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newly arrived chicks gasping? - Help!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by scatteredeggs, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. scatteredeggs

    scatteredeggs Chirping

    May 2, 2011
    i picked up 25 white leghorn chicks a couple of hours ago from the post office. temp here is 50s outside. chicks were shipped from Iowa last monday.
    while most chicks were up and about running, drinking and feeding, four were lethargic. one is already on its side (separated and given a few drops of sugared water by medicine dropper). the 3 others were mostly still with eyes closed. one was like gasping - opening its beak, straining its neck.

    what can i do? give drops of water? isolate? (i have an outdoor 5'X5' brooder, with a 3'X3' hover, fitted with 100W and 60W lamps, which i had running since last night). will the lethargic chicks better off isolated in a warmer place inside the house or joined with the rest of the flock, with usual access to food and water?


  2. MommaOrp

    MommaOrp Chirping

    Jun 6, 2011
    Derbyshire, England
    i think i would quarantine in brooder with steady temperature to give them a better chance. Access to food and water and maybe try some vitamin drops. I'm in the u.k so what you get and how much i'm not sure. I do know shipping can cause a lot of stress. Have you checked stools? could be cocci but im unsure.
  3. Steph Martin

    Steph Martin In the Brooder

    May 7, 2011
    Nova Scotia Canada
    Hi...I hope all is well with your chicks...I would suggest isolating the chicks but if they were all together during the shipping process then if some are sick ALL very may well be. Move the weak ones and keep a good eye on the others. It may not be sickness either but because of the shipping process some may have been partially smothered or injured and just need to get their legs under them again. Also, shipping should not take a week. These guys can only go three days without eating and drinking after the hatch. They may need a lot of water, food, and rest. The warmth is probably not an issue seeing that you have that taken care of (lay a thermometer under your lights for 90F) but I think the length of shipping time will end up being the culprit.
  4. Pele

    Pele Songster

    Feb 25, 2011
    Oh my goodness they've been in the mail for three days in 50 degree weather? Those poor dears. [​IMG]

    I don't think you have a disease problem, it sounds like they are just really having a hard time dealing with shipping. The ones that are still running around and are active are your most likely to survive. The lethargic/gasping ones might not be salvageable [​IMG]. I'd just keep them in a brooder with a steady 95 degree temp, with plenty food and water. You can try giving the sick looking ones electrolytes or save-a-chick- via an eyedropper.

    Crossing my fingers for you and them! [​IMG]
  5. Nicole01

    Nicole01 Crowing

    Mar 28, 2011
    Give them polyvisol vitamins without iron. I put a drop twice a day right down the beak for the gasping ones. I put 1ml per quart of water for non gasping chicks. The vitamins are infant vitamins sold at many stores. The gasping is not good. My chicks survived, but my neighbors didn't. She didn't start vitamins soon enough. Good luck.
  6. scatteredeggs

    scatteredeggs Chirping

    May 2, 2011
    thanks a lot for all your responses. i gave drops of sugared water to the gasping one and made sure there's close up warmth. after an hour, it was chirping loudly and not gasping anymore and has re joined the others. installed a 125W heat lamp as well. the others are looking good. i have since replenished food and water. will check again in a few.
  7. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    I agree with the other posts. Please give us updates... [​IMG] [​IMG]

  8. scatteredeggs

    scatteredeggs Chirping

    May 2, 2011
    all (except one that died within a couple of hours) is up and running, feeding and drinking water. i've got two bulbs, a 60W and a 125W heat lamp. they hang out farther from the bigger lamp when not eating and drinking. No more gasping. i read from a book - Success With Baby Chicks, by Robert Plamondon (who raises free ranged layers and have his customers wait up for the eggs) to give as first drinking water - warm water mixed with ordinary sugar (2 cups for every gallon of warm water) to attack the hunger and thirst (dehydration) from the long trip.

    the gasping chick probably has not had the chance to drink and a bit cold. i put a few drops in the beak using a medicine dropper and put it in a paper bag with a lamp on top. after an hour, it was chirping loudly and not gasping anymore. i have put it back in the brooder with the rest of the guys.

    thanks for all your responses. the first 48 hours is the critical period so i'll continue checking on the guys every now and then. [​IMG]
  9. Rainbow Dash

    Rainbow Dash In the Brooder

    Jun 15, 2011
    I've seen your other posts, and I'm glad they're now OK... But for the lamps, you'll need a 100 watt bulb, I believe.
  10. jtr

    jtr Chirping

    May 6, 2011
    could you post some pics so we could see one gasping or did you not take one im just curious now haha thank gosh they are up and moving!!!!!! [​IMG]

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