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11 Years
Mar 17, 2008
Swansea, SC
I have 27 chicks in total and 4 of them are undersized and not doing well. There are 2 of them that shake when they eat. They are three weeks old and kept indoors in a kiddie pool with about 4 inches of shavings (pine) untreated. The temp. is a around 82 and I use a heat lamp with a red bulb. I am feeding them Chick starter by Nature Wise. I bought them from Murray Mcmurray and they have been fine up until last week. I have all brown egg layers with different breeds. So I am not sure of the breed. This is the first time having chickens, so just want to make sure I am doing everything I can to help the runts make it. I have seperated the 4 that are not doing well and making them drink water with terramycin (double dose). Any help!!!!!!!!!!
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Giving an antibiotic when you don't know for sure there is a bacterial infection is not a good idea. This is one reason why super strains of bacteria have devloped and become resistant so that when chickens actually need the antibiotic they no longer work.

As hard as it is to face there is always a percentage of loss of new chicks. It is common. They often turn ill and die for real explainable reason. Sometimes there might be a vitamin deficiency that causes problems. Even getting chilled can cause stress that inturn brings out problems that end up being fatal.

Separating them, giving apple cidar vinegar in the water, keeping them warm and infant liquid vitamins might do more for them than an antibiotic at this point.

Overdosing on antibiotics can make them even sicker.

I know it is very hard to watch but nature is harsher than we like many times when it comes to chicks.

When chicks are sick and/or suffering I find it more humane to cull.
Not every problem with a chick should be instantly thought of as a hatchery problem because they are not. As much as we hate to think of it many chick problems are a result of user error - we are at fault.
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