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When to start/stop intervention with sick/dying chicks

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by dospuercos, Nov 20, 2009.

  1. dospuercos

    dospuercos Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 23, 2008
    Lehi, UT
    I received 52 chicks yesterday & 3 have died. I am just wondering if trying to intervene is pointless. They are listless with labored breathing. As they progress, they won't even open their eyes. They also chirp loudly. I have tried to get them to drink with a little success. But they just keep going down hill. Trying to get them to eat is pointless. I have another who is crashing the same way. Is it worth trying to help them or not? I have taken all 52 about every 6 hours & gotten them a drink. This morning I picked them out as I saw them take a drink on their own. I also got Gro-Gel from the hatchery which I gave them all when they arrived yesterday. And they have Quik Chik in their water. They were vaccinated for Mariks. What else can I do? As they get really bad, there is a clear liquid that comes out of their mouths. I've checked all of their bums and none are pasting up.
     
  2. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    How warm is it in your brooder? Loudly chirping usually indicates they are cold when so young. Too hot is also a problem - so be sure that they can get to a cool part of the brooder (room temp).


    Have you called the hatchery?


    Sorry you are having such a time of it.
     
  3. AmyBella

    AmyBella Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 26, 2009
    Western MA
    So sorry you are going through this! [​IMG]

    Are they all showing the same symptoms? The temperature may be too hot (causes panting) or too cold (loud cheeping) for them. It sounds like you are doing the right things with encouraging them to eat and helping them drink. Keep a close eye on things. Shipping can be hard on chicks, so the weak ones didn't make it... but I wouldn't give up hope yet! Hang in there!
     
  4. dospuercos

    dospuercos Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 23, 2008
    Lehi, UT
    Thank you both for your replies. They are in a kiddie pool right now so they can move around to warm/cool spots. I would bring them inside, but my dog will eat them. Right now they are in the garage. Only the ones who are dying are chirping loudly. All the others are racing around, pecking everything, & drinking on their own. So far it has just been these 4 that are having problems.
     
  5. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    If they just arrived yesterday- they had a long/stressful shipping- probably temperature problems, box bouncing, no food/water ect. Shipping is common, but really hard on them. What are your temps? Loud cheeping is usually a cold chick. They need to be 95 for the first week. Have you raised chicks before? They need to learn to eat and drink in the first few days. First 3 they rely on remaining yolk, and they are learning during this time- the first 1-3 days in shipped chicks are used up in the shipping- so they need to learn ASAP. If they are not drinking, they need your help more than every 6 hours. More like every 30-60min they need to have their beaks dipped in the water (with electrolytes). Peck at the food with your finger like a mom hen to get them interested in it. After the first day or so- they usually 'get it', but sometimes there are a few slow ones that need help for longer.
     
  6. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    What are you using for a heat source for them? They need a warm spot in the brooder that is approx 95 degrees.
     
  7. dospuercos

    dospuercos Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 23, 2008
    Lehi, UT
    This is my 5th time raising baby chicks. I have never raised this many at once. And this is the first time having them shipped to me. I usually pick them up at the feed store or have a broody hen hatch them out. The only time I have ever had a problem is when one pasted up & died. I have raised them in my garage in December. Because there are so many & they are in a larger area than before I have 2 heat lamps on them (with red lights). I really don't think this is a hot/cold issue because none of the other chicks are displaying signs of being hot or cold. I have tried to get these babies to eat, but usually by the time they are displaying problems, they are so listless they can barely drink the water I am dipping their beaks in. Any other ideas?
     
  8. AmyBella

    AmyBella Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 26, 2009
    Western MA
    The only other thing I can think of to add is that you may want to separate the ones that look ill just in case it is something contageous. (It's probably just the stress of shipping, but it doesn't hurt to be extra careful!) So you said that 3 died and 4 had problems... So there is just one sick one right now? If you do separate her, maybe put her in the "hospital" brooder with a buddy so she doesn't get too lonely.

    The thought of a kiddie pool filled with two day old chicks sure does make me smile! They are such a joy to watch!
     
  9. dospuercos

    dospuercos Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 23, 2008
    Lehi, UT
    Thank you AmyBella. It is a lot of fun to watch them! Just puts a little rain on my parade to have a few not make it. I am hoping that it is just the shipping too. I am such an animal lover that it is hard to watch them suffer. (Just wish that if they are going to die that they would go quickly. But it seems to take them a while.) I will try to separate them out. I just need to figure out where & how to keep them warm.
     
  10. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    What about a smaller box inside of the pool for the sick chicks?


    You might also try Poly vi sol infant vitamins - non iron formula. Drip a couple drops along their beak a couple times a day.

    ETA: Poly-vi-sol can be found at the grocery or drug store.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2009

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