TSC Chick 'rescue' didn't end well, anyone know why?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by VioletBlueIvy, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. VioletBlueIvy

    VioletBlueIvy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 29, 2010
    So I went in to TSC to get feed today, and walk by the chick corral where they are just opening the shipping boxes. They didn't pick them up when they arrived and they were not in good shape at all. The first ones out were barely moving and could hardly stand. It was hard to watch, yet I stayed and watched while the woman tried to revive one after another, two of them were just about gone. She put them back in the box to die, and I couldn't stand it! I offered to hold them until they warmed up, and said I would buy them. She put them in a box and said I could have them, saying they wont make it here. I put them in my shirt and waited until she finished putting them in their bins, the poor things were huddled miserably in a pile, so I bought six more,I just hatched 22 on Sunday so I can just put them in with mine, I just felt so sorry for them.
    I took them out to the car and put them under the heater and they began to perk up and cheep, the two rescued ones in my shirt began to come around too. Once they could stand I put them in with the others, and gave them water and food and they ate and drank like crazy! Well, the two rescued ones didn't try to eat and drink on their own, so I gave them some water with electrolytes, which seemed to perk them up a little more. Then one of them just lay down and couldn't stand or hold up it's head, it had a couple seizures or spasms where it's legs stretched out and it's head pulled back and then wove back and forth, then it died. The other one was fine for a couple more hours and ate and drank then it started being droopy again too, so I gave it some electrolytes, but to no avail as it passed away in the same manner. Anybody know why?
    Just some more info; They both had loose runny bright green stools, all of them do actually, but the green I think is from the gel food they ship with them, because now that the others have had some real food it is going back to normal color. They are droopy, letting their wings hang. The other thing I noticed is their feet are thin looking and the veins stand right out dark red. My other chicks dont look like that, maybe it's a breed thing and unrelated? I have hatched over a hundred chicks and never had this happen so I am kind of at a loss. I have had to warm up cold chicks that got seperated from their mama, and though they were stone cold-swear-they-were-dead they were good as new once they warmed up. Not this time so I wonder if something else is going on? I just dont get why they perked up when they got warm and then died anyway? Is there anything else I could have done? Thoughts?
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2012
  2. mommabice

    mommabice Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 22, 2012
    My Coop
    That is so sad! I am new to chickens, so I don't have much help to offer...but maybe they were just too stressed or were not in good health when the hatched (underlying genetic issues?). That was so sweet of you to take home some of them so that they could have a chance.
  3. VioletBlueIvy

    VioletBlueIvy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 29, 2010
    Ok, So I called TSC, only one more of the chicks died. They gave me the # for Mt. Healthy, where the chicks came from. I called them and they said the Bright green Poo was indeed due to the substance they put in with chicks that will be shipped longer distances. The other symptoms are due to stress from being shipped, chilled ect. which makes them sick. The chicks shipped to TSC are not vaccinated, but, it is highly unlikely they have any pathogens. They said there is nothing I could do beyond warming them up and giving them the electrolytes.
    I still want to know why the stress kills them. Do they get a 'cold' is it from dehydration?
    One of the six I bought is now droopy too, so I am keeping my fingers crossed. The others are eating and drinking, but they are not relaxed and content, and playing like my peeps are yet. Poor things.
  4. VioletBlueIvy

    VioletBlueIvy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 29, 2010
    I lost another one last night, and there is another one going downhill today. I totally knew what I was getting into, but I thought I could do more and it is frustrating!!!!
    I gave them all poultry nutridrench and some egg yolk. The diarrhea has stopped, and of the remaining five, four are eating and drinking normally, and beginning to run around like normal. I gave the droopy one more electrolytes and yolk today, but the little bugger is not perking up.

    I will ask again in case anyone knows, what is the physiological result of the stress/chilling that causes this? They have no resperatory symptoms and no diarrhea, they just get sleepier and sleepier and die. I would like to know so I can figure out the best way to help fix it.
  5. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010
    Keep in mind that shipped chicks have never had anything to eat or drink in their whole lives yet when the box is opened. Sounds like simple dehydration and starvation in addition to being cold. With such weak systems from the stress, they could pick up nearly anything from the dust in a post office. Paper is really dusty stuff. You should see what they clean out of mail processing machines daily.

    But you know, often weak chicks just die. They just do. I hear your frustration. It's likely that the stress was just too much for their little systems to recover from no matter what treatment they get now.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2012
  6. TexasChick09

    TexasChick09 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 25, 2009
    Ack! I really hate reading this story. One, because it's just heart-breaking, and two, because I felt bad for some TSC bantam chicks last night and brought 7 home as well. Two seemed in fairly bad shape, but I had a broody who just hatched out some eggs, so I gave her the bantam chicks too. I put a heat lamp on one side of the cage and then the mother hen has her nest on the other side, so it's pretty warm whether they go under her or not.

    When I went in to cook dinner, the weaker chicks were at the waterer and one had been drinking for several minutes, but seemed like it just could not get enough. About an hour later when I went back out to check on them, all of the chicks (14 in total!) were under the mother hen, a big Buff Orpington hen. When I went out this morning, some of the chicks were out eating and I'm pretty sure one of them was one of the sicker chicks, but he looked pretty good.

    I noticed at TSC that the trough for the bantams had food at one end and water at the other end with the heat light over the food. None of the chicks were going near the other end where the water was, so I think that may have been part of the problem.

    I hope the rest of your guys make it.
  7. Nslangton

    Nslangton Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 19, 2012
    I have been to several different TSC to see the chicks. None of them seem as healthy as the chicks I picked up straight from the hatchery. I think shipping must put a huge stress on the chicks that they have a hard time recovering from. I was at TSC while they were setting the chicks out. There was about 100 day old production reds all of which had pasty butt. They were cleaning each one and then placing them in the brooder tubs. I watched for a while and most of the chicks seemed lethargic. I will never have chicks shipped or purchase from a facility that I know that they have been shipped. Too many horror stories. Hope the rest of your chicks make it. You are very nice for trying, but I wouldn't stress out the chicks were in trouble before you even got them.
  8. RonC

    RonC Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 28, 2012
    When I purchased mine from TSC there were only about 9 in the bin all running around. Don't know if one was tired or what but was running around with the others and just dropped in her tracks all stretched out and just laid there. When the man there started getting them out of the pen she got up but didn't really try to get away like the others. Because she was easy to catch and me having a soft heart she came home with me. Didn't think she was going to survive there. She was a little lazy for a few days but perked up. She's a little smaller than the others but just as fiesty as any of them, doesn't back down to any of the others when establishing their pecking order. She doesn't like being touched but once you do pick her up she doesn't want to be set back down. Like trying to get rid of something sticky. Hope the rest of yours make it.
  9. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    It's just exactly that. The stress of being shipped and getting chilled. If these tiny babies spend to much time in transit or if they sit around to long at the store waiting for clueless employee's to unpack them, getting chillier by the minute. It's not that they are sick, sometimes they just can't take the shipping and lack of heat. All you can do for slow or "sleepy" chicks is give them food, water, heat and rest. Many will perk up, some will not.

    I had one in my last batch from the local feed store that was like that. And they are really good about getting them warm, watered and fed immediately. My son begged to bring her home so she endured again being packed into a box and transported. Popped her into a warm brooder, showed her food and water and let her be. She slept all that day and night, I thought she was a goner. Next day she was fine. She was just exhausted and cold and hadn't been able to get under the heat in the overcrowded feedstore brooder. Much longer and she wouldn't have made it.
  10. Dutch552

    Dutch552 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 12, 2011
    Hart County, KY
    After 48-72 hours the chicks have used up all of their residual energy stores in the yolk sac. Their blood glucose is pretty much running on empty after that, the chilling part causes them to shiver which burns up more glucose at a faster rate because of the muscle activity involved in shivering. At a certain point the energy level is so low that they essebtially slip into a sort of "coma" which is hard to turn around. I'd say you went above and beyond to rescue the little ones but they had been neglected for too long.

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