They are dropping like flies

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ginmarie84, Sep 19, 2014.

  1. ginmarie84

    ginmarie84 New Egg

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    I have a plastic tote turned into a brooder via a youtube tutorial. I have been feeding them mfa medicated feed. I use paper towels with pine on top. Temp seems good. I went to the farm store and bought some medication for their water at the advice of the hatchery after I called to ask why my chicks were dying. That brought little to no improvement. I am at my wits end. Not only is this really sad but expensive and exhausting too. Oh, I've also given them some bananas and goodies from the garden in hopes it would help. They seem to enjoy it but its not helped the mortality issue. I am new to this and I've bought everything and my husbands already built a fancy coop but I just want to give up. I sure didn't expect this after all the great things I read about chicken farming on the internet. Please help. My three kids and I feel hopeless.
     
  2. HugHess

    HugHess Chickrack Addict

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    My condolences on the loss of your chicks...that can take a lot of the 'fun' out of anything.
    If you could give fellow BYCer's more detailed information I will hope that they will better be able to assist you with sound advice from their own experiences.
    What signs and symptoms are they displaying?
    How old are your chicks? You may not want to be giving them 'goodies' of any kind at this point...
    Have you researched Coccidiosis? There can be a great deal of mortality with this disease, especially in chicks. The medication Corid may help them if Cocci is 'diagnosed' (believed to be a possible cause).
    Save-A-Chick electrolytes and probiotics may help...can't hurt ( I wouldn't think).
    ACV in their water supply may also help. (Apple Cider Vinegar with The Mother)
    What is the temp in your brooder...and do they have gradient areas to move in and out of the heat?
    While you are awaiting the seasoned Chickeners here, you may do well by reading (anything and everything) in the Learning Center as well as digging deep into the Emergencies, Illnesses, Diseases and Cures under the Raising BackYard Chickens section in the Forum threads.
    I will hope for the best outcome possible from this point forward and will look forward to your reply so that we may better assist you through this very rough patch.

    Sincerely,


    HugHess
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2014
  3. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    I'm so sorry! More information may help; how old are the chicks? How long were they in transit from the hatchery, and how long ago. Breathing problems? Diarrhea? What bedding, food, and heating? How many birds? Which hatchery? Consider post mortem exams on some chicks, and ask for help from the hatchery. Again, so sorry. Mary
     
  4. ginmarie84

    ginmarie84 New Egg

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    Of course. I was in total despair when I sent that and didn't realize how vague I was until I reread it. Despite my vagueness you were still very helpful. Ok so I will list a few facts.
    -we purchased the first batch of day olds from cackle hatchery. After one week they started dying. By 4 weeks we were down to two silky batam chicks. After several google searches when they first began to die I decided it must be Coccidiosis. I ran to the local farm store and purchased sulmet at their recommendation. I thought it was going to do the trick because they seemed to be doing better. A day later they again were randomly dying. I can usually tell as she'll become peeked. They aren't as wide eyed and become lethargic. We changed bedding from pine to straw. All died but the two silkies. I decided we'd wait until spring and try again, but after some thinking, i was concerned about wintering the two tiny chickens all by themselves in that big coop.
    - we purchased 10, day olds from our local farm store. All was well for the first week but then they began to start dying this time I noticed that in addition to the prior symptoms their seemed to be some with curled feet and hobbling. Once again I rushed to google and found myself splinting baby feet that night... The next morning they were dead. I now have 6 remaining but not wide eyed and bushytailed week and a half chicks a couple of which are at deaths door now.
    AS IF ALL THIS ISNT ENOUGH! My white silky fell over and started having what looked like a seizure. I scooped her up, wrapped her in a towel and gave her water through a dropper prayed over her (hey, He feeds and cloths the sparrow so why not my birdies.) until she seemed to perk up then I put her back she's up and walking now but still a concern.
    Thanks for all your help and sympathy. I feel silly but my hearts heavy and your words were helpful.
     
  5. HugHess

    HugHess Chickrack Addict

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    Hi again,

    Can I ask where you are keeping them while they are feathering out?
    Were your day old chicks from the store guaranteed?
    I, again, am sorry to know you are going through this.
    Reading your posts makes me realize I need to go and reread all the stuff I just read!
    I would still look into ACV and electrolytes with probiotics...can you disinfect their current settings?
    What heat source/temp are you using?
    I lost one chick about a week ago... I hate that feeling, so I can only imagine how you have been feeling.
    Well, hopefully, between here and Google, your chicks will have at least a fighting chance.
    There are so many variables with both genetics and disease, its enough to make someone crazy...me anyway.
    Would you even think about incubating your own eggs to round out your flock?
    Not bashing the store or hatchery...but all that loss would make me leery.
     
  6. ginmarie84

    ginmarie84 New Egg

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    I agree. I originally wanted to incubate my own eggs but didn't feel I could afford it, and now after all my luck I am concerned about spending anymore money on anything.
    I am keeping them in a Rubbermaid tote I converted by drilling vent holes and adding a light and thermometer. I believe it has enough vents and couldn't possible be drafty. I do think I will put some more vents in. I am grasping at straws at this point.
    I will also try to purchase the acv and electrolyte and probiotic stuff you suggested. Will they have that at my local farm store. I intend to clean the brooder tonight so I will try disinfecting it with vinegar also. Thanks again for all your help.
     
  7. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Overrun With Chickens

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    I work with plastics every day.
    Just a thought...
    Some plastics can give off toxic fumes and it is intensified when warmed. It does not have to be super warm to make the toxic out gassing increase.
    It could be part of the issue.
    If you can I would make a brooder at least 4 foot long, 2 feet wide and 2 feet tall with a wire top and place your heat lamp over one end only. I am thinking wood would be a better choice just in case the plastic is the issue. That way they can choose to have heat or not. I would place the food and water just to the edge of the heated area sort of in the middle of the brooder. (One sheet of plywood would make the whole brooder minus the lid.)

    I do not know what kind of plastic was used in forming the tote but suspect it is not a food grade plastic since most are not. Food grade plastic is one of the few that give off less chemicals.
    My thought is that with a different material for the brooder and ACV and treatment with corid every possible thing that could be done would be done.

    Hoping for the best outcome for you little biddies.

    Babs

    Edited to add

    Home depot is pretty good at cutting down some plywood so you would not have to rip it yourself.
    Wire top in a frame would make sure there was enough fresh unheated air getting in too.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2014
  8. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    What feed are you using? Contact the manufacturer for help; the feed company will be able to tell how old it is from the code on the bag, and may help you. How has the hatchery been/ You always need more ventilation than you think; I hope the top is covered in hardware cloth, not closed in. This is a really sad story that needs resolution, and I hope you can get some answers, from PM information if nothing else. Did you reuse someone's poultry equipment, waterers, etc? Some things can come from another flock. I'm really wondering about the feed and the housing... Mary
     
  9. David1998

    David1998 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The ACV, probiotics and vitamins can't hurt and may be enough to get them through, but I don't think it's your root problem. It sounds like you have something more systematic. Could you post some pictures of your setup?
     
  10. Spitzboyz

    Spitzboyz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Could you take a picture of them and of your brooder setup please? Splaying legs are often caused by newspaper, use thick pine bedding only. If you post pics, I'm sure that may help us!
     

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