Very sick baby chickens! need help fast!

BeccaB00

Songster
9 Years
Jun 16, 2010
811
7
121
Kansas
Hi. I really am sorry about how long this is but I want to get all the details so maybe someone

can help. This year I hatched a batch of chickens out in an incubator. This is definatly NOT my first

time hatching. But this is the first time I have had really scary problems with them
These chicks are

about 3-4 months old and are living outside at the moment. The other day we let them all out to eat

bugs/grass etc, and one just starting flopping around (Like they do when they dust bathe) and about 5-

10 mins later..he was dead. We thought he ate a bee & got stung, as the bees were terrible. It was

so sad to me...Not long after that happened, one of our chicks started getting sick. He stayed puffed

up all the time, all the other chicks were running all over him, his crop was hard as a rock, and he

couldnt walk well. We done research on the internet and found that he most

likely had an impacted crop. And thats what it felt like. The internet said to mix a little olive oil and

water together and give it to him. So thats what we did. Only moments later I could feel the food in his

crop getting softer. But the next day, he died. I don't know if it was a good idea to give him the olive

oil. But I would rather try and do somthing instead of watch him die. Today, we let them all out again to eat bugs/grass and another one

started flopping around like the first one did. He also died. And 2 more of our 7 chicks

that we have left, are getting sick. They are still exited when we come out to feed them. But they

are Puffed up, not walking real well, and all 7 of the chicks have black/purple spots all over their feet. They seem to be a little better than

they were but I'm still worried. Their mom and dad is very young..could that have some kind of link to all this?

I really need help fast!
 

BarkerChickens

Microbrewing Chickenologist
12 Years
Nov 25, 2007
3,508
18
244
High Desert, CA
That one may have had an impacted crop, and yes olive oil works wonders; however, the rest of your descriptions sound like something else is going on entirely. One flopping, all of them fluffed up and red/pink spots on the feet.... sounds like a toxic reaction possibly.


Are you on a private well? Have you had your water tested recently (just an idea...someone on here had high selenium in the water and it was causing bad reactions in his/her flock...not the same reactions as yours, but nonetheless reactions). Any new plants in the area that you hadn't had around the chickens previously (or grown large enough they can reach them now)? New feed that may be contaminated with something? Are you using cedar anywhere for wood chips, etc?

Just thoughts....trying to think of what could cause it.
 

BeccaB00

Songster
9 Years
Jun 16, 2010
811
7
121
Kansas
they are in a pen outside with all the other chickens. Their bedding is hay. The other chickens are around all the same things as they are. they all drink the same water. We were thinking the starter may have choked them? since they are babies they eat starter feed. it is the medicated kind. We have been mixing it with a little water so that it doesnt seem so dry and hard to swallow. any ideas of what it could be will help..I can post pictures of their feet, and any other symptoms if you like.. It'll have to be tomarro though.. thanks for replying
 

MotherJean

Songster
9 Years
Apr 9, 2010
774
11
121
San Juan Islands, WA state
I have a couple of ideas, but need more info:
When did you move them outside to the coop? How long after they were moved outside did the first death occur?
What sort of feed are they on? Are you giving any supplements in water or feed?
Have you started using anything like diatomaceous earth, hydrated lime, or chemical dusts to treat parasites or flies? Any use of fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides in the grassy area?
 

BeccaB00

Songster
9 Years
Jun 16, 2010
811
7
121
Kansas
We moved them when they were about 2 months old.

They are eating medicated starter feed, and have been eating that since they hatched

no supplements in feed or water

we treated the yard for bugs the other day, but all this started waaay before we treated it

the first one died a few weeks after we moved them outside, but I can't remember exactly how long it was..

no fertilizers

when they hatched we bought a huge bag of starter feed, and to us, it sorta didnt smell right. when you reached down into the bag to get a scoop of the feed it sort of had a bad smell to it... Do we need to stop feeding the starter?
 

crtrlovr

Still chillin' with my peeps
11 Years
Mar 13, 2008
4,044
16
233
East South Central (West KY)
Just my opinion, but I'd stop feeding that starter NOW. Get a (smaller) fresh bag of feed. Feed doesn't keep freshness forever, and if it smelled "off" or didn't look right, it could have mold or something in it that is toxic to them. Do you have any farms or areas near you that could have been treated with something that may have drifted onto your yard? The swift death with the convulsions you describe really sounds like some kind of poisoning. I'm sorry for your losses; I hope you can get to the bottom of this mystery soon.
 

BeccaB00

Songster
9 Years
Jun 16, 2010
811
7
121
Kansas
Since they are about 4 months old, do you think I can start feeding a little of the scratch that we give the big chickens?
 

crtrlovr

Still chillin' with my peeps
11 Years
Mar 13, 2008
4,044
16
233
East South Central (West KY)
it won't hurt them at all to have some scratch. Just don't give them so much that they refuse to eat their grower/finisher food because it has a balance of the protein, minerals, and vitamins they need for optimum growth.
 

BeccaB00

Songster
9 Years
Jun 16, 2010
811
7
121
Kansas
I thought of this earlier..Their little cage is built for baby chickens. It has 2 layers of wire so they cant get out, and nothing can get in. But the bottom is also wire. could that be the reason why they have black/purple spots all over their feet? They have hay inside but ofcourse they scratch it out of the cage, or it falls through the bottom..
 

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