Why did my chick die..

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by akh, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. akh

    akh In the Brooder

    Jun 16, 2011
    Last week, three of our two-month old chicks looked very ill. They just stood in a corner and were lethargic and not even interested in eating. Two were slightly better off than one who wasn't moving at all. We isolated him, and the moment we did that, he just flopped. Didn't get up after that, and then an hour later he started breathing hard, and shaking violently and died. It made us wonder if isolation killed him.

    All this was so sudden, we were at a loss. They all had been active, though everyone's comb and feet had lost colour, become a pale yellow. The other two, had their heads sunken, and wings super droopy, and didn't care much for food. The others were able to snatch food from their beaks!

    Their crops also looked swollen. We started mixing Apple Cider Vinegar (refined one, don't know where i could get raw) in their food, and also garlic (a lot of people told us garlic is like medicine to chicks.) Though I was afraid the two won't make it through the rainy night we had, but the next morning they were alive, tho not kicking. But we kept giving them ACV and garlic mixed with onions twice a day. The crop got better, and they did too. Became much more active in a few days time and look almost normal tho they didn't pick up their wings again [​IMG]. The colour started returning in almost everyone's comb, except for two or three out of the 11.

    Now yesterday one of the big healthy ones, whose comb colour was still yellow, though he was active and looked healthy and shiny, yesterday didn't show much interest in food. His crop looked full and I thought he must have over eaten in the morning and that's why wasn't interested. Though he would come running at feed times, but went away without eating much, preferring to stand in a corner. He didn't come at all for the night feed. In the morning we found him dead.

    Two others (the same one which had been sick earlier), their crops looks slightly swollen today and head sunken.

    Apart from onions and garlic, we feed them bottle gourd and spinach everyday and pearl millet soaked in water (they don't care much for unsoaked ones). Tomatoes and cabbage occasionally, even cucumbers and sometimes cauliflower leaves.

    Also why some combs are still yellow...

  2. Shannon33

    Shannon33 Songster

    Feb 23, 2010
    Eastern Shore, VA
    I have never dealt with it, but maybe symptoms of Coccidiosis? This is from an article I read "Outward signs of coccidiosis in chickens include droopiness and listlessness, loss of appetite, loss of yellow color in shanks, pale combs and wattles, ruffled, unthrifty feathers, huddling or acting chilled, blood or mucus in the feces, diarrhea, dehydration, and even death"
    Does their poop look normal?
  3. akh

    akh In the Brooder

    Jun 16, 2011
    hi shannon, thanks for the reply. the one who died this morning had been perfectly normal apart from the yellow comb. and yesterday he started showing a disinterest in food and a slightly swollen comb. His feathers had been nice and smooth. I don't understand why some still have yellow combs, they are otherwise normal. Eating well. Two have droopy wings, otherwise now normal.
  4. Erica

    Erica Songster

    Dec 5, 2010
    Hi Akh,

    the first thing that occurs to me is protein — everything you've listed is low in protein. I might be misunderstanding your diet — are you feeding chick starter as well? You want to be feeding around 20% protein to keep chicks healthy and let them grow. Millet is around the same percentage as wheat, i.e. 10-12% at best, and it doesn't include all amino acids.

    As I understand it soaked millet can bring its own problems. These include cyanide levels that can depress chick growth, and the likelihood of mould growth (mould toxins can easily kill birds or produce chronic illness). I looked into sprouting millet for birds and decided against it for those reasons.

    Unfortunately the diet you've set out also contains other mild toxic elements... Raw cabbage, cauliflower leaves and onions can all be detrimental if fed above a certain level; especially onion. Certainly young birds shouldn't have them every day. I believe raw onion in sufficient amounts could kill young chicks.

    All of the above, if it was happening every day, could lower the birds' immune systems as well as depress growth. Whether this happened I couldn't say. And of course when we see droopy wings we always think of coccidiosis, which is picked up from the ground and is a parasite that's almost impossible to avoid. It's still a high likelihood. I just thought I should post about the other stuff in case nobody else does. [​IMG]

    In future you might keep some coccidiosis medication on hand in case, and if you see chicks off their food and with droopy wings, don't hesitate to treat. If it's not cocci the medication won't do any harm, and if it is cocci, they'll need it.

    I'm sorry for your losses, and I hope this helps.
    Best wishes,
  5. akh

    akh In the Brooder

    Jun 16, 2011
    Hi Erica,

    Thanks so much for your reply, I included onions from occasionally to twice a day after one of them died! We mix it with ACV and garlic. The ill ones seemed to get better and they ate it enthusiastically. so we continued with it. They really love greens, so we give them spinach everyday and coriander whenever its available, sometimes everyday.

    I don't have access to any kind of chick feed, can you please tell what can I give them which will take care of the protein requirement. I have been thinking of mixing yogurt with the veggies we feed them. Is that a good idea?

    Now i am going to find some cocci medication!

  6. Sjisty

    Sjisty Scribe of Brahmalot

    May 18, 2009
    I think your main problem is no chick feed. Is there not a feed store near where you live? It really isn't all that expensive if you only have a few chicks.
  7. jerseygirl1

    jerseygirl1 Crowing

    Jun 20, 2009
    Orange County, NY
    Quote:Sounds like it to me - loss of protein
  8. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Free Ranging Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    What about giving them grit to digest the veggies? We fed our chicks mostly 18 % start and grow then only gave them a small treat when they were over 2 weeks old, but had chick grit available to help digest the treat or grass they ate. Sorry for your loss.
  9. Judy

    Judy Crowing Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I agree, find them some chick feed. In the meantime, I would feed some scrambled eggs or cooked and finely chopped meat. Yougurt is good but in small quantities; it can give them diarrhea. If you have bait or pet stores around, you may be able to find mealworms, which would be good. And they will need grit unless your soil has a lot of small hard rocks in it.

  10. akh

    akh In the Brooder

    Jun 16, 2011
    I do believe the soil has enough rocks. I sometimes work it up with a pitch fork, they seem to enjoy finding whatever they do in it! I didn't know they could be fed meat. Raw?
    Planning to feed them corn today, they enjoy it. There are no stores around here but I will try to find some solution. Thanks everyone.

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