Should I treat my new chicks with an antibiotic? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I received my chicks monday morning from MM, all was well except for a couple dead, I figured crushed or cold. I lost four more yesterday, one more this morning and two look slow. Out of 160 chicks I thought this wasnt too bad, except the ones that have died look perfectly fine, no pasty bottoms, no runts, and they only show signs of looking bad a couple of hours before they die. Am I getting too anxious, or should I treat the whole flock with terramycin. What got my attention last night was one slow one directly under a heat light kind of breathing heavy. I dipped her beak into the water a couple of times to help her drink and then set up a seperate brooder in the house for any weak ones. By the time I went down to get her 20 min. later, I picked her up and she threw up what looked like a clear mucus, a little foamy. and died withing thirty seconds. I am not sure if she had a respritory infection(which would concern me) or if the water just went down her lungs and was suffering from stress. I have 95 degrees, electrolites and sugar in water, and pleanty of space. And am adding a little powdered galric to the feed. Last year I raised them organically and everything went well, so I dont want to jump the gun and dump antibiotics on them if I dont need to. Looking for some practical advice. Thank You Craig

-- craig swasnon (, April 04, 2001



All chicks need to be treated for the first week or two with a cocci treatment. Hen hatched and reared chicks don't seem to have as much of a problem, but should also receive cocci treatment. The terramycin is also a good idea. I respect your desire to not use antibiotics, but hatchery chicks sent through the mail have a lot of sress to deal with and need that extra help.

-- Skip Walton (, April 04, 2001.

Craig, It sounds like you're doing everything right so I don't really know what to tell you.

I got my first ever batch of day old chicks two weeks ago tomorrow. But I got my through the farmer's co-op here so I don't know if they came through the mail or if a truck delivered them directly from a hatchery. I kind of believe they must have come straight from the hatchery.

I gave them sugar in their water and hung a light bulb over their box. I check their water several times a day and feed them two or three times a day (put new feed in their feeders). I've changed the pine shavings in their box every third day.

I started out with 20 and I still have 20. I don't know if they had any antibiotics to start with or not but they haven't had any since they've been with me. They are eating chick starter and eating like little pigs.

please let us know how you come out with this. these are my first chickens so i'm learned as I go. Mine are Golden Comets and are layers that will lay brown eggs. I got this kind because the retired manager of the co-op has Golden Comets and he says they are great layers. good luck!

-- Suzy in 'Bama (, April 04, 2001.

I've been successfully raising hundreds of "hatchery" chicks for many years and have never given them any drugs whatsoever, so I certainly don't agree its something you 'need' to do.

How much sugar is in the water? Can they get away from the heatsource? Is the brooder well ventilated but free of drafts?

-- Earthmama (, April 05, 2001.

I have had the very same experience as Earthmama, never gave drugs and almost never lost a chick. I also never put sugar in the water. Never heard of it until I read this thread. What is it suppose to do?? I do feed the best quality high protein chick starter, and be very sure that they always have fresh, clean water. This last time I used pine shavings and really liked them and will do it again this year. (unmedicated because I am usually raising ducks also)

-- diane (, April 05, 2001.

Were the chicks vaccinated for Marek's disease? I bought chicks from MM last year and did not have them vaccinated. I lost 90% of them. Same thing, dead chicks when delivered, then one by one they all died. I have raised chicks for 6 years, and never had this happen till last year. There is no treatment for Marek's disease, it is heartbreaking to watch the chicks die. I will have all future chicks vaccinated, I don't ever want to experience this again. Good Luck

-- June Blue (, April 05, 2001.

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