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?? What % of loss is "normal" for new chicks???

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Momma_Cluck, Sep 10, 2008.

  1. Momma_Cluck

    Momma_Cluck Songster

    Jun 11, 2008
    N. West Michigan
    We got our 18 newly hatched chicks last Friday the 5th.... so the y are now exactly 1 week old (hatched on the 3rd)

    They all arrived perky and seemingly healthy...
    2 days later, we had one that started crying alot and found she has a slight prolapse...

    then Yesterday morning, I found one of my favorite Aracauna chicks dead, and a few hours later, the smallest of the Australorps died.

    I called My daughters 4-H leader and she said it was probably from the new brand of wood shaving I was using, and to use only newspapers for a few days to be sure they weren't eating them, and go back to our "old brand".

    Now-- My Buff Turken Chick has a BADLY impacted crop-- we've tried massage as well as olive oil & water, but how to get it into such a TINY chick!?

    Is it ALLWAYS this complicated and heartbreaking with new chicks??

    Both our previous batches were 2 weeks old when we got them, so didn't have these problems.
  2. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

    Jun 14, 2008
    South Puget Sound
    I'm so sorry to hear about what an awful time you've had! It does sound excessive. I got my 3 standards from the local feed store when they were a couple of days old and had none of the problems you've had.

    Some questions:
    1. Are you feeding chick starter? Is it medicated?
    2. Were the chicks vaccinated?
    3. Are you keeping the brooder warm enough? It should be 95 degrees for their first week of life, then decrease 5 degrees each week thereafter.
    4. Edited to add: Were the shavings pine or cedar? Chickens should only be on pine, as cedar emits chemicals that are toxic to chickens (but not to humans).

    I hope things look up for you! I swear, it's not normally this heartbreaking!!
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2008
  3. luvmychicknkids

    luvmychicknkids Canning Squirrel

    Mar 6, 2008
    Floresville, Texas
    So sorry about your babies. [​IMG] Out of a total so far of 45 chicks I have purchased or hatched I have only had two baby chicks die. One was from stress during shipping, one had severe deformities. You may have just got some weak chicks, too. [​IMG] I hope things get better soon. Oh, and one more thing, her information about the newspaper was wrong.....it gets slippy and can cause some serious leg problems in baby chicks. I use paper towels when they are really little. Good luck.
  4. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    I am so sorry that you are having such a heart-breaking time! Sometimes people have more trouble because of the set-up they have for their chicks, especially the first time. Sometimes they lose chicks because of the time of year they're shipped, unexpected weather, how long or how the package is handled in transit. Sometimes they may be sent a chick or two in their shipment that weren't genetically quite right, that the hatchery didn't notice had a problem. Some problems are internal, also. A person may lose no chicks, just one or many. Some things you can prevent, other things you can't.

    I've always kept the shavings covered with paper towels in the beginning, to keep the chicks from eating them. That was when brooding 50 chicks. For small amounts of chicks, I just skip the shavings and use the paper towels only, the first few days.

    I also dip the chicks' beaks in the food and water, to get them started. After they've had a few days to get in the habit of eating food out of the feeder, then I take the paper towels out and they are on shavings. I keep an eye on them, to see how they are doing and usually add a small amount of chick grit or play sand in a small dish, in case they do eat a shaving. So far, I've never had a problem.

    Until you get this under control, I'd do whatever you need to, to keep them from eating any additional litter. If they were mine, I'd probably take out all the litter and just use paper towels temporarily. I'd also get them some chick sized grit or sand right away, to try to help grind up whatever litter may be in their crops. I'd offer it in a little saucer, but not too much at one time, so they don't over eat it. I'm not saying that will take care of the problem, but it may help, especially with any chicks that haven't eaten as much of the litter.

    I've never had a chick or adult chicken with an impacted crop, so others will probably have better advice for you on what may work on the most effected chick(s).

    Can I ask exactly what you were using for litter in the beginning and what you changed to? It might help to know what they may have ingested. The answers to JennsPeeps questions will help, also. Hang in there.

  5. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps AutumnBreezeChickens.com

    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    I have heard that newspaper is not good for them...something about the print on the paper. I hope the others are ok. That is not a normal loss I don't think. I have had MANY brooders going both from hatchery's and hatching them myself and have not lost one yet. I sure hope you find the cause soon! Good luck! SO SORRY you lost so many so soon [​IMG] What a sad time for you. :aww BTW...did you check for pasty butt? I almost lost one to that before I knew what it was and how to treat it.
  6. Momma_Cluck

    Momma_Cluck Songster

    Jun 11, 2008
    N. West Michigan
    Thanks all-- yep, tho we've had babies before this-- never really new ones-- allways a week or so old when we got em so had no deaths... we have a thermometer, red heat lamp and 100w CFL light in their box and allways monitor the temps...

    We believe we've weeded-out the problems....

    One that died had internal digestive problems-- which we didn't learn till after she was dead-- her abdomen was full of blood and bile and was so distended you could see it thru her skin--

    Another one had a defect of some kind as her crop was not full- but literally burst.

    The last one, we don't know why she died- but we had allready named her "Midget" because she was so much smaller than the others and wasn't growing.

    We allways have used pine bedding from our local farm co-op without any problems...
    BUT: We had no vehicle for over a week- so a friend picked up pine bedding from Walmart for us...
    NEVER EVER AGAIN! It was more sawdust than shavings, and the babies thought it was food.....

    So The 4-H director told us to use newspapers as well--but only for 3 days to be sure they had any ingested shavings out of their system, then go back to the "good stuff" we'd used before.

    After that, no more issues.

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