 14, 2014
41
3
26
I would head up to where you got her from and get some ClorTetracycline and add to their waters. I had gotten some of mine from the local farm store and brought one home with the sniffles as well. It cleared up within a week. Also, Chick Electrolytes are great at this age as well. I am sure others know much more about this than I do... Just letting you know my experience!
 

Eggcessive

Enabler
Premium member
9 Years
Apr 3, 2011
50,739
41,135
1,202
southern Ohio
I would call the feed store to find out if they have been having a problem because baby chicks should not be having symptoms of a respiratory disease. Exactly how old are they? LS50 or SpecLinx can be used on chicks for treatment of respiratory disease symptoms, and in pullets, Tylan 50 would be better. But you shouldn't be starting out with sick chicks. Mycoplasma G, infectious bronchitis, coryza, and ILT are some of the common respiratory diseases, and those make carriers of your flock for life. So I would have a talk with the feed store people.
 

ChickensAreSweet

Heavenly Grains for Hens
9 Years
Jun 8, 2010
15,100
621
398
Pacific NW- where the Douglas Firs grow
How old are they?

It sounds like they have a respiratory disease, and in chickens this often means a carrier status as Eggcessive said.

When you buy brand new chicks from a feed store they should not be sick.

If these are older pullets and were at someone's home then that explains it.

I would take them back to the feed store, regardless of whether they will issue a refund.

You don't want to deal with respiratory illness unless you have to.
 

gander007

Crowing
6 Years
Oct 9, 2013
15,521
1,311
446
South Western Death Valley, Ca.
How old are they?

It sounds like they have a respiratory disease, and in chickens this often means a carrier status as Eggcessive said.

When you buy brand new chicks from a feed store they should not be sick.

If these are older pullets and were at someone's home then that explains it.

I would take them back to the feed store, regardless of whether they will issue a refund.

You don't want to deal with respiratory illness unless you have to.

I would call the feed store to find out if they have been having a problem because baby chicks should not be having symptoms of a respiratory disease. Exactly how old are they? LS50 or SpecLinx can be used on chicks for treatment of respiratory disease symptoms, and in pullets, Tylan 50 would be better. But you shouldn't be starting out with sick chicks. Mycoplasma G, infectious bronchitis, coryza, and ILT are some of the common respiratory diseases, and those make carriers of your flock for life. So I would have a talk with the feed store people.


Buying a chick that is sick is not normal but as long as nobody is smoking around them and you have the heat on for them with out drafts then you should not have a problem but taking them back is the only sane thing to do and check out the other chicks they have and see if they are having any problems of some kind ...........
 

syrekron

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 24, 2014
2
0
7
corn field, iowa
Thank you for the suggestions and comments.

More information:
I bought the birds last Wednesday from the farm store where they were advertised as being directly from a hatchery (don't know which one).
I'm guessing they are about two weeks old total now (most have wing feathers and some of them have tail feathers coming in).

Update:
My sick chick is still alive and alert! She cries when I put her back in her cell by herself. So sad.
I observed her pooping tonight so I guess that is a good thing that her plumbing is still working.
I have not observed her eating or drinking.
She is still coughing/sneezing but he breathing sounds better today (not as raspy).

I wasn't able to find the meds at the store though I suspect the high-school kids working there are untrained idiots and have no idea what I was asking about.

More background:
I wanted 3-4 chickens but the minimum buy was 6. I bought a few extras on advise from friends who have raised them before.
As long as a few of them survive I think I'll be satisfied (and sad for the losses at the same time).

I'm curious what good returning the chicks to the store will do? I figured I'd call and complain to the manager.
I talked to a co-worker today who has raised chickens before and he told me he observed some very unsanitary behavior at that same store (different branch).
He said that the employee was standing in the chicks' bedding after walking around the store (bathroom, chemicals, etc) and that they had a big bird kill earlier this month.
(I'll be ordering from a hatchery directly next time).
 

Eggcessive

Enabler
Premium member
9 Years
Apr 3, 2011
50,739
41,135
1,202
southern Ohio
Thank you for the suggestions and comments.

More information:
I bought the birds last Wednesday from the farm store where they were advertised as being directly from a hatchery (don't know which one).
I'm guessing they are about two weeks old total now (most have wing feathers and some of them have tail feathers coming in).

Update:
My sick chick is still alive and alert! She cries when I put her back in her cell by herself. So sad.
I observed her pooping tonight so I guess that is a good thing that her plumbing is still working.
I have not observed her eating or drinking.
She is still coughing/sneezing but he breathing sounds better today (not as raspy).

I wasn't able to find the meds at the store though I suspect the high-school kids working there are untrained idiots and have no idea what I was asking about.

More background:
I wanted 3-4 chickens but the minimum buy was 6. I bought a few extras on advise from friends who have raised them before.
As long as a few of them survive I think I'll be satisfied (and sad for the losses at the same time).

I'm curious what good returning the chicks to the store will do? I figured I'd call and complain to the manager.
I talked to a co-worker today who has raised chickens before and he told me he observed some very unsanitary behavior at that same store (different branch).
He said that the employee was standing in the chicks' bedding after walking around the store (bathroom, chemicals, etc) and that they had a big bird kill earlier this month.
(I'll be ordering from a hatchery directly next time).
Unfortunately, survival of the birds won't matter if they are carriers of a respiratory disease, because this will be with your flock from now on if you keep them. It is easy to become attached and feel bad for them, but these diseases come back again and again, and they can transfer through the hatching eggs, so you can't every sell eggs or chicks because you will be spreading it to someone else's chickens. I would also recommend taking them back, clean your facilities and disinfect with 10% bleach water. Then wait a few weeks, and order from a hatchery. Meyer hatchery in Polk, Ohio will ship small orders of chicks, and they have many rare breeds too. Here is some reading about the common respiratory diseases:
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps044
http://umaine.edu/livestock/poultry/mycoplasma-gallisepticum-faq/
 
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