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We keep losing chicks

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mollye, May 3, 2017.

  1. mollye

    mollye Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 22, 2015
    Polkton, NC
    We ordered 30 chicks from a hatchery in February. The majority of which were New Hampshire's. Recently we moved them out to a brand new coop near our house, and have mysteriously lost nine of these chicks since the move. We originally thought that we were having issues with our fodder system possibly producing some moldy food, so we threw it all out and switched them over to pellets. They seemed to do fine with the change.

    The first nine were acting fine until the night before they died. We went out to turn on their heat lamps and noticed that they had segregated themselves from the rest of the flock and were all puffed up. When we tried to move them back to the rest of the group they wouldn't go, or would move and then go right back to where they had been. I went through everything that I thought it could have been. They had plenty of heat, we switched them off the fodder just in case, I saw no evidence of worms. They looked happy and healthy until just hours before they died. On examination of the bodies there was nothing extraordinary. No body contortions, no discharge, no signs of struggle. It looked like they all laid down and went to sleep.

    I thought we were out of the woods because it has been a couple weeks since we lost those guys. But now I have two more that are starting to show the same symptoms. I don't want to lose a whole flock of chickens. Does anyone have any idea as to what might be going on?
     
  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Hi [​IMG] Welcome To BYC

    Can you post some photos of your coop/run?
    What type of feed/treats do you feed?

    You mention "pellets" - is this layer pellets, chick starter, flock raiser, etc.?

    The symptoms you describe - the puffing/fluffing up, the first thought that comes to mind is Coccidiosis. Treatment is with Corid which can usually be found at your local feed store or online. Some symptoms of Cocci overload are having a puffed up appearance (huddling), lethargy, going off feed, loss of balance and diarrhea with mucous or blood.

    Corid dosage is 1 1/2 teaspoons Corid powder per gallon or 2 teaspoons of 9.6% Corid liquid per gallon.
    Give for 5-7 days - make sure this is the ONLY water available during that time period. Mix a fresh batch at least once a day.

    After they finish treatment offer some poultry vitamins and probiotics/plain yogurt.

    I would treat the whole flock - Corid is a Coccidiostat (not an antibiotic) and is considered safe and mild to use when given in the proper dosages.

    Let us know how they are doing.
     
  3. mollye

    mollye Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 22, 2015
    Polkton, NC
    [​IMG][/IMG]
     
  4. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Hi, welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    I also suspect cocci. Only one of the 9 strains will show as blood in the feces. But standing around puffed up is a good indicator. And coccidia are in every dropping and only a problem when they grow out of control. And it may not effect the stronger ones as much. I don't use medicated starter, but even if you are it may not be effective enough. The medication is usually still amprolium which is the same ingredient as Corid.

    Sorry for your losses.
     
  5. mollye

    mollye Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 22, 2015
    Polkton, NC
    Thank y'all so much! I am on my way to get some medication to hopefully save the rest of them.
     
  6. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    What is meant by pellets? They should not be on layer feed yet. It will have too little protein and too high calcium.

    Cocci is only one possibility and I have not had them suddenly die before like that. If you have another death, I suggest you refrigerate the body and find out where you can get a necropsy done. Usually one of the universities or local ag department can do for free or cheap. Also some vets.

    I might suspect the bedding since it happened when you moved them.

    With my first large brood I discovered the bedding was wetter underneath than it looked on top. And I'm willing to bet that no matter how much opening you have, that metal building still sweats when it's been cool and the sun comes up. Might as well be raining inside mine, anyways.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. mollye

    mollye Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 22, 2015
    Polkton, NC
    It's not actually pellets, it's grower crumble. I am used to feeding barley fodder, but I stopped feeding it when I suspected a mold problem may be causing my deaths.

    I didn't think about the bedding. I will switch that out as well. At this point I am willing to try anything to keep the rest of them alive.
     
  8. mollye

    mollye Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 22, 2015
    Polkton, NC
    Thank you to everybody who commented. We have not lost any more chicks after using the Corid and changing out the bedding in the coop. Everybody is happy and healthy!
     

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