New shipment of chicks today, 5 have died so far, any ideas?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chiral, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. chiral

    chiral New Egg

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    Jan 2, 2013
    Most of them seemed healthy when I opened the box this afternoon, but every time I go check on them, another has collapsed into the water. I'm using the standard mason jar waterers I've used for my last 4 batches of chicks with no previous issues.

    I'm not sure if the symptoms are useful, since it could just be inhalation pneumonia, but they can't lift their heads or open their eyes and they lay there with their legs stiffly stuck straight out, gasping. They flap and kick and cheep a little, like they're trying to stand up but can't. They've all died within an hour of me finding them ill. I euthanized the last one. 4 of the chicks were polish, the last one was a sussex. Any ideas? The rest are doing ok (so far) but seem less energetic than normal.

    They were vaccinated for Marek's and Coccidiosis at the hatchery. 2 of the chicks died in transit and the others were eating them. They also had gro-gel in the box with them. They've got electrolytes in their water now and I'm less worried about the ones who are managing to eat.

    I've never lost more than a single chick (pasty butt) from a shipment before, so I'm really worried. Does anyone know what it might be? Are the rest likely to die?
     
  2. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    WOW! how horrid! [​IMG]

    Besides making sure that they are at a good temperature, I have no idea what to tell you.

    What you are describing sounds just plain odd!

    Also, I have picked up chicks where a couple were already dead in the box, but they had never been EATEN! That makes me wonder just how long they were in transit????? Surely your chicks couldn't have been in shipment for longer than chicks shipped to me???

    I would call the hatchery that you ordered from and ask them what they think. Depending on who you get on the phone, they might be very useful (they might also be rude and blame it all on you, in which case ignore them, you are an experienced chick raiser, you are not the problem).

    Again, [​IMG] hopefully it was just the weakest that died from shipping stress, and the rest will be fine.
     
  3. chiral

    chiral New Egg

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    Jan 2, 2013
    Thanks for the response and the internet hugs [​IMG] I was pretty upset earlier, especially when I had to kill the fluffy little baby. I just don't think it would have gotten better and it was suffering.[​IMG]

    I think the temps are fine, some of them wander out into the cold and start making the loud "I'm unhappy" cheeping until they wander back into the warm again, where they just make the happy peep noise. They're not bunched up, just less active than I've come to expect from new chicks. Instead of running around pecking at everything, they're kind of lethargic.

    I'm really hoping it was just a rough trip, but they were only in transit for about 24 hours, according to the shipping notice I got from the hatchery. I suppose it could have been longer or they could have been left somewhere cold. Usually my shipments arrive on Wednesdays, it was surprising to get the call this morning! I live out in the sticks, so the trip from the nearest city usually adds a whole day to transit.

    The hatchery was pretty nice earlier when I called about the first three dead. Since all the dead were from the same breed and the others seemed ok, I was thinking it was over. [​IMG] The other two died this evening. I'll have to call again in the morning and hope I get someone else nice.
     

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