Urgent!!! Help!!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by texasdixiechick, Jul 26, 2010.

  1. texasdixiechick

    texasdixiechick In the Brooder

    Mar 13, 2010
    Alvarado, TX
    We ordered 75 chicks from the hatchery. They are 4 days old. So far, 12 have died (8 died one night and 4 so far today). We have an enclosed brood room. They will not come out of one end of the brooder. We have a brood light on them but they are all huddled together. We have an A/C in there but it is set to only come on if the temp. reaches 80 degrees. I just saw one of them go drink water and then it died. What is going on? We have raised over 250 chicks from the hatchery and nothing like this has happened. The only thing different with this batch is that we didn't feed them medicated feed like we have all of the others. We have just been feeding them chick-grow-lay. Could that be it? I've talked to other people who never feed their chicks medicated feed. Could something be scaring them? Could the mineral oil be the problem?

    ****** Update on this. They have had a brood light on them. Temp. is reading 95 degrees. The brooders are galvanized stock tanks. Plenty big. The chicks even have a separate stock tank without a brood lite to run to if they get too warm. Spoke to the hatchery. They believe that the chickens are dieing due to stress from transport. This is Texas y'all and it has been extremely hot. The transport trucks are not air conditioned. The hatchery has no control over what happens once they leave their facility. The chicks could have been left out in the heat or put by an a/c at the post office - who knows. The count of deceased chicks so far is 25. The hatchery is going to replace them although they are not required to do so. They suggested putting electrolytes/vitamins in water which I did today. Since then the body count has slowed down. Also, they have been on medicated feed since yesterday, but the hatchery doesn't think that would have made a difference. 25 of the chicks were RIR's and 50 were Dominiques. loss on the RIR's has been significantly less than on the Dominiques. The RIR's appear to be a bit older and they clearly have more down on them and are bigger. The Dominiques are much smaller. I think they held the RIR's until the Dominiques hatched and then shipped them. The Dominiques were too young at shipment to handle the heat. They were overheated when they got here and their little bodies couldn't regulate the temp. Only God knows what really went on but at least it looks like some will survive.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2010
  2. SG_Chicken

    SG_Chicken Chirping

    Jul 14, 2010
    Laramie, Wyoming
    Chicks that young need to be at about 98* your temp is to low. Bump it up and no need for A/C
  3. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Songster

    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    I'm sorry about your loss. Since the only thing different this time is the feed, I might try switching them to medicated feed. You mentioned mineral oil?
  4. lilchick

    lilchick Songster

    May 23, 2008
    Williamsport In.
    If they are huddling they could be cold. When the temp. is correct the will be chirping and running around eating and drinking. What size of brooder container do you have them in? They should be contained with no drafts on them.. I use horse troughs and plastic hampers for mine. No open pens till they are feathered out and not needing the heat.
    The feed should not be the problem this early. You need to switch them to the medicated but sounds like you more importantly need to adjust their living quarters first. Good luck!
  5. Suburban Sprouts

    Suburban Sprouts Songster

    Apr 29, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Cut the AC and put them on medicated feed... I like Manna Pro chick starter (it's in a yellow and green bag).
  6. Tiffany

    Tiffany Chirping

    Jul 8, 2010
    I am still a bit of a newb when it comes to chickens but I am pretty sure that at this young age they need to me much warmer than 80 degrees, the huddling is the best way to tell that they are not warm enough. I also gave mine a stuffed chicken so that they can cuddle under it like there mama. It makes for some of the cutest moments. Good luck and I am sorry for your losses so far, but I wish you the best with the rest of your brood.
  7. lynxs1981

    lynxs1981 Chirping

    Jul 8, 2010
    They should be on chick starter only; they're much too young to be getting grower/layer nutrients. Too much is like poison.
  8. Kedreeva

    Kedreeva Longfeather Lane

    Jun 10, 2010
    The medication in the medicated chick feed is a preventative, so it should be fed especially to birds coming from hatcheries because they have a higher chance at catching something there and developing it while at your residence.

    In your case, however, it definitely sounds like they are too cold. If you bump the heat up and they don't improve (mine are usually ok with 80+ outside of the heat lamp and higher directly under it after a day or two, but they also don't huddle) then my guess is that they've caught something. Since they are not getting limp and dying, it is probably not mareks. Cocci is always a possibility, and medicated starter will be a big step toward helping them with this.

    I would also not give them mineral oil... and possibly go get some pedialyte from the baby section of your local store- it contains electrolytes that will help your chicks. Add this to their water instead.
  9. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
    Quote:Too cold. Put the light lower and over one end of the brooder. That way they can get closer to ar away from the heat.

    What is chick-grow-lay? Never heard of it. They should be on starter, preferably medicated.

    What on earth is the mineral oil for? That alone will keep them from absorbing nutrients!

    Proper temps, chick starter and plain water.
  10. HHandbasket

    HHandbasket The Chickeneer

    I am sorry to hear of your losses. I hope you do not lose any more babies. I agree that warming them up a little bit more would help. I've never had hatchery chicks, though I did inherit 3 chicks recently that were all less than a week old (one was only about 14-16 hours old when they got to my house!). They came from another BYCer who lives in my area and had more chicks hatch than she was expecting and was kind enough to share!

    I keep mine in a dog kennel in the bathroom & they're doing great. Nothing real special, just keeping them warm and safe and fed. They're on medicated chick starter feed & they are growing, feathering out, and doing great! Yesterday they got to go outside for a few hours in the afternoon in a safe raised bed that I have covered with chicken wire, and they took little dust baths and foraged around and just had a happy little afternoon. They're a couple of weeks old now, though.

    Keep us posted & I hope you do not lose any more little ones. Keeping my fingers crossed for ya! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2010

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