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So, I ordered my pullets and the post office called me yesterday. Assuming they arrived there yesterday and they PO workers aren't complete morons, then I got them immediately because I picked em up within 10 mins of the call.

When I opened the box 7 or 8 were dead. I thought...aw they had a hard trip :( So I rushed home, mixed the grow gel, put everyone's beaks into it, gave them a few minutes to warm under the light, then dipped all their beaks in the water. Gave them a few more minutes to warm and then showed them where the crumbles are. Since then they've been in plenty of clean soft bedding, clean water and food, the temp directly under the bulb is too warm (duh) but about an inch or two away it's 93 degrees and away from the lamp is 85.

As far as I know...I've done everything right...but 21 are now dead. That's without my going down to the garage this morning yet to check on the two who were on their way out last night. Lets assume all 23 are gone. There are only a few left alive.

Please help me, I'm so heartbroken :tears: I mean I know some would say they are "just chicks" but I spent all day checking on them every 20 minutes only to have one more dead each time. They start to get unstable. Wobble when they walk and then just resort to sitting down and won't get up. During this time when I check on them I encourage them to eat and drink. Most drink, but don't eat. By 20 mins or so after first acting wobbly they resort to laying on their sides. Within an hour they are laying down and no long alive but their body makes a reflex to attempt to breathe for a minute or so. Then they're gone. Not a single pasty butt. :hair:

ANY IDEAS? What could cause this in the whole group despite being settled now? Could a stressful trip have a delay and just kill them all like this? :help: :wallbang: :mecry:
 

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I am so sorry. YES.... you need to call the hatchery. This isn't normal at all. You have done everything right as far as I can see. It isn't your fault.
 

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It sounds like you have been very diligent to me. If the hatchery you purchased them from is reputable at all, I'm sure they will replace at least a portion of them. I've had baby chics delivered via USPS from McMurray for the last 3 years in a row in batches of 50; 100 last spring & I only had 1 arrive DOA. Maybe you should give your post office a heads up the next time they are due to be delivered so they know to keep the chics in a warm, draft free area until you are there to pick them up. It's hard to say what happened, but doesn't sound like any fault on your part.
 

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I would definitely contact the hatchery. I do believe cedar shavings are toxic to chicks - they aren't on cedar are they? I think the temp the first week at chick level is supposed to be 90-95 degrees, but I can't imagine that a slight temp difference would cause them to drop like flies like that.

It's more possible they had a bad trip and really overheated or got too cold. The hatchery should replace them for you. Sorry - poor little chicks :tears:
 

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after calling the hatchery if you havent already become a member here do so http://www.backyardchickens.com they have some real knowledgeable people on there about all kinds of fowl

I am sorry you lost that many and so quickly thats heart breaking :hug:
 

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I agree with Stacey, BYC is great. And I agree with everyone who said -- this is NOT normal at all! I have NEVER had any chicks arrive DOA, and I have gotten 100+ through the mail. It sounds like you are doing everything right, try not to feel too badly... I know it is hard because as soon as they get there they become your little babies.

Call the hatchery right away, they should refund almost all of your order. Often hatcheries will refund all deaths that occur within 24 hours of arrival. You can explain that this is your first time doing this, you researched to make sure you did everything right, and that it's been awful... if they have any heart at all they should help you. It is really horrible that you had to go through this, I am so sorry.

And I think I said this in another post... they don't have quite the selection of McMurray but try Belt Hatchery. They are in Fresno and unless you're super rural if you live in Norcal the chicks will get to you overnight, so they are less likely to be stressed by shipping.

Are the remaining ones trying to eat and drink? What kind of bedding are they on? I often start my chicks on paper towels for the first couple of days until they learn the difference between food and bedding... then switch to pine shavings.
 

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I am so sorry. I know NOTHING about birds so I can not say anything but I agree call the hatchery.

Hope you get some answers.
 

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Wow that is rough. I'm so sorry. I would take a picture of all the dead ones together so you have evidence they all died and contact the hatchery. Try and get them to replace them because that is really crappy that you lost so many. Maybe ship them when it's warmer out, the cold weather may have contributed.
 

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I also just got chicks in the mail from a hatchery and 18 out of 25 died!! They are giving me store credit, so I guess more chicks?? I ordered through McMurray and they didn't need to see anything or no conformation, I just called them and they're sending replacements that should be in March 7th.
 

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By all means contact the shippers and post office to, assuming about the post office (morons)that they got ahold of you when they got them doesn't add up. Back tracking from all sourses would be advisable,, just my thoughts. I am so sorry you had to go through that though, poor little things and sounds like you did everything right to after getting them. :sigh:
 

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One thing to remember these babies are shipped out hours after hatching and frisked threw the mail in cold temps outside and in mail trucks.It's just so cold right now I don't recommend getting chicks at all till April atleast.I have been in the chick buis for over 6 years and this is just my experience.Who knows why they died realy but that would just be a suggestion anyhow.You did everything right so don't blame yourself but the weather is terrible and has alot to do with it to.They are stressed out enough just with being shipped and then going threw fridged temps on top of that.Be wise to wait! Hope you have better luck next time around.Good Luck!! I love them lil fuzzy butts!
 

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Aww gee. Yes that's way too many deaths, hatchery needs to know this happened. . One year McMurrays sent chicks two days early..the PO didnt deliver cause they had me in another part of the county.
Imagine my surprise PO delivered them on a Sunday. Miraculously only 1 died.
 

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I'm sorry for your loss. :rose: I'd be willing to bet they are casualties of an epidemic that's brewing at that hatchery, which is quite common actually. That's one of the reasons I don't buy hatchery chicks anymore. Even worse, some harbor diseases that don't manifest for weeks or months and by then it's too late. The rest of your birds have been exposed and infected. I've had much better luck with private breeders who employ and adhere to strict biosecurity programs to protect their flocks and ensure healthy, disease-free birds.

I'd definately contact the hatchery and, if it were me, demand a refund. If any of the hatchlings from this batch survive, I'd keep them quaratined until at least 4 months of age just to play it safe.

Deb Mc
 

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That's so terrible and frustrating :( I would do as everyone said and call the hatchery. I think the most I've ever lost was 8 out of 25 and they replaced them. Ever since that happened I just go to the feed store and get chicks. They've already picked out the DOA's and they're usually thriving by the time I get them.
 
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