Chicks and problems with chicks…

We got our first few chickens just over a month ago, and are loving them with the exception of them getting into the tomatoes.  We decided to get some more.  Now realize before I start this story we had all six kids with us when we went to pick up the chicks.  2 1/2 week old chicks 15 of them 5 different rare breeds. Here is the excerpt from her email.

“In the mix are the following breeds: Ameraucana, Marans, Olive Eggers, Barnevelder and Araucana. All of the breeds are very rare and are purebreds of good bloodlines. The Marans lay very dark chocolate eggs, the Olive eggers are marans x ameraucana mixes and will lay dark olive and the Barnevelder will lay medium dark.”

Sounds exciting… right !?!? … and the  Ameraucana’s lay blue eggs.  The kids were pumped.  She had a brooder light and an extra waterer she agreed to sell us as she was downsizing her flock.

We get there.  Where is there?  A McDonald’s parking lot as she was meeting us half way.  Great, we don’t have to drive as far.  (Mistake # 1)  When buying livestock of any kind you really should see the environment in which they are being raised.

She then hands us a box with the chicks in it.  I say, “we brought our camera along so we can take pictures of them so we can keep the breeds straight in our minds.”  She then tells me she had things a little mixed up and only had 12 chicks for us. I am thinking, “Oh well, still it isn’t a bad price for rare breeds.”  Then she gasps and says,” Oh no, there is blood in the box.”  I think  is one peeking another.  Nope, worse than that.  Apparently there is bloody droppings, a sign that the birds have a bacteria ‘cocci.’

At this point any sane person would walk away say thanks but no thanks.  Not us, we have all these little faces looking at us saying how cute the chicks are.  I look at Dave trying to figure out what to do.  She assures us it is simple to treat you just need to put some Amprol in their water.  She is very apologetic and drops her price by a third.  We pay her and take the birds home.  (Mistake # 2 Never buy someone else’s problem.)

The feed and seed places and the vet’s are all closed Saturday afternoon.  We go by the dairy farmer next door as cows can have this problem as well.  Our neighbor is familiar with it yet has not dealt with cocci in years, he tells Dave it is very rare.  We called every farmer we knew, put an ad on Kijiji and nothing. (Mistake #3 don’t assume that something is easy to treat just because a complete stranger tells you it is, especially on a Saturday afternoon.)

We get the chicks all settled in and Dave tells me, “I only see 11 chicks.”  We searched the van and recounted yep only 11. We read all we could find on cocci.  We have been changing their bedding daily and then disinfecting the container they are in.  We have 2 containers so we put them in the fresh one and then deal with the old. On Sunday two of the chicks died.  It’s Monday morning and the remaining 9 are looking pretty good.  We got the Amprol and put it in their water.  Now it is wait and see.

I am looking at these chicks and thinking that I am looking at mostly Olive Eggers.  I may have to wait until they are older to tell for sure. I’ll include some pictures and maybe someone who knows chicks will comment. Another question for my more knowledgeable readers.  Dave and I want to do things as natural as possible, as ‘organic’ as possible, was there any other way around this without giving them Amprol?

This is the group of them

 Not sure which one this and there is only one like it.

 I think this is the Olive Egger the Ameraucana cross???
And another one I’m not sure about. Could it be a Barnevelder??
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