My three week old chicks are dying! What could it be????

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Fyrekitten, Mar 6, 2011.

  1. Fyrekitten

    Fyrekitten Songster

    Jun 29, 2010
    Rincon, GA
    I hope someone has some answers that could help me! I have a group of silkies, Copper Maran, Pumpkin Hulsey Game Fowl, Cochins and I believe a couple Delaware Giants that I hatched from eggs about three weeks ago. They were all doing splendidly - active, funny and just being chickies. I had one Pumpkin Hulsey chick that about four days ago just started having drooping wings, puffing out its feathers and acting lethargic - it died later that day. Then a couple days later one of my Splash Blue Marans (Oh sooo pretty) did the same thing along with breathing very softly but acting like it was difficult. Later that evening another Pumpkin Hulsey did the same thing and they both passed. Now this morning I have another one doing the same thing. I'm very upset about loosing these cuties. All were starting to feather out, have pine bedding (which I do know they will sometimes eat and have impacted in their bodies). Fresh water twice a day since they are really drinking, a lamp is still on them for heat, plenty of room for movement, fresh chick crumbles, etc. No one plays with them except my husband or myself as all our children are grown. Mostly we just handle them very little at this stage to make sure they get human interaction.

    The ill chickies do not have fecal matter on their vents when I check them. They don't want water and seem to just appreciate being held and just "droop" for an appropriate term I suppose.

    I cleaned out their area, and found some ammonia smell from where they like to congregate and sleep - I usually clean and add additional shavings every other day.

    Any help would be great as I have some Blue Jersey Giants, Delaware Giants and Gold Laced Wyandottes that I have hatched at about two weeks old that need to be moved in with them but I don't want the older ones dying and or giving whatever they have to the new babies. BTW, I have five incubators going with Silver Phoenix, Salmon Favorelles, Anconas, Silkies, Sumatras, Cubalayas other chickens and several kinds of ducks and geese. Trying to do my part to help some of these breeds. I have lots of room for coops and everything they'll need once we transfer them. Also, we have Barred Rocks and Buff Orpington mixes outside that we have no problems with.

    Anyway, I don't want to lose anymore chicks so if someone could help me out that would be great. BTW, no nodules, no growths, no blood, no pecking, no bloody fecal matter, no scratching. just drooping, fluffing, breathing hard and then dying a couple hours later.

    Thanks to anyone who can help!
  2. crj

    crj Songster

    Dec 17, 2009
    Rocky Point, NC
    I think I would try giving them some poly-vi-sol vitamins in there water or with a syringe diluted with some water. I think I had this happen to me some time ago. I wish I could remember. Try that and see if you get any changes.
  3. BarefootMom

    BarefootMom Songster

    Jul 20, 2010
    Half Way, Missouri
    Quote:agree with the poly-vi-sol and I have crushed up penicillian with their feed in the past with great luck- but my chicks were sneezing. I hope they start feeling better soon!
  4. kera!

    kera! Songster

    Jan 1, 2011
    Navajo County
    I would say do the vitamins and also maybe mix a tablespoon sugar in the a quart of water and then make a mash with medicated chick crumble dip all beaks and give some mash that would be best..I think..good luck let us know.
  5. Fyrekitten

    Fyrekitten Songster

    Jun 29, 2010
    Rincon, GA
    Thanks so much for the feedback and information. Unfortunately it was too late for my little guy and my fault for waiting until this many chicks had died to ask for help.

    I didn't have any poly-visol vitamins so I supplemented and added a little sugar to their water along with a quarter or less of a teaspoon of poly-lite I believe it's called that is a recovery supplement for calves, piggies, foals etc. Hopefully that will help until I get to the store. I also had some penicillin but it is Penicillin G in the aqueous form for livestock. I actually had a syringe already filled for my calves and piggies should they need it. I added a couple drips from the needled syringe into the chickie water. This says intramuscular but hopefully it will help.

    Any thoughts? Should I immediately remove the water I just supplied them with and just go with what you all mentioned? I don't want to kill the rest with what I did....

    Many thanks again!


    Proud mother of: 1 husband, 1 child, 1 Golden Retriever, 2 St Bernards, 12 Barred Rocks, 9 mixed orpies and marans, 4 piggies (Tamworth, Duroc, Berkshire and Red Wattle mixes) Mongo and Chuck our two calves and five incubators of chickie, duckies and geese!)
  6. pips&peeps

    pips&peeps There is no "I" in Ameraucana

    Jan 18, 2008
    Newman Lake, WA
    Sounds like cocci to me. Drop the vitamins and get them some amprolium.

    Usually when they puff up they are sick. If they are not sneezing and do not have watery eyes or any respiratory symptoms, I think of cocci first. Are you feeding them medicated feed?
  7. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    How warm is it in their brooder? They could be over heating and dying.
  8. Fyrekitten

    Fyrekitten Songster

    Jun 29, 2010
    Rincon, GA
    Had thought about Cocci but figured they would be sneezing first. No sneezing, no watery eyes - definitely lethargic and puffed up like they just don't feel well. Kind of like a person (especially kids) do when they have the flu. We didn't go with medicated feed this year because we were trying to stay completely organic on raising them but I will go out right away and get some! Hopefully it won't too late for the rest - they all seem to feel unwell in single episodes - everybody seems just fine right now.

    Thanks again and I'll get right on the feed change.

    Bridget Aikey
    Animal Lover:jumpy
  9. Fyrekitten

    Fyrekitten Songster

    Jun 29, 2010
    Rincon, GA
    That is an excellent thought and I did think about it but they have a large area - 18" wide by 40" long with the heater at the one end. They still all sleep under it and haven't spread out like they are too warm.

    Completely cleaned ou their area today so hopefully if there was something they had in the fecal matter it will be gone now.

  10. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    Quote:Cocci causes diarrhea and usually isn't an issue unless they're on dirt since it's in the soil.

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