We lost all our chicks :(

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by featheredroots, Mar 15, 2012.

  1. featheredroots

    featheredroots Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2011
    Madisonville, KY
    I want to thank everyone who posted replies and links to help me save our chicks, but I'm sad to say they didn't make it. [​IMG] I tried holistic remedies, and also electrolytes and vitamins from the feed store, but I didn't catch it quickly enough. The past few days have been rough, as I've been culling a chick nearly everyday, something I wasn't sure I could actually do. I'm heartbroken, and sick that I failed them, but I've learned many lessons, so I'm taking a little break to research how to keep this from hapening again, but I'm not giving up, I'll start again in a couple of weeks. Any advice on how to keep this from happening again would be greatly appreciated.
  2. dragonmorgan

    dragonmorgan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2012
    South Alabama
    So sorry for your loss. Losing the little ones is always the hardest thing. What happened to them if I may ask? [​IMG]
  3. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer Premium Member

    May 11, 2010
    How sad. What happened?
  4. LaynaDon95

    LaynaDon95 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2012
    [​IMG]I'm sorry. Losing babies is so sad. That is, I think, the hardest part of chicken husbandry.
    I'm sure you tried your hardest to save them. I recently lost 2 to deformities. It's such a hard decision to make. sending lots of (((((hugs)))))) your way.
  5. highpointfarm

    highpointfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 29, 2012
    Orange County NY
    So sorry =./ Losing little ones is so hard... [​IMG]
  6. jeepguy982001

    jeepguy982001 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 4, 2011
    athens, wv
    sorry about your chicks [​IMG]
  7. featheredroots

    featheredroots Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2011
    Madisonville, KY
    Thanks so much everyone. From my own research and what I've been told here on BYC, and at the feed store, it was most likely a vitamin deficiency. At first I thought they got too hot, but day by day they continued to lose energy. Then I saw the thread about vitamin deficiency, and the symptoms were spot on, so I started supplementing their diet with holistic supplements in the form of kefir, and molasses.

    I awoke Friday to one of my tiny ausralorps(Iris) lying under her sisters. I'm not sure if they smothered her( the brooder temp was between 80 and 85, so they shouldn't have been cold) or she just died, and they piled on top of her. At that point I added nutritional yeast to their food, but they still continued to decline. I had to cull both our EE's on Sunday, Toralei in the morning, then her sister Lydia the same night. The rest seemed fine on Monday morning when I fed them, until I came in a half hour later to find that my golden comet Mystic was unable to stand. I tried to nurse her with molasses water, but it didn't work, she also had to be culled. I'd been trying to keep them organic and treat them holisticly, but in a desperate attempt to save the remaining two I went to the feed store and got electrolytes and vitamins, and immediately put it in their water. Tuesday the last australorp Opal started to fail, I continued to nurse her, but by Wednesday morning she had to be culled also. That left my darling Bossy, a beautiful angel winged golden comet. She was much larger and stronger than the rest, and had stood beside each of her brooder sisters in their last hours, trying to offer comfort and protection. Now this wasn't something I expected from chickens, but was extremely moved by( I believe those angel wings were no accident). I knew she wouldn't survive without a flock, and the odds were stacked against her to survive what her sisters could not. I was also afraid that if I was wrong and what they had was contagious, it would be foolish to bring more chicks around her. Culling her was my only option, and one of the hardest things I've ever had to do, but I'm sure that it was the best thing I could have done for her.

    I knew when I got the chicks that losing, or having to cull them was a possibility, but I never expected to lose them all in such a short amount of time. I'm sick and heart broken, and angry at myself for failing them, and angry at the hatchery for sending me deficient chicks. I know I did all I could with what I knew, but it doesn't make me feel any better.

    I'm going to get more chicks from a different place, in a couple of weeks. In the mean time, I'm going to research different forms of feed and vitamins, to make sure this doesn't happen again.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2012
  8. felidaet

    felidaet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 10, 2008
    Vancouver, Wa.
    Sorry to hear about your loses.

    What were you feeding them them? Were you using a chick starter feed? This should have had everything nutritionally that they needed. Were you feeding them any treats? What were you using for bedding? Was their brooder drafty? What were you using for a heat lamp? Hopefully not one of the shatterproof teflon coated bulbs. If you can describe all of this it might help get some answers. How old were they? How long did you have them before they developed problems? Did you get them locally or mail order? Have you checked where you got them to see if they had any similar problems?

    I would make sure before you get more chicks that you carefully steralize everything. I have heard that a solution of 10 parts water to 1 part bleach is good. When you are done rinse everything good and let it air dry for at least a couple of days.
  9. featheredroots

    featheredroots Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2011
    Madisonville, KY
    Thank you felidaet.

    They were three weeks old Tuesday, and I started seeing problems around the middle of last week. All of the questions you asked also have gone through my mind, so I posed them to the man at the feed store when I went to get their vitamins. He said that given the fact that I was using all of the same feed(recipe, not left overs), bedding, brooder, bulbs, etc. as I did with our chicks last year, his best guess was a deficiency in the chicks . I ordered these chicks form MPC, whereas last years chicks came from a local breeder. I would have gotten them from her again, but after having to get rid of them because 2 of the 3 were roosters, I wanted to be guaranteed pullets this time. I still have to check with MPC to see if they've had any other complaints.

    I will definitely be sterilizing everything. Eventhough they didn't have diarrhea, bloody stools, or any other symptoms of bacterial or viral infections, I still can't help but be a little worried. I've even contemplated tossing the whole brooder and making a new one.
  10. LilMissChz

    LilMissChz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 16, 2012
    North East, Maryland
    I just want to tell you that you didn't fail them. You did EVERYTHING that you could that you knew to do. You worked, and tried and you didn't give up even as they were losing the fight. Its a tough one and you deserve a pat on the back, a hug and cup of cocoa. If you were here, we would laugh, cry and eat chocolate. I am sooooo sorry this happened. It is never easy losing anything you care about so much. You fought hard and didn't give up without a fight.

    Grieve. Take time to cry and then....

    Get back up on the horse, er chicken so were it. You can do this! It was just a batch of bad luck. Lightening won't strike twice. You can do this. And we will be here with you all along the way. And when I have a hard day, you too will be here for me. For chickens, friends... and of course chocolate.

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