Two chicks sick/dead suddenly after 5 weeks - UPDATE (PICS)

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Eggcellent, Jan 22, 2010.

  1. Eggcellent

    Eggcellent Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 30, 2009
    Michigan's Thumb
    Hey guys/gals,

    I went to take care of the chicks today and 1 was barely moving. Just kind of sitting there with it's eyes closed and not moving. I moved it to a cat cage and came back about 20 mins later to find it dead. I looked more closely at the other chicks and another one is barely moving - even worse than the first one. It is still alive, but very cold. These guys are in 68 degrees and haven't had a heat lamp for about a week or so. I did find some considerable blood in and around the feeder. Also, both chicks had blood or bloody woodchips on them when I examined more carefully. The one chick that is still alive has blood all over it's upper leg.

    These chicks are in my basement so I don't think a predator is likely. We do have cats though and it is possible one could have crept down there (we have 4 kids). All the other chicks seem fine and all of them were fine when I went to bed last night. The one chick that is barely alive, I separated and put a heat lamp on to try to warm it up but I don't think it will live long. Does it sound more likely that a cat got them or could this be some kind of disease?

    Thanks in advance for any help.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2010
  2. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    With frank blood (and not bloody poop)- trauma from something is probably what happened. Inspect anyone injured (or dead) very closely for where the blood is coming from. Inside a house, in the basement- rats might be possible, cats definitely might go after chicks, and even small children can be too rough and hurt chicks. Blood implies punctures or lacerations, so animal attack is more likely than over-zealous kids. Kids usually smother, drop or crush chicks- which usually does not end up with blood on the outside of the bird. If a cat bite is a possibility- any bitten chick needs systemic antibiotics ASAP, best obtained from a vet to get one with coverage for pastuerella (cat mouth). Birds get septic fast from cat bites, and usually will die within a few hours to half a day without appropriate antibiotics. Put a heavy duty screen over the chick box to keep the cats (or rats) out, talk to the kids about keeping the cats out of the room period. Or bring the chicks to an upstairs room that is better monitored. I keep my chicks in the guest bathroom (to the chagrin of my husband) until they are several weeks old.....
     
  3. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I agree w/the previous post. Please look closely at the body of the dead chick. Blood on the leg and bloody woodchips definitely says trauma of some kind... Let us know what you find...
     
  4. Eggcellent

    Eggcellent Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 30, 2009
    Michigan's Thumb
    I think you are right. Is there anything I can do for the one still alive? I do have a few different kinds of chicken antibiotics that I keep around just for emergencies. Any particular kind I could try to administer orally? I am thinking cats are much more likely because we do have 4 here in the house. I have never had any signs of rats or other critters in the house. I don't think it was my youngest daughter because she is too small to get the chicks out of the brooder and the older kids are quite good with the chicks. Plus they were at school all day today. There were 3 brooders of chicks in the basement and this particular brooder was the only one left uncovered because it was so tall they couldn't get out yet. I am moving the biggest birds outside and I will put this batch in the big brooder that is covered.

    I was really making this post hoping it was trauma rather than an infectious disease. I guess that is the best news I could get at this point although it doesn't make me feel less guilty for not covering them.
     
  5. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    The drug(s) of choice for cat bite infections (polymicrobe infection usually with pasteurella) is Clavamox aka amoxicillin with clavulanate aka Augmentin for people or injectable penicillin. Both of these are usually obtained via prescription for an individual pet or human, and dosed by weight.
     
  6. Eggcellent

    Eggcellent Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 30, 2009
    Michigan's Thumb
    I just got home and checked on the chick. It is still alive and looking a bit more alert (the heat lamp really helped him a lot).

    I looked after him and found a strange looking stool. Almost bloody, but purple blood. Here is a photo of the stool. Is coccidiosis a more likely issue?

    [​IMG]

    I have Duramycin-10 and Aureomycin both on hand. Should I treat with either of these?
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2010
  7. Eggcellent

    Eggcellent Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 30, 2009
    Michigan's Thumb
    OK I did some more reading and it looks like I need to get sulmet in the morning. Should I try to give a dose of the aureomycin tonight? Or should I maybe treat all the other chicks with it as a preventative? I do have them all on medicated starter feed but with 2 infected birds I think I need to be a little more proactive.
     

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