sick baby chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by katief, Dec 19, 2011.

  1. katief

    katief Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 9, 2010
    Hi I am after some advice - i got 5 chicks week old chicks and got a thermometer in the box with sawdust, right temperature, fed on medicated chick crumb, i had them a week. in this last week one by one they are becoming sick. each look perfectly healthy then without warning lie down and when they try to get up they have no balance then within an hour die. I have two left is there anything i can do to say the last two chicks from this happening to them?
  2. srslychickning

    srslychickning Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 5, 2011
    Garner, NC
    I'm sorry your first experience is turning out to be not such a great one. I wish I had more advice for you, but I'm not too sure what to recommend. I'd check in the Emergency/Sick forum and see if you can find some answers there. I just noticed you had no responses and wanted to offer whatever (little) advice I could.

    Is everything clean and dry in there? Have you started on any vitamin or anything in addition to the medicated feed? I hate to even think this, but if they all end up dying, make sure you sterilize EVERYTHING before getting any other chicks, just in case. Hopefully either someone in this forum or in the Emergency/Sick one will be able to give you more advice. Good luck!

    ETA: Actually, I'd go ahead and sterilize everything right now, on the off chance they are passing something around. At least you'd give them a little more of a chance....
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2011
  3. katief

    katief Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 9, 2010
    thanks - i have completly changed their food and water bowl and changed the box i had them in and new saw dust, The other two do look really healithy so here is hoping!! i did look at internet and no diaroeha either in any of the ill chicks just this loss of co-ordination and falling over.
  4. BlazeJester

    BlazeJester Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 2, 2011
    Midway, GA
    That almost sounds like poisoning. It could be botulism or something similar. If the toxin is highly concentrated, exposure may be fatal for chicks.

    How are you storing the big bag of your food? If you close the container and then open it suddenly and shine a light in, can you see any bugs? One of my chicks fell ill and I'm almost certain it was from the bugs in the first bag of feed I bought. I bought a new bag of feed, trashed everything that was in the brooder and started over fresh. None of the other chicks got sick, and the sick chick managed to recover.

    Look for bugs in the bedding also, wherever you are storing that. If you're able to store it in airtight containers (dog food or Lowe's/HD paint buckets or kitchen tupperware; storage tupperware bins are NOT bug-proof) do that.

    Throw away ANYTHING with bugs in it and get new stuff from a different store. It's a waste, but could make the difference for the two remaining chicks.
  5. katief

    katief Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 9, 2010
    Hi Blaze i checked the food cant find any bugs and saw dust was a new bag but nothing in there either.
  6. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 6, 2011
    Pacific North West
    hi Katie and sorry for this to be a welcome post [​IMG] to the BYC

    I would put vitamins in the water. I would make sure with an eye dropper to give them water but don't squirt it just drop it in the mouth/beaks. It sounds like the heat may be to hot. What is the temperature really in the brooder. Use a digital temp gauge that has been calibrated. 85 to 90 degrees the first week then week 2 80 to 85 and week 3 75 to 80 and 5 degrees less each week. If they are in the middle of the heat its to hot if they are on the outside in the shadow of the heat its to hot and it sounds like you have got them to hot and they are dehydrated in to much heat. Your thermometer is not working correctly maybe?

    So sorry for you
  7. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Could it be saw dust? I never use that...I use pine shavings.....I would think the saw dust would be too fine and they would be eating it......
  8. Yonaton

    Yonaton Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 28, 2007
    West TN
    Do they have enough room to get out of the heat if they want to or is the heat spread throughout the whole container you have them in? Heat kills. They only need it in one area of the container they're in not the whole thing.
  9. katief

    katief Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 9, 2010
    Thanks all

    They are 3 weeks and temp was reduced as you described. They are in a big box where they can get out from under the heat lamp if its too hot and get back under if too cold. They kinda of are in the middle of the box not under the lamp or in the far edge of the box. the ones that pasted where the same but when they became sick went back under the heat light. The saw dust is large shavings.

    The last two were quite yesterday when the last chick died and they started to cover the dead chick with sawdust until intervened it was well weird. I stayed up moist of the night checking on the last two and today they have really perked up. dive bombing each other testing out their new found wings and running out chasing each other. they both seem bigger then the other chicks - could it just be that the other chicks where just not strong rather then illness that going to hit these two? looking at the research they seem to young for merecks?

    So glad the last two are looking happy and healithy!
  10. katief

    katief Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 9, 2010

    here are the two surviving chicks keep all your fingers crossed for them

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by