Why are my chicks dying?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Cara, Aug 23, 2008.

  1. Cara

    Cara Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 30, 2007
    NM
    I received my order of chicks, poults and keets on Thursday morning, and they all looked great. I put them in their brooder, with a clean waterer and 30% starter. Yesterday (Fri) morning I went to check on them and found a keet and a chick dead, and two keets looked 'drunk'. They were rolling around kicking their legs, and didn't look all there in the eyes. They died while I was looking at them. When I went to check them again at lunchtime, I had three dead turkey poults, another dead keet, and a listless looking keet. I changed everything out, and double checked the temperature in there, which was fine. Last night everyone looked ok. This morning though I had two more dead poults, and a drunk one. Tonight I had a dead chick. Most of these birds haven't shown symptoms (or haven't for long before they died).

    I have no idea what can be causing this. It makes me afraid to go check on them because they look fine one minute and are dead the next; it seems when the drunkeness sets in, they don't last long, although a couple have recovered. They only hatched on Weds, and the first lot died within 24 hrs of me receiving them. Surely they couldn't have contracted something indirectly from my flock and died from it that quickly?
     
  2. nnbreeder

    nnbreeder Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,761
    30
    210
    Jun 22, 2008
    Oklahoma
    You should be running three seperate brooders for the keets, poults and chicks, the size difference alone can be the cause of many problems.
     
  3. Enchanted Sunrise Farms

    Enchanted Sunrise Farms Overrun With Chickens

    4,256
    36
    274
    Apr 26, 2007
    Fair Oaks, California
    i'm so sorry, i have no idea. But if you got them from a hatchery, maybe call them and explain what's going on?
     
  4. CarlaRiggs

    CarlaRiggs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Cara,
    I also, would contact the hatchery and let them know.
    It sounds almost as if there was some kind of neurological problem caused by a chemical/poison reaction.
    I'm so sorry for this... hope you find the answer.
    Carla
     
  5. sussexgal

    sussexgal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Cara,

    Could it be shipping stress?
     
  6. Three Cedars Silkies

    Three Cedars Silkies Overrun With Chickens

    5,033
    49
    283
    Apr 17, 2008
    Gainesville, Fl.
    What bedding are they on? Maybe cover it with paper towels?? Geez...I can't imagine. Are they near where you have spray for insects lately? Definitely call the hatchery. So sorry...I wish I knew. It sounds a little bit like it could be some mold in the feed.
     
  7. Jenski

    Jenski Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    How awful! Sorry that has happened. Could there be something up with the food? It does sound like a reaction to a toxin or something neurological.
     
  8. hinkjc

    hinkjc Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    12,685
    56
    331
    Jan 11, 2007
    PA
    Could be shipping stress which takes a couple days sometimes to show the damage, but my next thought would be the brooder. Get another brooder and move them to everything fresh. See if that helps. If the bedding material gets wet (mold grows quickly) or if any cleaning agent remains, you can get symptoms like this. You're not using cedar, right?

    Jody
     
  9. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    You would be amazed at how damp the shavings are underneath them, or the paper towels. Poop and respiration, especially of a large group of chicks, can add lots of moisture in the brooder, not to mention whatever water they spill. Feel the material you have under them and see if there is more moisture than you realize. Other than that, I'm not sure what could be the cause unless there is mold in the feed.
     
  10. Cara

    Cara Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 30, 2007
    NM
    Luckily I didn't lose any overnight. I changed the feed out this morning, so hopefully everyone will be ok now. I had to give them Start & Grow though, because the bag of turkey starter I was using was the only one I had. It looks like it might have got damp, the paper is cockled at the bottom, and we have had warm weather. It hurts to throw out 50lbs of starter, but I can't stand to lose any more birds. On the positive side, I candled my turkey eggs today and found 3 more developing than I had originally thought, and all 17 of my guinea eggs are growing!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by