sick chick and spreading?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Newbean, Feb 16, 2009.

  1. Newbean

    Newbean Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 28, 2008
    Yesterday I went to feed the chicks and found one laying on its side and twitching.

    It spasmed (stretched out, even its toes and head) when I picked it up. It seemed pretty far gone so I had hubby put it out of its misery.

    I assumed that it had been trampled by another chick in the feeding time rush.

    These guys are 15 weeks old and doing just fine in an outside coop.

    Fast forward to today.

    I went to feed the chicks and there were 2 more laying on the ground, I assumed dead.

    I went into the coop and found that only one was dead. It was totally stretched out just like the chick from yesterday.

    The chick I found alive was not spasming but was able to stand, barely. Shows no interest in food. Really, no interest in anything but standing there, eyes closed with its feathers all fluffed up.

    Help me out here. I don't know what is going on and am worried about the rest of my group of chicks.

    These were hatched from my own stock, so no vaccinations. But they were on medicated feed. They are now on scratch.

    I unexpectedly ran out of feed a few days ago so was forced to feed them layer pellets for 2 days.

    Everything else is the same.

    This is freaking me out. I've lost about 7 chicks from my original group of 28 chicks hatched back around Halloween. The first one was dropped at 1 day old, the second was trampled in a crowded brooder, the 3rd, and 4th I thought to exposure... I found all of them already dead.

    Question #1. What can I do for this chick? Should I just put it out of its misery?

    Question #2. As of today I'm looking at my death rate and thinking its rather high. Is there something going through my flock? Do I need to panic?

    My older chickens are in different coops and seem unaffected.

    This whole thing has me freaking out. I was hoping to sell some of these birds as young layers and use the rest for hatching eggs in the spring and then sell as young layers in the later summer months.

    At this rate I'm worried about taking a total loss.
     
  2. chickensioux

    chickensioux Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 12, 2009
    Western North Carolina
    You said they are on scratch. Only scratch? They need more nutients than scratch only. Nutritional deficiency?
     
  3. Andora

    Andora Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 26, 2008
    Lexington, Kentucky
    Have you introduced any new birds? Had anyone with dirty boots from another farm come into your coops/barn?

    Could your chicks have cocci? Have you checked their poo? I had cocci go through my first flock of birds, and several died similar to what you are describing--I found one weak and laying down, then a few hours later it twitched and spasmed and died.

    Another one of my pullets had cocci but did not have bloody poop at all. This was the bird I took to get a necropsy, so I know with 100% certainty she had cocci. I was shocked because I had seen no bloody poop and thought I'd gotten rid of the cocci problem a few weeks ago.

    If you have a state university near you, chances are you can take a dying or freshly dead bird in to get a necropsy for very cheap. I highly recommend it, it's way better to know for sure than to have to guess what's going on! Our university only charges $10 and you get the full results in 7 days.
     
  4. Newbean

    Newbean Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 28, 2008
    yes, only on scratch. What else should I be adding to it? I am still fairly new to this.

    No new birds. The last time I had new birds was in August.

    No bloody poop.

    Where or what would they get cocci from?
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2009
  5. chickensioux

    chickensioux Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 12, 2009
    Western North Carolina
    I feed laying pellets. These seem so be very nutritious and everyone does fine. I only use scratch as a treat, feeding a small amount in morning or evening. I would first get some vitamins (feed stores) and laying pellets asap. If they all don't perk up I would try to find a vet or institute that does necropsies and have the dead ones checked. Maybe once they have feed on pellets for awhile try a good all purpose dewormer, one that gets worms and coccidia. Sue
     
  6. chickensioux

    chickensioux Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 12, 2009
    Western North Carolina
    Oh, I guess I should add that scratch has little to no nutritional value & chickens pick up parasites (external and internal) from all kinds of environmental sources. Wild birds, squirrels, earthworms, etc....
     
  7. Newbean

    Newbean Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 28, 2008
    So i'm supposed to be feeding layer pellets at this age? I thought it was to early.

    I'll change it right away.

    Also the chick died. It pooped before it died and it was mostly white. No blood.
     
  8. Andora

    Andora Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 26, 2008
    Lexington, Kentucky
    Several of mine that died had white poop too, one had green. Cocci can be in the soil naturally and it's contagious from their poop to other birds until they build up immunity to it. I finally healed my birds with Corid (or Amprolium 9%, same thing as Corid.)

    Scratch is like chicken candy! It is yummy and fattening but not all that nutritious. You can get chick feed (mash or crumbles) for baby chicks and young chickens, then once they get to the point of lay feed them layer mash/crumbles/pellets (which ever you prefer) Just give a few handfuls of scratch a day as a treat. [​IMG]

    It's so upsetting to have random unexpected deaths, I spent hours freaking out over my sick flock and wondering what was going on. Thankfully the necropsy solved it for me. But if you've only been feeding scratch, maybe that's the issue and not a scary disease? Hope so!! Good luck.
     
  9. chickensioux

    chickensioux Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 12, 2009
    Western North Carolina
    Yeah, most people use chick starter for the 1st 8 weeks then switch to laying. Are they getting any grit? Grit should also be given. It has the calcium they need as well as aiding in digestion. You can get that at feed stores too. I hope this is not too overwhelming. I'm sorry for your loss. I hope this is the problem and it can be corrected. Keep us posted. Sue
     
  10. Chickenmaven

    Chickenmaven Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2009
    Michigan
    I am really sorry too hear that this has happened to you. Yeah, they need chick starter. Feeding scratch is the equivalent to feeding your human kids nothing but popcorn. On the bright side, I bet once you up the nutrition, you'll do better. [​IMG]
     

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