lethargic weak chick- signs to look out for?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by teach106, Feb 19, 2009.

  1. teach106

    teach106 New Egg

    Jan 29, 2009
    Mcmurray chicks. 28 of them, mixed bag. about 4-5 days old.
    heat lamp, 90-95 degrees, sugar water. everyone had their beaks dipped, medicated chick feed.

    One of the chicks was really weak, couldnt stand, was getting trampled by the others. Tried the water dipping trick. Most seem fine.

    One died within 3 days, now I have another with the same symptoms.

    I understand deaths and chicks happen, just want to make sure Im not having something serious run through the bunch. This recent Buff Orp seems to have its neck cocked to the side, like its so weak it cant even hold its head up.

    Ideas or suggestions? whats the expected death rate. 10%, any more than that cause for alarm?

  2. congdon476

    congdon476 GaLLiNa LOcA

    Dec 31, 2008
    Pueblo Area
    It depends on how long they were in the mail and without food. I lost 50% of my first order due to extended travel time and it looked like they drop kicked the box. My second order (replacements via the hatchery) came in 100% healthy and live... but they traveled one day less and the box was in excellent shape. It all depends on the mail/transportation.
  3. Renee

    Renee Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 7, 2008
    I had one weak and one sick chick out of fifteen. The weak one made it but the sick one had to be culled.

    Two out of 28 isn't bad.
  4. teach106

    teach106 New Egg

    Jan 29, 2009
    The second chick ended up dying as well. I think you were right with the 2 out of 28 isnt bad, but I just want to make sure im not missing something.

    Im thinking its a matter of getting food and water. Its all in front of them and I switched to several smaller waterers to make for better access. We will see how it goes.

    Any other suggestions if I start to see another weak one develop?
  5. louis

    louis Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 20, 2009
    Texas Hill Country
    I have almost the same situation! 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.

    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.
  6. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    They should not be on sugar water; that would only be for the first day. You might consider getting some Avia Charge 2000 for their water; it's a kelp-based vitamin/mineral supplement, and it's really good for chicks and adults. I never use sugar water, and just start them right out from day 1 on Avia Charge in their water; I think it makes all the difference in the world.

    Enjoy your new chicks! What part of Michigan are you in? I'm southwest of Flint.
  7. Bullwinkle

    Bullwinkle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 30, 2008
    Quote:Hi Louis

    It sounds like to me you are doing the best you can. I received my order from McMurray this week also. So far i only have 2 that are weak/sick (that look like they aren't going to make it).

    I did have 16 or 17 (out of 86) that had pasty butt on wednesday, but only 3 on thursday so I think that is getting better. I have 25 RIR's in my order and out of the 16 with pasty butt, at least half were RIR's. I'm not sure why it 'hit' them worse...

    I can deeply sympathize with the 'temperature nazi' and waking up throughout the night. I'm having a much worse time sleeping since I received my chicks than i did when i had my own newborn children at home (Of course it helped that my wife breast fed). I found myself getting up ever 35 to 40 minutes to check on them... lights on-check... nobody dead/sick-check.... it was nerve racking. Last night I did better: only checked on them every hour and a half.

    On a side note... I learned that no matter how cute and innocent looking the healthy chicks are, they can be really mean to the sick chicks! I put my sick chicks together in a small box with some bedding in the brooder so that the other chicks can't get to them. The healthy chicks seemed to know right away the other two were sick. They tried to grab ahold of their legs, jumped on them and started trying to pull feathers... just mean! I have food and water in the box with the sick ones, but I've also been trying to use a small spoon with some vitamins/electrolytes added to hand feed them. They will take a few gulps and then stop. Poor things. I hope the rest of your chicks pull through.

    ------------- Edit ----- New Info--------
    I just ran home for lunch... the little black star died. The light Brahma is still alive, but I noticed another black star that is looking pretty weak also. I hope no more get sick [​IMG]
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2009
  8. louis

    louis Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 20, 2009
    Texas Hill Country
    The 'pasty butt' is also almost exclusively noticed on my RIR's. Interesting it's somehow limited to them.

    That's hilarious your chicks keep you up more than a newborn! My wife's expecting and she too will be breastfeeding so it's comforting to know these chicks might be the worst of it, something I'm already teasing her about. Hehe.

    Sorry to hear about the others going on your latest check. Best of luck with the rest of yours as well.
  9. chickenbuddy

    chickenbuddy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2008
    Be sure to contact the hatchery. If any of them died within 48 hours of recieving them they should give you a refund.

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