URGENT - Silkie chicks dropping dead. Please advise!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by celestialdreamer, Apr 7, 2012.

  1. celestialdreamer

    celestialdreamer Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 22, 2011
    We got 4 silkie chicks last week and had one die without any noticeable symptoms so the feed store offered to replace it. We ended up with 3 more as of Thursday for a total of 6. Suddenly 2 of them have literally gone from totally fine to gurgling up mucus, being wobbly and then dropping dead within hours, one of them being one of the ones purchased in the first batch. Now 2 more are doing the same and don't look good at all and they are from both batches. The cage is very clean with white shavings bedding, they are the right temp, have nice clean water and fresh food (Organic Pride chick starter) with probiotic supplements. We had been doing electrolytes and sugar in the water since the new ones were a little sluggish getting going. I am totally confused as to what is causing this. We bought them at a large chain feed store that buys from either Privett or Welp hatcheries. There is no other symptoms and this came on really suddenly. Their poop is normal although the first batch had a little pasty butt issue that seems to be better.

    If anyone has any clue what is causing this, possible treatments (we do NOT have a vet locally that treats chickens) and if it might be something contagious please advise. I have separated them upstairs away from our big brooder with our 36 4-week-old heavy breeds (Buff Orpingtons, Wyandottes and Barred rocks) that all seem totally fine and happy, just to be on the safe side. I'm worried they might have been exposed to whatever this is if it is contagious since the cages were right next to each other. I am willing to try whatever I can get from the local feed store to help the silkies if possible, my kids having been SO sad about losing them :(
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2012
  2. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    Hi keep the unexposed ones away, watch yourself with contamination. It sounds to me like they had a sick chick or chicks. And if you went back for more, you just got more that are contaminated. I don't know what they have but I can guess it's respiratory, and contageous. If you have any to save, your best bet would be Tylan. But if it were me, to protect my other chickens, I would take any chicks back, then burn, bag, and sterilize all that the chicks came in contact with. Some of these respiratory things get carried from the mom to the chick thru the egg. It's not worth your other birds. Esp the ones in the brooder. If you have a friend to take the brooder or can keep it quarantined, I would.

    I hope someone can come along and help you figure out what they have.

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