Shipped chicks - swallowing issues

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by brideofchaos, Jan 27, 2016.

  1. brideofchaos

    brideofchaos Chillin' With My Peeps

    171
    7
    68
    May 2, 2015
    Edgewood, NM
    Hi, all,

    A couple of times, from different sources, I've received day-old chicks that have issues swallowing (after dipping their beaks, they appear to have real difficulty swallowing -- gulping like they can't get it down). They ALWAYS die within a few days. Any idea why? Is it just the GI system hasn't developed properly? I always try to give every chick a chance but hate to see them suffer.

    Thanks, y'all,
    Wendy
     
  2. GitaBooks

    GitaBooks Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    6,617
    582
    271
    Jun 23, 2015
    USA
    I don't know the answer, but I do know I had the same thing happen with one of my chicks. It could be poor development but more likely it was an injury caused by shipping or handling as, if you watch how they are handled, it is very rough and includes a lot of throwing, squeezing, and dropping, which could certainly cause internal injuries.

    I'm sorry that you had to go through that.
     
  3. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    I don't know either and have never had that happen, but if chicks get chilled and stressed, as they might during shipping, they just start to shut down. Perhaps at that point they are just to far gone to be able to eat/drink properly anyway.
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

    29,391
    3,447
    501
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Do you know if they had something like GroGel in their box when they were shipped?
     
  5. rIrs roost

    rIrs roost Sir Crows A lot Premium Member

    14,074
    3,753
    416
    Aug 20, 2015
    Rockingham NC
    I'm not sure on this but if you dip their beaks to far in the water won't the water go down the wrong way causing them to drown? Not saying that's what you did. Just trying to figure it out..
     
  6. GitaBooks

    GitaBooks Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    6,617
    582
    271
    Jun 23, 2015
    USA
    Hmm, I've never heard of that. Its certainly somethings that would be very important though, since I dip each chicks beak into the water upon arrival. Where did you learn it?
     
  7. rIrs roost

    rIrs roost Sir Crows A lot Premium Member

    14,074
    3,753
    416
    Aug 20, 2015
    Rockingham NC
    Don't take this as true. But if I'm remembering rights, a breeder told me. Hopefully someone will chime in with can answer.
     
  8. GitaBooks

    GitaBooks Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    6,617
    582
    271
    Jun 23, 2015
    USA
    When we lost our shipped chick it was weak upon arrival. I noticed it was different from the others because when I dipped its beak instead of swallowing and then going for more or looking around for food it fell back on its back-end and closed its eyes, trying to swallow. The more water I got it to drink the more it filled its crop, but then it began to over-flow. We turned the chick upside down and the water all came back out. It almost seemed like an impacted or damaged crop. Could a poorly given vaccine damage a chick's crop? I know that the vaccines are sometimes given in the neck or shoulder area.
     
  9. brideofchaos

    brideofchaos Chillin' With My Peeps

    171
    7
    68
    May 2, 2015
    Edgewood, NM
    You know, I never thought of that...OR dipping the beak too much. But that definitely is the behavior I've observed. They fall back, eyes closed and struggle to swallow. In some instances, I'm SURE they were vaccinated (like from Ideal and Greenfire) and in others, not sure (from different hobby breeder). I will start to keep a log of it and see if I can narrow down the parameters...though am hoping it doesn't happen too often. My final shipment for the season is coming from Ideal week of 2/10...and they are all to be vaccinated. So I'll report back if there are any issues and track it from there. Anyone else that has it happen, please let us know if you can figure out any commonalities. Am sure there are more than a few of us who have had this happen. Doesn't seem to be any predisposition related to specific breeds so far. The recent victim was a Serama, but it has happened in large fowl breeds and bantams for us.
     
  10. GitaBooks

    GitaBooks Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    6,617
    582
    271
    Jun 23, 2015
    USA
    Ours was a standard chick from, I believe, Cackle hatchery (though all the others were healthy and lively). If it wasn't Cackle it was McMurray. And yes, I'm pretty sure they were vaccinated as well.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by