Please help! Chicks dying!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by kelsieann124, Mar 23, 2017.

  1. kelsieann124

    kelsieann124 Out Of The Brooder

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    I am having a very difficult time figuring out what is happening to my poor baby chicks. We have lost 4 so far, all different breeds, but from the same store. We were told that the store did not give antibiotics to the chicks before they gave them to us. The chicks follow a pattern every time they pass. It starts with them sitting with their head and wings lowered and they have no recognition of the other chicks around them, even when they step on or peck them, next they start acting like they are yawning, they then stop eating and drinking, they start acting like they are gasping for air almost, then either have a seizure, or just pass away over night. It is heartbreaking to watch this continue to happen and I do not want it to continue if at all possible. I have started putting Apple Cider Vinegar in their water and a drop of Oregano Essential Oil. I am just at a loss as to what may be going on. If it is a contagious disease then I want to treat my other chicks before they die as well. If anyone has any ideas on what this may be, please help![​IMG]
     
  2. DwayneNLiz

    DwayneNLiz ...lost... Premium Member

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    how is your brooder set up?
    what is the temperature?

    it sounds like they may be getting overheated, and possibly dehydrated
     
  3. kelsieann124

    kelsieann124 Out Of The Brooder

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    We have them in a 50 gallon rubber bin and the heat lamp is set up overhead. They don't seem to be getting too hot because they aren't all huddled away from the light.
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Baby chicks shouldn't need antibiotics.

    How old are they? How many chicks?

    can you post pics of your set-up?

    what are you feeding?

    If they're under say 4 weeks, chick loss is usually not disease related. It's from failure to thrive, or management, things like that.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2017
  5. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Pictures? If there is no sufficiently cool zone in the brooder, they won't be all huddled away from the light, because the whole brooder is just too warm overall. One of the reasons why I think storage bins make for terrible brooders. The high sides hold in way too much heat, creating an oven effect.
     
  6. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    You should call your veterinarian if you really think it's an illness. Nobody can tell you if it's a contagious illness by your description alone.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2017
  7. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    x2 If you're using a heat lamp, I'd bet $ it's too hot in that box.
     
  8. DwayneNLiz

    DwayneNLiz ...lost... Premium Member

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    how many are there?
    can you post a picture of the set up
    what is the temperature in it?

    chicks shouldnt need an antibiotic, what they were probably telling you is that they werent being fed a medicated feed, which means the feed did not contain amprolium, which is a preventative for Coccidosis

    ETA: also since you are in Arizona your ambient temps may be warm anyway
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2017
  9. Vpridefarm

    Vpridefarm New Egg

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    I am in agreement, it sounds like they are too hot!
     
  10. jenvander

    jenvander Out Of The Brooder

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    I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your chicks :'(

    It does sound like the brooder box is too hot. You can raise up the light to lower the temperature. Also, put the light over one end of the box so that they have a cooler end they can visit to cool down. You'll know it is too hot if they always huddle on the cool end and pant (that might be the yawning-like behavior you are seeing), or that it is too cold if they always huddle on the warm end. Do you have an outdoor type thermometer that you could put in there to see how hot it is? Here are the recommended temperature ranges that I have commonly seen in articles; I followed these ranges and my chicks are thriving so far (3 weeks old):

    Recommended:
    • Week 1 90 - 95° F
    • Week 2 85 - 90° F
    • Week 3 80 - 85° F
    • Week 4 75 - 80° F
    • Week 5, 6, 7 70 - 75° F
    • Week 8 65 - 70° F
    • Week 9 65° F minimum


    I've not heard about the oregano oil, so I would recommend stopping that unless a vet approves it. The organic apple cider vinegar is good to prevent pasty butt and many experienced chicken farmers have used that, so we know it is quite safe. The ratio of vinegar to water could be at issue; I use 1 teaspoon per quart of water. Overheated brooders can increase the likelihood of pasty butt. Make sure to check your chicks at least once a day for it. You can google up lots of great videos on how to easily remedy the pasty butt. Warm water and a paper towel work very well.

    Clean the water and food dish every day and put fresh shavings in too (you can layer it for up to a week). Completely empty and wash out the brooder once a week (disinfect in some way). Coccidiosis is common. You can get chicken feed with the medication in it -- visit your local Southern States or Tractor Supply or similar place and ask for it. They might also have a medication for the water, and they can tell you if your problem sounds like disease or just heat issues.

    Also, sometimes you just get unlucky and you get some that were born not-quite-right inside, and they usually pass away within that first week after hatching.

    Best of luck, and let us know how the rest of your babies are doing!
     

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