Got our "Ornamental Layers" yesterday. Have quite a combination of cochins, polish, one mottled houdan, one gold laced wyandotte, one dorking, one buttercup (I think) and two salmon faverolles. For polish we have six WCB, one white, one buff laced, and two silver. Have one black cochin, one blue, two partridge and three buff.
The blue cochin has a bum leg that seems to go a bit sideways at the knee joint, but today she is getting around much better. These guys (gals) supposedly hatched last Friday, and I haven't seen her actually eat anything, but she's still up and around, so she must be getting something somewhere.
The black cochin looked DOA, and I dipped her beak several times, even though she was seemingly comatose, thought maybe she got a tiny bit, left her in a small plastic dish with the blue so they wouldn't get trampled, and expected her to be dead later in the day. Instead, she was upright and cheeping. But she is not eating and only drinks if I dip her beak.
One WCB polish was very small and weak and died last night.
And now one of the silver polish is looking a bit peaked this evening where up till now both of them looked fine and were bopping around like maniacs. I've made a slurry of chick starter, Quik Chik, sugar, and water, and dipped their beaks. The blue cochin and silver polish just look annoyed as they swallow some of it, the black sort of tips its head back and opens and closes its beak and I guess it swallowed some.
Last night the only way I could get any sleep was to take the blue and the black cochin, who were distressedly cheeping very loudly, and lay back on the couch and make a little "cave" on my chest with my hands, and they snuggled underneath and were quiet. I think I got two hours of sleep that way.
I'm not sure what the black cochin is living on either. It hasn't eaten anything as far as I can tell.
Porkpal, thanks for that tip. I was able to get the blue cochin to eat with that goopy mess. :) I started with using a spoon and getting it on her beak, but that wasn't having much success. But then I scooped some up on my finger, and put it in front of her, and it was like the "how to eat" light came on, and she started pecking and grabbing and eating off my finger, and then off my sweats were the stuff had dripped. :) She ate enough that I could see a slight bulge in her crop. She's also walking much better - able to pull that leg underneath herself and stand on both feet. I saw her this morning actually pecking at the dry chick starter in the brooder, but I gave her some more of the yolk mixture just to help her along. I think she'll be OK (praying).
On the negative side, the silver polish that was not doing well died overnight, and the black cochin was almost dead (again) this morning. I expect if I went and checked now it would really be gone. All I managed to do was prolong the dying for that poor thing.
And now one of the salmon faverolles is looking like it's thinking about giving up on life.
I've never had this kind of prolonged trouble with chicks before. Usually, if any are poorly, they die in the first day. That's maybe one or two out of the bunch. But having them seem OK, eating and drinking (or appearing to) for a day and then deciding to die is not the norm, at least in my experience.
I'm so sorry. Even when they have only been with you a short time, it's very hard to lose the little fuzzies. I would let the hatchery know, and ask if they have any thoughts. And yes, it has not been my experience to see this after the first day or two, either.
I hope that things look up from now on. I have to say my Silver-Laced Polish are among my favorites.
They are very pretty birds. We had a WCB polish once before - it was the "free rare chick" and of course, a rooster. He was quite full of himself and tried to boss everyone around, but the larger hens wouldn't give him the time of day.
With this collection, since they are all unusual or rarer breeds, I'm not actually sure which one was the "free" chick. If one starts crowing, I guess I'll know!
I hope the salmon faverolle comes around. If not, I at least hope that the rest continue to do well. I may email the hatchery, although as it's only a relatively few number of chicks, it's not like they can send replacements unless I buy enough to make up another minimum order, which I don't need.
Hmm. Out of 9 Salmon Favorelles, I lost 3. I ordered 6 pullets and 2 roos, received 7 and 2. Of course, the 3 that died were pullets. They were the only ones out of 25 (6). Wonder if they're less hardy as chicks?
Sometimes they'll credit you, depending on the hatchery. I didn't bother, as I don't plan to order again. Of course, I hadn't planned to order these...
I think it's really hard to pinpoint a cause. The weather was not bad - not too hot or too cold. If it was that I'd have expected a lot more losses.
The faverolle is still not as perky as the others, but she did drink on her own when I put her by the water dish. I don't know though if she'll make it. The rest seem to be OK still, even the blue cochin looks better and I think it's been eating on its own because there's a bit more bulge in the crop area.
Catmad, I hadn't planned to order these either, really. I just got the baby chick itch when the weather started warming up. :-)
Oh, and sorry to hear you lost those pullets (why does it always have to be the ones you REALLY don't want to lose?). Maybe they are more fragile. Mine did not survive the day. She went from upright and drinking on her own to gone in just a few hours. The rest of the group does look OK though, and the blue cochin is definitely eating on her own. They are all doing that "popcorn" thing where they randomly ricochet around the brooder. :-)
Now one of the WCB polish chicks has developed spraddle leg after a week. Can't quite figure that one out. They've been on newspaper covered with nice textured paper towel, so traction shouldn't be an issue, and after a week you'd think they'd be past developing that problem. So I cut a narrow strip of vetwrap and hobbled her and she's getting around OK after the initial freak-out ... "AAAH, there's something on my legs! Get it off! Get it off! Get it off! ... Oh, wait, I can stand up!"
Oooo, I think we have a Cuckoo Maran in the mix! At first I thought it was a Dominique (there are two of those), but it's definitely more grey in color than black like Dominique chicks, and has light/white colored beak and legs.