New chicks dying

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by MRALDeal, Mar 19, 2017.

  1. MRALDeal

    MRALDeal New Egg

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    Jan 27, 2017
    Manchester, Maryland
    All,

    I am new to the thread and have spent the last 2 days trying to find answers to why the 22 chicks I bought from Hoover Hatchery are now down to 7. First bit of information that has me ticked is that when I called the Hatchery about the first couple dying they said they were surprised any of them survived the shipment to the post office. I asked why they would have shipped them if they felt that they were at risk and they didn't have a good answer. I am not sure because I am in Maryalnd and we just had a good snow recently if the cold shipping temperature created such stress that they can't bounce back. But when I got them home this past Friday I quickly got them water ( with vitamin supplement in it and electrolytes) and showed them where it was and their food. They seemed to all get the hang of eating and drinking quickly and it was 95 in there brooder. They were all moving around and playful and non were huddling or scattered on the outside to make me think they were to hot and cold. I continued to check on them and then noticed that some then started laying down and acting very lethargic. Next thing was they were dead. Then this morning I woke up and 5 more were laying dead. I visited a couple stores to get some input and haven't gotten any information that seemed to help. My other concern was when they started dying I went and got more from a local store that had them. I got some that were 2 weeks old and I am not sure if the stress of traveling combined with more mature birds is creating more stress which could be adding to the deaths. I am not going to add any more birds until things settle down but not sure if anyone has any suggestions.

    Feed - Nutrena chick starter crumble medicated
    Water- I am on a well and made sure the water was not cold for them. Added the electrolyte and vitamin packs to water
    Poop - looks normal.
     
  2. Ducks4us

    Ducks4us Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 31, 2015
    North Idaho
    Sorry your chicks are not doing well....
    is the entire brooder 95 degrees?
    I usually have one spot under the light around 85-90 and the rest of the brooder arouns 65-70 degrees .
    They need to be able to get to a cool area .
    When raised out with their moms the only briefly spend time under her, warm up for a bit and then will happily run around in very cool temps.
    If your brooder was large tho and has enough areas to cool off then... there isnt really anything i see that your doing wrong.
    Maybe you just got a real sickly chicks.... sadly:(
    Are the 2 week olds picking on the tiny ones?
     
  3. Jetblack2004

    Jetblack2004 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 22, 2016
    East Sussex
    That sounds bad. Perhaps it was stress related? I would never have chicks shipped because there is a much higher risk of death than from buying them locally. I'm not sure why yours died but I would suggest getting them from a friend or a reliable hatchery nearby rather than having them shipped.

    -Jet
     
  4. Ducks4us

    Ducks4us Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 31, 2015
    North Idaho
    Its actually not that common for them to that poorly. There are certain hatcheries however with poor repuations.
    I ordered 10 ducklings 2 weeks ago, and they arrived within 48 hrs perfectly healthy despite freezing temps those days.
    I bought chicks from a local breeder a few months ago... only to find out she had one of her chickens tested and they had an extremely contagious disease... and all my newly laying pullets, and 20 new chicks all got it and all started dying and then had to be put down because it was my only option to get the disease off my property. I know that doesnt happen to everyone.
    But it happend to two large breeders in our area after thye had sold hundreds of infected chicks.
    So i would never recommend anyone buy local or from craigslist. It was devestating to us to lose so many.
    The only way for me to avoid this is by ordereding from a good hatchery who has an excelent repuation and disease control. They dont allow others on site to avoid theae kinds of things.
    I am sure there are some local who test but many dont unfortunatly
     
  5. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    You mentioned poop was normal...any signs of pasty butt? So sorry for your loss, that is devastating, and so many of them...how long was their travel? Was there a heat pack in their travel box? Eating and drinking normally?
     
  6. MRALDeal

    MRALDeal New Egg

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    Jan 27, 2017
    Manchester, Maryland
    Thank you for the input. The brooder is 95 under the heat lamp but there is space for them to run around outside of being under the lamp for them to play and cool down if they need to.
     
  7. Ducks4us

    Ducks4us Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 31, 2015
    North Idaho
    Oh good deal!
    I kinda think you just got a bad batch of chicks :(
    What breeds were they? Some seem to naturally be a little weaker than other breeds.
     
  8. MRALDeal

    MRALDeal New Egg

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    Jan 27, 2017
    Manchester, Maryland
    I will keep an eye out for a pasty butt. I am going to go and check them over now to see if I can see any other signs/symptoms. It was two days of travel. I wanted them overnighted, but that wasn't an option. I have definitely learned a lot from this experience. As for a heating source there was a small hand warmer in with them, I would have hoped to have seen more then one in the box. But it was not warm when they arrived. So from packaging to delivery to the post office I am not sure how long those packs last. Also was just thinking if they were desperate for food and they pecked at the packet would the chemicals inside possibly caused some internal imbalance that would have created more of an issue. Thank you all for your input.
     
  9. MRALDeal

    MRALDeal New Egg

    4
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    7
    Jan 27, 2017
    Manchester, Maryland
    Breed List

    - 5 Americana
    - 3 Black Australorp
    - 2 Brown Leghorn
    - 3 Buff Orpington
    - 3 New Hampshire
    - 2 Silver Laced Wyandotte
    - 4 White Leghorn

    Looking at my lost now I am wondering if ordering so many different breeds also put me at a higher risk of getting a contamination. I also had them Marek vaccinate them.
     
  10. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yes, go take a good look at them and make sure all have easy access to food and water. With that many chicks, the weaker ones could be getting edged out. While they are super fun to watch, that is another good reason for watching them. One of my six had pasty butt, it is common, and I caught it in time. I don't think the mix of breeds would contribute to any problems....can always put in more than one feeder and waterer...
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017

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