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Update: Chicks dying, falling over and can't get back up

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by BBUTTER, Feb 10, 2012.


    BBUTTER In the Brooder

    Aug 16, 2011
    Just got in a batch of broilers on Monday. In the last four days, we've lost 7 chicks. Everyone seems fine. Temp is good. Plenty of food and water. They are eating and drinking well. They are moving around great. Every now and then one will get knocked over by another. It will fall on it's back and not be able to flip back over. Then it just lays there. If I don't notice soon enough, it seems to suffocate. I've seen it happen a few times and flipped them back over. Then they get up and run around as if nothing ever happened. They'll usually go get food, water, or under the lamp, but I would expect them to do that if they've just spent the last who knows how long flipped on their backs. I've never seen a batch of chicks do this. It's like they aren't strong enough to flip back over. They aren't falling over for any other reason that I've seen other than being knocked over by another passing chick. They literally look fine on minute, flipped over the next, then dead a while later. They get electrolytes and grower feed, btw. Anyone have any ideas on what to do? Is this a bad batch? They are Murray McMurray.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2012

  2. nivtup

    nivtup Songster

    Apr 24, 2008
    Shelton Washington
    I am not going to be much help I don't suppose. It is so difficult sometimes to figure it all out.

    I know you said the temp is good, can they get away from the heat?

    Sorry about not having a clear answer.

    I would call the supplier and let them know, a couple of years ago one of the big suppliers had issues and did not know of it until reports were sent in.
  3. KrisH

    KrisH Songster

    is the floor slick?

  4. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

    Click here for more details.

    Here is another one.

    Short version:

    Sudden Death Syndrome, 'Flipover'


    A condition of broiler chickens of unknown cause, possibly metabolic. It can be induced by lactic acidosis and about 70% of birds affected are males.

    • Sudden death in convulsion, most are found lying on their back.
    Post-mortem lesions

    • Intestine filled with feed.
    • Haemorrhages in muscles and kidneys.
    • The atria of the heart have blood, the ventricles are empty.
    • Serum accumulation in lung (may be little if examined shortly after death).
    • Livers heavier than those of pen-mates (as a percentage of bodyweight.).

    Birds found on back with lack of other pathology.

    None possible.

    Lowering carbohydrate intake (change to mash), feed restriction, lighting programmes, low intensity light, use of dawn to dusk simulation and avoidance of disturbance.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012

    BBUTTER In the Brooder

    Aug 16, 2011
    Yes, they can get away from the heat. None of them have died directly under lamps or over in a cold corner. None of the chicks are too cold or hot. They are not huddled together under a lamp or hanging out in the corners. Everyone is happily milling around.

    The floor is not slick since they are on shavings, and I stir it every day.

    It is not sudden death syndrome. They aren't doing the convulsions/freak out thing. In fact, they do the opposite. They don't fight or squawk. They just lay there until they eventually close their eyes and die. We have watched it happen a number of times now. Of course, we don't just watch them die. We rescue them, but sometimes we get there too late.

    We lost 13 today!!!!! That's a TOTAL OF TWENTY since Monday!!!! That's a lot. Surely this can't be something I'm doing wrong?! I started doing broilers last year, so this isn't my first time. I tried to call Murray McMurray, but they won't be open until Monday. Ugh.
    I don't know what to do!!!!
  6. Nimby Chickens

    Nimby Chickens Songster

    Oct 20, 2010
    Central FL
    This is odd for sure, but could is be cocci? Is there any bloody poo? Are any of them acting sick? You might want to treat them for cocci since they are so young and it affects young chicks.

    And are you SURE there is no convulsing? How many have you actually seen die?

    I'm grasping a little here, this is a weird case.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Tell us about the feed including its history.

  8. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

    I agree. Tell us about the feed. It still sounds like Flip-Over to me.

    BBUTTER In the Brooder

    Aug 16, 2011
    We lost 9 last night. :(

    They've had both cocci and marek's vaccine. My hub wonders if they got too much.

    No blood in poo. Perfectly normal chick poo.

    The feed is locally milled from a feed store I've always used. I am concerned about that. We've never had any probs from them before, and they are good people. We're going to buy from somewhere else today just in case. It looks and smells fine. We bought it Monday, and we keep it in a sealed container in the brooder house with the chicks.

    No, I haven't technically seen one die. I've always flipped them back over when I find them. HOWEVER, I have seen them many times fall over, lay there, and close their eyes, and slow their breathing. If I pick them up, they seem fine. When i come back later, the same number that i picked up are dead. Sometimes i even recognize small differences/markings so i know it's the same chick. In fact, when the very first one did it, I thought he was dead (I had been in there tending to the others for a few minutes and he hadn't moved at all, didn't seem to be breathing) so I picked him up by one leg and he started squawking like crazy. I set him down, and he ran off.

    Oddly, I got two mystery chicks who don't seem to be affected. I know it's possible that they may eventually succumb to the same fate, but neither have laid down like that.
  10. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

    Did you read the links I provided? It sure sounds like Flip-Over to me.

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