New baby chicks all dying

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by KatieMcP, Feb 12, 2015.

  1. KatieMcP

    KatieMcP In the Brooder

    Feb 12, 2015
    Hi, everyone. I'm new here and wish I was saying hello with better news! Our new chick's that arrived yesterday morning are dying. We have so far lost 6 of our 15, with two, maybe three more who are struggling. It seems like as soon as we've lost one, another is struggling. They arrived healthy, drank water and ate right away. They were shipped on heat pads with grow gel. I am giving them electrolyte water. The warmer light is keeping the brooder at 90 degrees, and the healthy ones seem comfortable. We are at a loss. No diarrhea, no bloody stools or mucous. They just start seeming weak and then unable to stand, some kept falling over and trying to scooch on the tops of their feet and heads. Then their breathing gets very labored and the die. It's so confusing to me, especially since we've never had any problems with our original flock, and they just came to us! We ordered copper marans, Rhode Island reds, welsummers, and Easter Eggers. We've lost both welsummers, a couple easter Eggers and a couple rirs. Another Maran and RI red are looking like we'll lose them, too. Any ideas?
  2. KatieMcP

    KatieMcP In the Brooder

    Feb 12, 2015
    I just want to add we are separating them when they seem sick and we are trying to make sure they are drinking, etc. They are only drinking if we are 'forcing' it, they aren't trying on their own.
  3. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    I think my first move would be to offer them all a wet mash, really wet, or grind their crumbles down smaller. The crumbles may be too big to eat, and they need some food.
  4. RavenStorm1977

    RavenStorm1977 Chirping

    Mar 5, 2013
    this is a really tough time of year to ship small orders of chicks - even with large orders I always lose a few several chicks the first couple of days. Later in the year with the exact same management I don't lose any. If you really want to know what is happening someone with a lot of knowledge (eg avian vet, very educated breeder, ag extension) will have to look at and possibly necropsy a dead chick. Otherwise, I'd add maybe soaking the chick starter with water to make a mash (although only do small amounts as it will spoil fast), you may also need to add a sulfa based medication to their water that you can usually get at feed supply stores. Good luck!
  5. KatieMcP

    KatieMcP In the Brooder

    Feb 12, 2015
    Thanks for the ideas. I had read that sometimes even the crumble isn't fine enough but hadn't thought of mixing it with water. Hopefully it helps. Some are eating and drinking just fine, but the ones with trouble obviously aren't. I will definitely try the sulfa based medicine, too. The electrolyte mix came from the hatchery, it's a vitamin and electrolyte mix, so I read about trying poly-vi-sol but doubt it would make a difference, yes? And none have anything simple like pasty butt. The part that's confusing me is its one or two at a time. We knew we were taking a chance ordering them this time of year but didn't expect to lose half our order...I called the hatchery and the lady in customer service pretty much blamed it on shipping.
  6. They are suffering from shipping stress. Adding sulfa drugs, or any antibiotcs at all, is not going to help your chicks. Making sure they are warm enough, wetting the crumbles, and keeping water in front of them is the best you can do. Good luck and make sure you contact the hatchery to see if you can have replacements shipped when the weather is warmer.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2015
  7. wahnsdlr

    wahnsdlr In the Brooder

    Aug 21, 2014
    I'm curious where you got the chicks. I received an order of 16 yesterday morning. One was dead on arrival and two never drank or ate or really opened their eyes and they died. But today, another one stopped eating and drinking and hasn't improved despite me giving it droppers of water/electrolytes all day. I'm not sure if I just didn't notice yesterday because I was more concerned about the other two, but I thought all the others were eating and drinking fine.
    I got them from Meyer Hatchery, 4 RIR (1 is the one refusing to eat today), 4 EE (1 dead on arrival, other died yesterday), 4 gold laced wyndottes (1 died yesterday), 4 black austrolorps.
    Since they allowed orders this early if you ordered 15, I assumed they had shipping them down to an art. I guess I've learned to wait till spring next time. But, I have these now and feel the need to save them if I can. At what point can I rest that it's been enough time to get over travel shock?
  8. aatx

    aatx Songster

    Mar 19, 2014
    Erath County, Texas
    Your bulb isn't teflon coated, is it?
  9. JJSS89

    JJSS89 Songster

    May 14, 2014
    E Washington
    Like others have said, make sure they are getting enough food. Grind it into a powder and that way you know it is small enough.

    Also, X2 on shipped babies this time of year. Rough. [​IMG]
  10. Summertime7921

    Summertime7921 In the Brooder

    Jun 12, 2014
    Can they get away from the heat?

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