New Chicken Junkie needs advice about chicks

btwelborn

Hatching
5 Years
Mar 1, 2014
5
0
7
Sandhills North Carolina
Hi all --
I've been browsing this site for the last year or so. Finally yesterday, my husband took me to Tractor Supply Company and we bought 10 adorable Bantam chicks.

After getting home and setting up everything for them, all looked fine except one. Listless, shallow breathing and eyes closed. It passed away within 2 hrs. No poop stuck to its vent, no crude around the eyes, no foaming or anything at the beak. Just dead.

This afternoon, we had another pass the same way. All the others are eating/drinking and running around. What can I do to "help" them and what is the "typical" death rate out of new chicks?

Any help would be appreciated. My heart is breaking a wee bit from this.
 

dheltzel

Crowing
6 Years
Nov 30, 2013
4,594
1,482
321
Pottstown, PA
Take them back to TSC and get your money back and try with another batch, these are obviously suffering from coccidosis. It is treatable with Amprollium, but at this stage that might not work, and it should have been taken care of at the store.

There is medicated starter feed to prevent most cases, but once they show symptoms they stop eating and so that is no further help. The medication for the water is quite expensive (around $20 at TSC, I think).

I'd definitely return them and if they care (they might not), they can treat the ones they have and if you come back in a few days and they are all looking good, then you can buy more (or get the replacements for the ones that died/were returned.
 

btwelborn

Hatching
5 Years
Mar 1, 2014
5
0
7
Sandhills North Carolina
Ok, I will call them tomorrow as they are closed now. I do have them on medicated feed and of the 10 I bought, 7 are real feisty/active. We might lose one more who is staying still and "sleeping" a lot. Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't they supposed to be treated for Coccidosis before being sold?
 

Branch Chickens

Chirping
6 Years
Jan 17, 2014
290
17
98
China, Maine
I think it's just as likely that your two losses were due to shipping stress. The chicks from TSC come by mail from the hatchery, just like home orders, and their care in the store is not as attentive as an individual could give them at home. That means they've possibly had 5 or 6 days of stressful conditions. Have you tried sugar water for the remaining chicks yet? Or Sav-A-Chick? Or Nutri-Drench? I have heard each of these suggested as methods to battle shipping stress (though not all at the same time).
Hopefully TSC will be willing to replace those that you have lost so quickly, but I wouldn't throw in the towel on your remaining chicks just yet. Maybe others can throw in their 2 cents as well.
 

btwelborn

Hatching
5 Years
Mar 1, 2014
5
0
7
Sandhills North Carolina
That's a good idea. I have some Sav-A-Chick that my husband is bringing me from his "town" run. I'll add it to the water and keep my fingers crossed.

I was worried about using Pine shavings but on the site here I see it is a 50/50 opinion regarding that.

I've also made nipple waterers (from on here) and have made sure each chick has been drinking from it. It's just driving me crazy. I know that there might be some loss but as this is my first time, I'm not sure how much is a "normal" ratio.
 

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