New Chicks Dying Off-Any Suggestions?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Patchesnposies, Feb 20, 2009.

  1. Patchesnposies

    Patchesnposies Chickens.....are my ONE weakness!

    Mar 5, 2008
    Southern New Mexico
    We received our chick order from Ideal yesterday. 100 RIR pullets. They arrived all alive except for two. This is our umpteenth order of chicks, though only our 3rd from Ideal, and I am not sure what's going on.

    Today I have had five chicks keel over and die! Lots of water, feed, not too hot, not too cold...I have no idea why they are dying.

    For the first bag I buy medicated chick starter. I usually supplement with vitamins, but not until they are a week old or so. Before that I use sugar in the water (just a bit).

    If I am doing something stupid, tell me, please!!! If you have any suggestions, tell me, please!!!

    I have never lost so many babies. This feels terrible.
  2. SundownWaterfowl

    SundownWaterfowl Overrun With Chickens

    I would start them on some vitamins and electroytes in their water for a few days.
  3. birdbrain2

    birdbrain2 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 25, 2008
    belleville, IL.
    how much space do you have, are they getting crushed?
    5 out of 100 isn't too bad, hope you don't have anymore.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2009
  4. Snakeoil

    Snakeoil Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 10, 2009
    SE Iowa
    I would add some Terramycin to there drinking water. I feel for you.
  5. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2007
    Gee, that could be a lot of different things. Does their poo look normal? Any blood? Any pasty butt? Do they have any symptoms at all?

    Did you dip all their beaks in water and food, as you unpacked them? Have you watched them, to make sure they're all eating and drinking? Do any look weak or inactive?

    If they arrive in a more weakened condition, sometimes they fade away and need you to put a drop of water at a time at their beaks, to get them going. Dehydration and low blood sugar make chicks, animals and people lethargic and they often don't eat or drink on their own, once they get past a certain point. When they start feeling better, then they'll eat and drink on their own.

    Usually it only happens with banties, because they're smaller, but sometimes the crumble can be a little big for them to eat. Once the food is put in a blender to make it smaller, they start being able to eat. Most starter should be fine for standard size birds, I just thought I'd mention it.

    Do they have enough feeders and waterers, so that they can all get to them?

    Could they be ingesting their litter? What are you using and is it exposed or covered?

    I just can't think of anything else it could be, as far as general care goes. I hope you don't lose more. I think watching them might give you some clue to symptoms or behavior, that might help figure it out.
  6. SundownWaterfowl

    SundownWaterfowl Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:terramycin is an antibiotic, and will do nothing. most likely, it is from the stress of shipping, which vitamins and electrolytes will do wonders for.
  7. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:terramycin is an antibiotic, and will do nothing. most likely, it is from the stress of shipping, which vitamins and electrolytes will do wonders for.

    In addition, using antibiotics when they are not warranted can cause them to be ineffective if and when you have a bonafide illness to treat.
  8. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    So sorry about you losses. All of my birds have come from Ideal. I did loose one. It wouldn't eat or drink no matter how hard I tried. I just gave the chicks medicated chick Starter and plenty of water.
  9. Patchesnposies

    Patchesnposies Chickens.....are my ONE weakness!

    Mar 5, 2008
    Southern New Mexico
    Thanks, everyone, for your posts.

    I have lost a total of 9 chicks. We have been extra vigilant and they still seem to just fade and keel over.

    I think the brooders are large enough (long narrow rubbermaid tub with the lid cut out and plastic mesh hot glued around the edge to cover the hole) and they have plenty of room to get away from the heat lamps.

    I did dip all of their beaks into the water. As an added measure I am going to separate them into even smaller groups-just in case they are too crowded.

    No weird poo-poo, no pasty butts. No real symptoms except maybe that a couple have seemed weak. I made sure that those got water dropped into their beaks that had vitamins and electrolytes.

    The only difference with this shipment was that there was A LOT of egg shell in the box which surprised me.

    You all are great with the advice and the encouragement!
  10. ggrap

    ggrap Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 5, 2007
    I think almost 10% is significant. So, something is going on. Usually the hatcheries will send a few extra chicks, because some mortality is expected. This happens even if you hatch them yourself.

    Make sure they are not getting wet or experiencing any kind of draft. And if you have wet bedding, this can cause pneumonia as well. Besides a dirty enviornment, I have found these to be the worst things for them. And yes, make sure they can get away from the heat lamp. And that you are at about 95 for chicks under a week (under the lamp). You can decrease the temp by 5 degrees each week.

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