Sick Chicks gasping for air. HELP!!!!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Chickaddict82, Aug 24, 2014.

  1. Chickaddict82

    Chickaddict82 In the Brooder

    Aug 24, 2014
    Chickamauga, GA
    I have a group of 50 chicks. A week ago we lost 2. I hoped it was an isolated incident as there was no apparent cause and everyone was healthy. 3 days ago I found one gasping for air and stretching its neck out making squeaking noises, not eating or drinking. Isolated the chick immediately and treated it with vitamins, Ivermectin, and Vet RX. Looks like a textbook case of gapeworm but these chicks have never been exposed to the ground or to other chickens that have been exposed to earthworms or other sources of the parasite. The chick passed over night and seven others have come down with the same illness. All have passed except 2 that are declining rapidly. I chick-autopsied the first victim with a q tip swabbed in its windpipe and found no evience of worms, just clear mucus.. It has been hot and humid here, heat index of 100 or worse and raining daily which could be contributing to respiratory disease. If anyone has any ideas I need help before I lose all of them.
  2. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

    May 19, 2009
    Take this to the emergency thread. Some wonderful folks there who love to help sick birds.
    One thing. If they are not getting any nutrition, give them each one drop by mouth of any Bovidr Labs Nutri-Drench or Nutri-Drop product. They are made species-specific but also meet the standards for a universal dosage. The chicks need energy to try to live. I raised my chicks this year on Goat Nutri-Drench. This is a specialist company. Their emergency nutritional supplements do not need to be digested. They mainline directly into the blood stream. Detectable in the bloodstream Iin15 minutes. 50% uptake in 30 minutes. 99% utilization. Here's a thread which tells even more.
    I get it at Tractor Supply. Cheapest price. Or any feed store. Poultry Nutri-Drops is only 6.99 for small bottle at TSC. Very concentrated. One drop by mouth as needed every 8-10 hours. Give 2ml per gallon for maintenance or 4 ml per gallon for stress situations. My chicks get the 2ml dose in their water for the 1st month of life to get them off to a strong start.
    Best Success,
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2014
  3. Chickaddict82

    Chickaddict82 In the Brooder

    Aug 24, 2014
    Chickamauga, GA
    I use poultry Nutridench for routine maintenance for all of my chicks ad concentrated drops as needed for any that seem lethargic. I'm at a loss for what the issue might be. Possibly pneumonia so we started them on antibiotics.
  4. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Crowing

    How old are they? Are they in a brooder or outside? Are you sure they are not just overheating? High heat and humidity is tough on any chicken.
  5. RAnst4038

    RAnst4038 Chirping

    Apr 23, 2014
    Jacobus, Pa
    I had 7 just hatched from Blue House Farm that just stood there gasping till they dropped dead.
  6. 1zooman12

    1zooman12 Chirping

    Dec 12, 2013
    If it were this old man I would take one of the sick yet alive birds to the local veterinary department of my local agricultural school. Here in Northern California we have the vet school at Davis, a wonderful forensic institution which charges little or nothing depending on one's circumstances. Maybe you have such an outfit at say maybe, Penn State? Let us know the outcome, please.
    My best to all,
    Neal, the Zooman
  7. Chickaddict82

    Chickaddict82 In the Brooder

    Aug 24, 2014
    Chickamauga, GA
    No vet in my area touches chickens. I ruled out gape worm thankfully. We ended up losing 10 of fifty. Everyone else is on the mend. First round of chicks from this breeder and it'll be the last. Treating them with Baytril, VetRX, and electrolytes is working. The two sickest lived and are in the hospital bay in my house. I think it's pneumonia or some other respiratory issue. No more dead babies.
  8. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Crowing

    Apr 11, 2011
    Are you sure they didn't have a bout of cocci? You stated it has been very hot and raining, which would be perfect conditions for the protozoa to thrive.
    It doesn't always present with blood in the stool and they don't need to be exposed to the ground to get it.

    Perhaps you might call the breeder and see if they're also having problems, or if they might offer some way to help. These things do happen, and it may not have had anything to with them.

    I'm glad to hear your remaining chicks are on the mend and I'm sorry for the ones you lost. I would send one that passed off for a necropsy, which in most cases isn't done by a vet. Maybe contact your local university, health department or Ag department and see if they can tell you where the best place to have one done would be.

    Good luck.
  9. Chickaddict82

    Chickaddict82 In the Brooder

    Aug 24, 2014
    Chickamauga, GA
    I treated for cocci also just in case. I finally found a vet who would check one to determine the issue. It was pneumonia due to the weather

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