What would you expect the breeder to do???

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by briteday, Apr 16, 2009.

  1. briteday

    briteday Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 16, 2008
    Northern NV
    I purchased four silkie birds from a breeder. Two of them were 8 weeks old and two of them were day-old.

    On the first day it was apparent that one of the 8 week old birds had a brain injury (pecked by the other 8 week old bird in the box on the way home), did the prednisone thing etc, lost the bird to pneumonia on day 7.

    On day 8, the other 8 week old bird started walking around with its eyes closed but otherwise normal eating drinking...Separated the bird out, started tetracycline in water as well as terramycin eye gel. Seems to be a bit better on day 10.

    Of the two day old chicks...one has toes that probably could be splinted, it's walking on 3 of 5 toes, the other two are bent under.

    The other day old chick has now developed sneezing and gurgling on day 10. I have separated it, started on Tylan for respiratory, Polyvisol, and extra warmth.

    I did not actually pick these birds out myself. A friend was going to the breeder to purchase some other poultry and is very knowledgeable about chickens as well so I sent the money along and she picked out and transported the birds.

    At this point my teenager is totally burned out on the idea of having silkies as pets since these birds have been no fun since they arrived and a whole pile of vet and medicine bills, way more than we payed for the birds. And she is picturing the worst case scenario of these 4 birds infecting our egglayer chicks with something and losing the whole lot of this year's chicks. There have been times when we moved the day-old chicks in with our egglayer chicks...yikes, I've learned my lesson about quarrantine!

    So she asked me tonight if we could return the birds to the breeder this weekend. I'm all for it as we have 20 other chicks to raise and this constant nursing duty (and the euthanasia was painful for all of us) is turning our schedules upside down. We have limited room to keep brooders in the house, a spare bedroom that now has 4 brooding boxes in it due to the need to keep everyone quarrantined, and each of these 3 remaining birds in their own space since they each have something different going on.

    I don't blame the breeder, I think this could happen to anyone, and I don't think we're cut out for this fragile breed. But I think the best place for these birds is back where they came from if they are to have any real chance at survival. I don't see how my daughter can integrate tehm into our friendly little flock and I certainly can't sell them as they are. They are draining our resources big time.

    I did not spend a mountain of money for the birds, certainly not the $100's I've seen many silkies go for. My daughter does not want any replacements as she feels she is not a silkie person anymore. And the breeder does not have any other breeds that we are interested in. I'm willing just to make the trip to return the birds and call it a loss.

    Opinions???

    Edit to add...I have emailed the breeder about the brain damaged bird and the closed eye bird to get her help and she was very supportive. And since the little one just started sneezing today I haven't told her about that one. And up until now I saw no reason to mention the toe curled bird to her.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2009
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    Take em back.

    Tell the breeder what you think of their birds.
     
  3. briteday

    briteday Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 16, 2008
    Northern NV
    OK, but is this a breeder issue or are we just not cut out for this particular breed of chicken. I'm a bit like Speckled Hen in philosophy about growing plants and animals on my property...thrive or you will be culled. I've never had ANY failures with egglayers, not one, and now I have 4 going down in the 1st two weeks.

    Sneezing...the chick was a day old when it came here. Did it catch the sniffles here?

    Feet...I guess after hanging out on this forum I've seen a fair number of people with feet problems in chicks...I think that one can be chalked up to "it just happens sometimes"??

    Brain...breeder can't really be responsible for another one of the birds pecking...but on the other hand I have to be suspect of their breeding choices since they said they almost always has a couple of birds in sick bay at any given time with the same thing...are all silkies this fragile in the head? Or is this breeder selecting for the higher topknot and highly vaulted brains go along with that trait???

    Closed eyes...can't seem to pinpoint it...thinking another brain damage of some sort, but terramycin gel seems to be helping a bit, don't know what it could be...but is this something that the bird acquired there or here???

    I also think there will be some awkwardness about the money part. I don't EXPECT a refund but I don't want replacement birds either. Personally I'm willing to just let it go. ???

    Breeder or just bad luck?
     
  4. Poulets De Cajun

    Poulets De Cajun Overrun With Chickens

    (A) If I were the breeder I wouldn't want them back, since I wouldn't want to take the chance of infecting my flock.

    (B) How can you be sure they were sick at the time they left the breeders farm?

    (C) Were they transported with any other birds from an unknown location

    (D) Was the friend who transported them a chicken owner who could have possibly infected your birds with a disease from her flock

    (E) NONE of this is a problem that is guaranteed to be caused by the breeder, so you can't place fault there.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2009
  5. Jeff9118

    Jeff9118 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 21, 2009
    Greenup KY
    Anyone who raises this breed will tell you that they are not fragile and are easy to raise. Most have little to no issues. Yours may have come from stock that is very very very imbreed which might explain the issues. I would not cross this breed off my list though. Again if properly cared for they are one of the easiest breeds to work with and raise. As a breed they are not weak birds or prone to health issues.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2009
  6. Poulets De Cajun

    Poulets De Cajun Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:Not entirely true... the head injury thing is rather common.
     
  7. Jeff9118

    Jeff9118 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Greenup KY
    Quote:Not entirely true... the head injury thing is rather common.

    I trust that you know this since you breed them now and I think show them but I bred them for many years a while back and I personally never experienced any head trauma or issues like that but again you proboly know mountains more of info than I do about this breed.
     
  8. mamaKate

    mamaKate Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 9, 2008
    SE MO
    I'm sorry you're having so many problems but I agree that the breeder isn't likely to take them back. I think you only have two options: nurse them and hope for the best or cull. If you started over with chicks from another breeder (maybe next year), you might have much better results.
     
  9. Poulets De Cajun

    Poulets De Cajun Overrun With Chickens

    Not claiming to know any more than anyone else, but breeds with vaulted skulls do tend to have more head injuries and brain swelling than non-vaulted breeds. "Wry neck" or "limber neck" is a common discussion when it comes to Silkies.
     
  10. briteday

    briteday Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 16, 2008
    Northern NV
    I personally do not hold the breeder responsible. But I am fairly new to chickens, compared to most of you. However I find it curious that all four birds are having some kind of issue.

    So for Poulets...

    A) what do I do with these birds if not return them to the breeder? Honestly, I would completely understand if they have me bring the box to the garage and they euth the birds as soon as I drive off. I just can't bear to do it myself and I don't think my teenage daughter could stand the thought of knowing.

    B) That's what I'm asking all of you? Did they acquire these illnesses here? But then why haven't one of my egglayers (knock on wood...) gotten ill?

    C) no

    D) no, she has ducks, goats...and nothing on her property is ill in any way. In fact, tonight we just checked out the birds she picked up from the same breeder and all is well with them.

    E) I don't. But as a scientist I just think it's odd compared to the dozens of hatchery egglayers I've raised without any trouble.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2009

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