Death of chicks in nest box after hatching


Over the past 2 years I have had Lady Gouldian chicks dying shortly after hatching under foster parents and gouldians.
I have already treated all birds for air sac mite, have used antibotics and the problem still exsists.
All chicks are being fed as they have full crops.

Can you offer any advice?



Hi Tom,

That's not one of the most frequent or usual problems that I have encountered and as I say all over the website, I am not a veterinarian and I cannot give advice. I can only tell you that from my experiences, my first thought would be to consider the possibility of worms. The fact that your birds have succeeded in breeding and brooding viable chicks, that the problems occur with natural parents as well as foster ones and that only the weak and frail chicks are dying makes me think of parasites that could possibly live symbiotically with your adult birds, but would totally victimize the very young. Another idea I would consider would be the red mites that can live in the nest boxes, come out at night to feed on the chicks in the nests. I would try putting a white cloth in the nest box over night. Check it very early the next morning for
little red dots. I have read that the mites will try hiding in the cloth instead of other crevices, etc., in the boxes, but that they can be easily seen on the white cloths. As to determining how to find out about worms, unless you are handy with information about worms in Gouldians and have a good microscope on hand, find and contact an avian veterinarian. Ask them how to prepare specimens of stool for them to examine from your birds for worms. I don't know where you live, but I know how hard that assignment can be. Even if you can only contact your local agricultural agent or a poultry vet., I'm nearly positive that they will be able to do the worm tests for you. There is a lot of money at stake with chicken ranchers so there is more money in identifying and treating their ailments and parasites. I hope this is helpful and please let me and the rest of us Gouldian lovers hear back from you. If I found red mites on the white cloth, I would get a pyrethrin based powder and treat all of my birds and their nest boxes or nests.

Best Wishes, Jeanie

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