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Author Topic: Sick chicks (cant stand)- what is cause?  (Read 9748 times)

Tina Turkey

  • Joined Oct 2007
Sick chicks (cant stand)- what is cause?
« on: April 29, 2008, 09:01:59 am »
Hi we have hatched 6 chicks who looked lovely and healthy for first 2 days - they have gone down hill gradually and are now just flopping about mostly laying on their sides, unable to stand (I dont think its spraddle leg) ... they seem unable to right themselves and just have no interest in life - every morning I expect them to be dead but they are not - they dont appear to be eating or drinking hardly at all either (which isnt surprising as they cant move much).  I know I should cull them but I just cant do it and my hubbie is away at the moment (hes the one that deals with the nasty side of keeping animals!).

I know we wont be able to save these but I would really like to know what the cause is for next time.  We may have had the brooder too hot at first as I was using a mercury thermometer which showed 35 deg C but when I finally found my digital one that showed nearly 40 deg C.

We had them on quite thick shavings which I have since read may not be such a good idea for the first 2 weeks as they can eat it and it blocks them up.  Other than that they have a 250W red bulb and bog standard chick crumbs and water.

Please can anyone shed light on this?
Thanks
TT

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Sick chicks (cant stand)- what is cause?
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2008, 04:29:23 pm »
Sorry, can't offer any help because I've never come across this before but I'm really sorry all is not well with them. Hope someone can come up with a miracle cure but failing that some good explanation and advice.

Rosemary

rustyme

  • Guest
Re: Sick chicks (cant stand)- what is cause?
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2008, 04:58:13 pm »
not really sure at all ..but it sounds a bit like heat stroke...try lifting the heat lamp up a bit , as long as there are no cold drafts they should be ok . Try to get some moisture into them with an eye dropper, just tiny amounts , and see how they go . Sorry can't help anymore than that , but I haven't come across that either . I never had them THAT warm though , that sounds too hot to me . When I kept chickens and hatched eggs with an incubator, I only used a light bulb to keep them warm  ,60 watt in a big cardboard box. They all did fine never lost any due to cold , just keep drafts off of them .
     May be something else that is causing it , but my first thoughts were they are too hot. Hope that helps a bit...
 
cheers

Russ

The Chicken Lady

  • Joined Mar 2008
  • Cheshire
Re: Sick chicks (cant stand)- what is cause?
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2008, 01:08:08 pm »
I had a chick like this but it was straight from hatching. It seemed to have grown akwardly in the shell. It could not stand - just lay on it's side - I culled it. I can't see that heat stroke would have lasted so long now that you have reduced the heat. I have some new chicks and have reduced the heat dramatically even turning it off altogether for short periods. I have some others that are about 3 weeks old and they are now in a shed outside but have not other heat source. They are very happy and lively ;D :chook: Sorry can't be of more help but with chickens sometimes you just never get to the bottom of what is happening :(
Karen

Tina Turkey

  • Joined Oct 2007
Re: Sick chicks (cant stand)- what is cause?
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2008, 01:31:15 pm »
I know, I think we have been unlucky and got off to a bad start.  In the end I ltook them to the vets to be culled (couldnt do it myself I know im to soft, hubby usually does that sort of thing and hes away!).  The vet did an autopsy and said she thought it could be E Coli which they could have picked up from anything around them.  First of all she thought it was salmonella.

I did a huge amount of searching on the internet and the only thing I could find with exactly the same symptoms was epidemic tremors (which also has another lenghty name but I cant rememebr it).  Its a virus.

So thats that.  Next time I am going to up the anti on the disinfecting and also make sure eggs are 100% clean before going in incubatr and hope that we dont get a repeat.

Vet said antibiotocs would prob have cured it.

The Chicken Lady

  • Joined Mar 2008
  • Cheshire
Re: Sick chicks (cant stand)- what is cause?
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2008, 02:00:12 pm »
How much does the vet know about chickens? Becareful about cleaning eggs that are going to be incubated. I don't tend to do this as the shells are porus. I just choose clean eggs. I alway clean everything else in hot soapy water - no other chemicals, and have not had any problems. :-X
Karen

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Sick chicks (cant stand)- what is cause?
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2008, 08:32:32 pm »
Hi, Chicken Lady

Very interested to hear about heat! I think I may be pampering our chicks. The are three weeks old, starting to feather and moved from the spare room to the garage today. They have a heat lamp at night but not during the day. I have eggs hatching in a week or so and expested to have to borrow another lamp for them but will my four week old chicks be OK without the lamp?

I can find books about hatching and the first 24 hours but thereafter, we're just guessing, so advice woudl be really welcome. 'specially sine the heat lamp really makes the leccy meter spin!

The Chicken Lady

  • Joined Mar 2008
  • Cheshire
Re: Sick chicks (cant stand)- what is cause?
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2008, 12:14:37 pm »
The weather has become warmer here - not sure where you are. I have chicks of 3 weeks out in a shed with no heat at all. They are not going outside yet but they are fine. They have been out there for the last 3 or four nights. :) :chook:
Karen

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Sick chicks (cant stand)- what is cause?
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2008, 09:30:11 pm »
Central Scotland - it was 21C today! They didn't have the light on last night and survived, so that's it off now (Unless we get something really unseasonal. It was lovely today, so they've been outside in the covered run with the cat basket for shelter and have gone back into the garage tonight. In a few days, al being well, I'l get them into the ark where they'll stay for a good while. I did think about puttong them in the ark tonight but I couldn't, although it's probably as warm as the garage.

woollyval

  • Joined Feb 2008
  • Near Bodmin, Cornwall
    • Val Grainger
Re: Sick chicks (cant stand)- what is cause?
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2008, 02:02:15 pm »
Interesting one this!.........TT we nearly lost some chicks in the manner of yours a while back.....my eldest son lowered the lamp....one died and all the rest nearly cooked and couldn't walk but were fine after emergency first aid of sticking them under a dripping tap :o :o Oh and btw chick crumbs are medicated to stop the chicks gtting ill so.....?

They all grew on ok and went in the freezer (sasso meat birds)

We now have 37 week old hubbards.....this light thing fascinates me.....I have seen so much conflicting advice about heat that its driving me nuts! Mine are in a brooder with a red light and have had it lifted a bit at a week old. I intend to lift it again at 2 weeks, turn off during day at 3 and put them outside at 4 as they are destined for the pot at 10 weeks!
What do the experts here think?
 
www.berry land cottage.co.uk
www.valgrainger.co.uk

Overall winner of the Devon Environmental Business Awards 2009

MrRee

  • Joined Jan 2008
Re: Sick chicks (cant stand)- what is cause?
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2008, 02:21:24 pm »
I think,that with so many conflicting reports as to what's best to do,the only real option left open is trial and error,with constant monitoring and a bit of common sense. Eventually you'll find what's best for you in your situation and for your birds. Good luck with whatever you choose to do,and please,report back.   ;D
They donít join cliques ó more times than not, they stand alone ó but they recognize and gravitate towards one another. Only warriors understand other warriors.

Tina Turkey

  • Joined Oct 2007
Re: Sick chicks (cant stand)- what is cause?
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2008, 04:05:47 pm »
Hi Woolly et all,

After this episode I have spent HOURS trawling the net and a there are a couple of things I will do differently next time in the hope of more success:

1.  select eggs carefully for cleaniness etc before incubating.
2.  candle eggs at the correct time (we didnt candle em at all and just left em all in)
3.  not use shavings for the first week or so ... will use layers of newspaper topped off with layers of kitchen roll then move onto shavings at about 10 days.
4.  monitor heat lamp more carefully and turn off for short periods etc instead of using it for the whole time - I think I may have cooked them before they even had the chance to get into the pot!

Voila - fingers crossed.

Our sheep are happier Woolly, we have set up a temporary paddock that we move them into in the day that has nice grass and we have oversown the top paddock that was so sparse so hopefully it will improve a bit.  We are giving them pellets which they love but have also started mixing in some barley too - they were starving!

TT

 

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