Should I separate (weak/sick) baby chick from the rest?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by henvy, Jun 20, 2016.

  1. henvy

    henvy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just got my first batch (8) of baby chicks from the feed store on Saturday. One was looking listless, not eating or drinking much by Saturday evening and I wasn't shocked to find her passed in the morning. And yesterday (Sunday), another one started acting the same way - listless, isolating under the warmer plate. I started watering her with a dropper, which she drank a little but didn't seem interested in food or water. Again, I wasn't shocked when she passed in the night as well.

    But now I see another one is not really eating or drinking. At first I thought, maybe she's just the 'late sleeper' - she was the only one who did not go for the feeder. She went to the waterer, but just stared and then ducked under the heat plate again. Now she's posting in the corner/by or under the warming plate, but every now and then she goes over to the feeder walks the circle displacing everyone - but not eating- and then she stands there looking a little disoriented and goes back to the corner/under the warming plate.

    She had been very noisy the past two days, but active, eating, and drinking. I had thought she was just colicky (sp?), but now I wonder if the crying was leading up to this. The others who died didn't cry and weren't super strong before. This one had been strong and is now not eating/drinking.

    Ugh, I don't know if this is just natural - some chicks die - or if I need to worry about the rest. How do I know if this is a contagious disease?

    The other five are very strong, active, eating, drinking, pooping normally (note: the ones who passed seemed to have healthy poop too - a little on the yellow side, but otherwise looked normal according to my research).

    Should I separate out the one that's not doing well to protect the 5 that are doing well? Will that just make her worse?

    Thanks everyone
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2016
  2. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Try to keep the sick one with the others if possible. If it appears she's getting run over, then separate her.

    One dead chick you can assume was failure to thrive, and not worry much, but two more sick ones in close succession indicates a disease outbreak. It is most often coccidiosis during the first couple weeks. Get some Corid or whatever the brand of amprolium is in the part of the world where you live, and get the chicks started on it immediately - all of them.
     
  3. Eggsoteric

    Eggsoteric Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'd get some Save-a-chick electrolytes and add it to their water. Have you been checking them for pasty butt? What are you feeding them? Can you describe your brooder set up?
     
  4. henvy

    henvy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]
    Thanks so much for the advice. I'll go this morning as soon as I can. I've described by brooder set up below and include a photo.

    Brooder: 54 gal. 42-1/2 in. x 21-1/2 in. x 18-3/5 in. Hi-Top Storage Tote
    Litter: pine shavings
    Heat: Premier Chick Brooder Heating Plate - 12" x 12"
    Waterer: Premier Chick Nipple Drinker; room temp tap water changed daily so far
    Food: MannaPro Chick Starter - complete crumbles (see photo)

    It's in a room of my house with north facing window (no direct sun). Ambient temp in room is about 85 degrees right now (I'm in Denver CO). I have a ceiling fan set on very low just to circulate the air.

    I just cleaned the whole thing - dumped the shavings, cleaned the bin with vinegar water, let it air/sun dry a bit; washed feeder and waterer with HOT soapy water; new food, new water. They were chirpy during the transitions to and from the temp "brooder", but are all (except for the sick one) fine again back in the main brooder - eating, drinking, in and out of the heating 'cave'.

    See anything I'm doing wrong?

    Thanks again!
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2016
  5. henvy

    henvy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks so much! I'll head to Wardle Feed as soon as I can. I see you're in CO as well - I'm in North Denver and got the chicks at Wardle Feed on Saturday. I'll ask them while I'm there as well. Should I take in the two that passed? I guess I can call ahead to see if they are interested or would send for a necropsy.
     
  6. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Whatever is killing your chicks is not your fault. Your brooder looks just fine.

    The feed store isn't likely to be interested in having a necropsy done on the dead chicks, but they might be willing to give you live replacements.

    Treating for cocci is harmless. The amprolium simply targets niacin and deprives the cocci parasite from sustenance. It will not harm the chicks if they don't have cocci. But cocci is one of the leading causes of sickness and death in new chicks. A feed store usually has next to zero bio-security, so contamination from people coming in from farms and backyard chicken sources is a high possibility.

    Do give the chicks the probiotics and other boosters, but hold off on vitamins until cocci treatment is completed. Most folks in your situation almost always experience a halt in sickness and death in their chicks when they treat for cocci.
     
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  7. henvy

    henvy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks so much! on the way to Feed store now. Do you recommend yogurt or some other probiotic? Hold off on the Save-a-Chick until cocci is treated?

    Thanks for handling all the newbie/worried mom questions :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2016
  8. henvy

    henvy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh, and yes, I have been checking for pasty butt at least twice daily. All, but one is clean as a whistle, and the pasty one was just a little that I could soften with water and pull off fairly easily. Honestly, I pretty much just stared at them all day Saturday and much of Sunday, like a new mom with a newborn, fascinated with their every move. Today, I have to work, but brooder is in my office, so that's lucky.
    Thanks so much for the help!
     
  9. Stephine

    Stephine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When I had chicks that were off, I isolated them for short periods of time, with their own heat lamp, water and feed. I gave them save a chick electrolytes and probiotics in theirvwater and dunked their beaks in it to get them to drink a bit and handfed them tiny raisin pieces. Both times the chicks perked up in about an hour, started drinking and eating on their own. After maybe another hour or two (when they had started to look energetic and were trying to jump out of the box ) I put them back with the others again and switched everyone to electrolytes, and they were fine from then on. Mine didn't have cocci, but they were mail order chicks. If you get them from a feed store I think cocci is much more likely, the ones I have seen are always overcrowded and their water looks terrible...
    Anyway, in short, isolating the weak ones and pampering them for a few hours might be good, especially to make sure they drink and eat. Are the nipple wateresr working for the others? When I tried them with my chicks they barely drank any water. I had them on a regular chick waterer for a few weeks and then switched them to lubing cups, which are the perfect solution for us.
     
  10. henvy

    henvy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The nipple waterer works well - all, but the few that have been/are sick get right in there to drink. I also had a small ramekin of water (too small to drown), but mostly they're not interested in that. I was also using a dropper with the sick ones which works ok.

    Just got back from Feed store - they did not have Corid or equivalent. They gave us Duramycin-10 (tetracycline), Probiotic Chick Boost, and Vitamins & Electrolytes "Plus" (see photo). After reading about Corid - I still think I should get that. Ugh - frustrating. Should I start them on anti-biotics?? I'm calling around a few other places to see who carries corid/ equivalent near me.

    Thanks again everyone for the experience and advice!
     

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