Loosing chicks please help

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Swgoats, Mar 12, 2012.

  1. Swgoats

    Swgoats Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 12, 2012
    This is my third time brooding chicks. I've also had two other flocks with a broody hen. I've never lost chicks before, but this time they don't seem to doing as well. They shipped me 40 chicks, one was DOA. About day 3 I saw one kind of gasping for breath. I didn't do anything, and at the end of the day, she died. At that point I saw that the chicks were piling up on the edges of the brooder, near the lamp, but not under it. I put a thermometer on the ground under the light, and it was over 100. So I switched the heat lamp out with a 100 W bulb. I added electrolytes to the water. I keep cornmeal in the food to help with pasting. Yesterday was day 7. Another chick died, his body temperature seemed cold, but he was dying so maybe that was why? He did not do the gasping thing. He was noticeably smaller than the other. Like he had not grown. I increased the size of the brooder and added more feeders and waterers. They are eating and drinking well. They sleep all together under the light bulb. I just went out and found one gasping. When I got him out he seemed hot. I'm just holding him right now. He cooled off and quit gasping. I don't understand if they are hot why they don't move. I've given them enough room to get out from under the bulb. One nostril seemed crusty. I cleaned it off. He's cheeping a little. He pooped, and it was chocolate colored, the consistency of snot, and stinky. Trying to tell you everything.. Does it sound like I need to make some changes? I'm using unmedicated feed. Should I switch, should I add antibiotic to the water? I know it is normal to loose some, but I just want to make sure I'm not missing something.
     
  2. Swgoats

    Swgoats Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 12, 2012
    Pooped agin and it was very runny, watery and smelly.
     
  3. Christie Rhae

    Christie Rhae Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh my gosh that is frustrating. Why are you using non medicated? Just curious. It does sound like they are sick. I am not an expert but from what you described..if antibiotics you have can be used for chicks, I can't see how it would hurt.
    Maybe call the place you got the chicks from and tell them what is going on, they might have some advice.
     
  4. Swgoats

    Swgoats Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 12, 2012
    I have just never needed medicated feed, and like to do organic when possible, but I'm planning to go get it tonight. I'll look for some kind of antibiotic for the water. I think I'm going to construct a new brooder, and just move them to a clean new home. I got the one separated with a friend to keep it calm. Everytime it poops it is clear water with some feces. He seems pretty peppy and not gasping anymore. The friend has formed stool like normal.
     
  5. blueferral

    blueferral Chillin' With My Peeps

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    4 of my chicks acted just like that. Lethargic, smaller than the others. Did not respond to sugar water, electrolites, etc. Brought them inside into house (much easier to keep eye on them). Nothing I did helped. This was my first mail order chicken order. The others I have hatched myself or bought at the local feed store. Feed store had zero deaths, hatched my own lost 1 of 8, mail order lost 4 of 27. Hope your chick does better than mine.
     
  6. Swgoats

    Swgoats Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 12, 2012
    Gasping again. *sigh*
     
  7. chicken pickin

    chicken pickin Overrun With Chickens

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    I remember reading somewhere that watery poop like clear liquid with pieces of poop in it means its either too hot or not eatting enough. And if your adding cornmeal to the feed i wonder if your supposed to also offer grit to help break it down. Chick feed is made to be easily digestible, maybe the cornmeal is not. Im not postive of this but just a thought.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2012
  8. FreedomLover

    FreedomLover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Romance
  9. Swgoats

    Swgoats Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 12, 2012
    Hmm.. Well from the chart, I'd probably say the chocolate was normal, and the watery was probably from being too hot. Or maybe not eating enough. Stools seem to be returning to normal since I isolated her. But periodically she gasps. If I pick her up in my cupped hands and hold her a few minutes, she quits gasping. I'm thinking she has temperature regulation issues. Concerned about keeping her regulated through the night. At TSC I looked in a book, and decided to get antibiotics for respiratory. Tomorrow I'm setting up a new brooder with new bedding. Incudentally, the buddy I grabbed for the sick chick has hardly moved. I discovered she has a laceration above her hock. I don't know if she cut herself on the cardboard in the brooder or what. I can't believe these issues. All the chicks I've had in the past with no problem!
     
  10. chikenscratch

    chikenscratch Chillin' With My Peeps

    First things first, use the chicks age to determine the temp needed in the brooder and keep that temp constant. (start life at 95 degrees and decrease 5 degrees each week)

    Start them on a medicated feed and supply small amounts of oatmeal to them and fresh water.

    What type of bedding do you have them in? Are they in a drafty area?
     

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