We spent easter weekend with our new baby chicks. We intended on having 4 hens for our new coop out back but ended up taking home 7 chicks for a few reasons.
#1 Our friend wanted a few new buddies for her “farm”.
#2 One of the chicks looked a little under the weather so the “nice” guy at the feed store threw in another one for free.
So, shortly after arriving home, we were already down to 4. Our little sick girl died not long after we got them set up in their new brooding box and we dropped of the others with their new mom down the street.
A few days went by and everything was looking peachy. We had 4 healthy babies who seemed to be just fine in their new home. Fanny (a.k.a. stripey), Peeps, Freckles and Lyla pictured left, were all cozy in their box with plenty of water, food and warmth from a heat lamp positioned just far enough away to give them some room to get cool if they needed to. Then it started to go down…
Freckles started looking a little wobbly and her eyes were having a tough time staying open. After a day of this, she completely lost the ability to stand on her own and was eating and drinking almost nothing. 2 more days of this and we woke up to Freckles, limp and lifeless. We were starting to feel like we might have a batch of sickly chicks on our hand, but 2 out of 7? That had to be it.
A few days later, Fanny started showing signs of the same symptoms. We visited our local feed store and got some good advice and a few supplies for keeping chicks healthy. Fanny showed some signs of improvement after drinking some of her new electrolyte infused water and medicated starter. She was a trooper and lasted about 3 days longer than the other two, but last night we came home to find that she had succumb to the same fate as Fanny #1 and Freckles. Yikes! WTF?
We replace the three that have left us with 3 new Black Cochin’s that are going to be a welcome addition to our flock but who knows who it will strike next. We have found lots of others online who have had chicks with the same symptoms but nothing telling us what it could be or how to prevent it. I guess thats part of the deal.