Tractor supply chicks keep dying

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Rozz, Mar 24, 2017.

  1. Rozz

    Rozz New Egg

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    Hey everyone, I would be very grateful if you could help me figure out why my chicks keep dying. On Monday I bought some chicks from tractor supply, today is friday and I have lost 2 chicks and another one has fallen ill. I bought 8 Amerucana chicks and 2 red sex links. I have only lost amerucana chicks and I have no clue why. The symptoms are the following: they are weak their crops are full of liquids (like they just drank a ton of water and ate no food) then they start coughing, hiccuping, or breathing weird then they throw up liquids and eventually die.
     
  2. Rozz

    Rozz New Egg

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    Here is a picture of my setup [​IMG]
     
  3. Dolivo

    Dolivo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Have you checked their butts for stuck on poo? If they can't poop they will die.
     
  4. blackdog043

    blackdog043 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What's the temperature in your brooder? What size light bulb are you using? Is it cooler on one side, so they can escape the heat? Pasty butt?
     
  5. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 Overrun With Chickens

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    All the above question pertinent, have you seen them eating? What are you feeding? I would also inform TSC, in the event others are having issues.
     
  6. byclover2

    byclover2 Out Of The Brooder

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    I would agree with all the above -- check the temp in the brooder, check for Pasty Butt (which is also prevented with ample heat, complete feed, etc). This is a really good article from The Chicken Chick about chick care -- http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/03/baby-chick-basics-what-you-need-to-know.html At the end of the day, chicks are just a few days old and some will simply not make it, no one's fault.

    Also, TSC can help you replace just the birds you've lost, or get you a refund. Call the Customer Solutions team at 1-877-718-6750 (option 4, then hit 9 for a Team Member).
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2017
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Sorry it has taken so long to get back to you. Have you talked to that Tractor Supply to see if anyone else has reported similar problems? I really don’t think it likely for the chicks to be diseased from Tractor Supply, but anything is possible. It’s best to start by eliminating the obvious.

    Off the top of my head I can’t think of any diseases that acts like this. I really don’t think that is the problem. To me it sounds more like poisoning. My first thought is your feed moldy. Is the feed damp? Damp feed can turn moldy, which can harm the chicks. Some people wet the feed, which is fine, but it needs to be cleaned out regularly and replaced so it doesn’t turn moldy. Are you fermenting the feed? Some people have posted where the fermenting process went wrong and they lost chickens because of it.

    Are you adding anything to the water? Many people on here regularly add all kinds of weird things to the water in an effort to “help” the chicks. That’s generally not a problem and may even help the chicks but not if you get the proportions wrong. Too much of a good thing is often not a good thing. Personally I just make sure they have a constant supply of clean fresh water with no additives.

    What kind of bedding are you using? Pine or aspen shavings are fine but cedar shavings give off fumes that can harm the chicks if they are concentrated. If it is cedar you should be able to smell it. The shavings in that photo do not look like cedar.

    Is the bedding dry? Wet bedding can become moldy over time. Mold can possibly be harmful.

    Do the dead ones have swollen crops? In some ways this is consistent with a blocked crop. Sometimes chickens eat things that block the exit to the crop. They may eat long things that twist and tangle into a ball too big to exit the crop and get to the gizzard where it would be ground up. If they don’t have grit to help grind it up, it can cause a blockage at the exit to the gizzard if it makes it that far. It’s also possible they can eat enough sand or grit to cause problems in the crop, it just gets full and doesn’t empty. If the crop gets impacted, it often smells sour.

    An impacted crop really does not happen often, but it’s possible the chicks are eating enough wood shavings to cause a blockage. Are you feeding them anything other than chicken feed that may get tangled in the crop and needs to be ground up in the gizzard? If you are, they need some grit to prevent a blockage in the gizzard. Some people cover the shavings with paper towels for two or three days to keep the chicks from eating the wood shavings before they learn that their feed is what they should be eating. A lot of people do not use paper towels or anything to cover the shavings and don’t have this problem, but it is a possibility.

    Can you think of anything you’ve done that could cause fumes, maybe a cleaner that didn’t get rinsed out enough? It looks like the brooder had good ventilation so fumes should not be building up in it.

    Has anyone, say your kids, fed the chicks anything “different”? I can’t remember what it was but I remember a post on here where kids had given the chicks something they should not have and it killed the chicks. I think it was a feed meant for other types of pets.

    I’m out of ideas. Some of these are grasping at straws but I really can’t tell for sure what is going on. I wish you luck!
     
  8. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

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    I agree this sounds like poisoning of some kind. Is your brooder bulb Teflon coated ? those will outgas carbon monoxide and kill any age poultry.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2017
  9. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

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    I have been reading up on the symptoms. this could be ascites. it can be caused by too cold, poor ventilation, improper feed, too much corn in the feed ,anything that can cause fatty liver disease, etc., can cause ascites . as far as treatment I think you need to hit the net for that but it doesn't look promising.

    This could also be a health issue which was passed from dam to chicks in The egg. There a a bunch of them. One is CRD, tho I don't know if CRD is these particular chicks problem. Infection through the egg would explain why only the Tractor Supply chicks are dying.

    Found another owner who saw this clear vomit with worms . suggested worming the birds, then feeding scrambled eggs and high quality yogurt for treats afterwards. I think Okios Triple Zero yogurt is a great yogurt for birds.
    Karen
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2017

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