Originally Posted by realsis
Hi. First I'd like to say I'm so very sorry for your losses. I agree with what has been said above. Don't give up and keep trying. You can even order fertile eggs if you are interested in hatching different breeds. I'm sure if you keep trying you will have your chicks in no time. Sounds like YOU did things correctly but it was the chicks that had issues. I know it's still difficult to loose them and I just wanted to chime in and say how sorry I am you lost them.I also want to offer some encouragement to keep trying. Keep us posted on how things progress in the future. Best wishes.
I agree with realsis.
How about this? Pick a breed you like. Buy some fertile eggs from a breeder. They will have tested their roosters for fertility and taken measures to make sure the hen was fed properly and the eggs are fertile. Buy them local so you don't have to ship them. Stay on this thread and tell us which is your favorite breed and we can help you find a breeder close to you. Now as to these chicks you lost? Stop beating yourself up about it. Chicks die. It happens. The fact that these didn't hatch till 24-26 days was a real problem for them. Weak from the get go.
Here's what I would do to feed future newly hatrched chicks. Buy the smallest bottle of Poultry Nutri-Drench by Bovidr Labs. http://www.nutridrench.com
It is a superb emergency nutritional supplement which doesn't need to be digested and is wonderful for quick energy for new chicks. Put it in their water so the water looks like very weak tea. Do this for the 1st 2 weeks of life. I have never lost a chick using the Nutri-Drench in the water. Also, give them access to some yogurt but don't just leave it in the hot brooder as it might spoil. Probiotics are excellent for their little G.I. tracts.
Now here's an extensive study I have been doing. The chick's G.I. tract undergoes extensive development after hatch. Support that healthy development and your chicks will thrive, given they have water, warmth, and light also. Feed them a top quality chick feed like Naturewise chick feed. Doesn't need to be organic. Use bottled water to eliminate any local water problems.
Do not believe anyone who tells you chicks don't need to eat for the 1st 2 or 3 days because they can live off the yolk sac. This is very important. During the last 3 1/2 days of incubation the chick's mouth opens and it gets its nutrients from the amniotic fluid in the egg. Now these nutrients are an important part of the nutrients available for the developing G.I. tract. When the chick hatches, it continues to need the yolk nutrients to "feed" that developing G.I. tract. However, if the chick isn't fed during the 1st 2-3 days, those nutrients go to support it's feed needs and not the developing G.I. tract . So the chick will not grow to it's potential. If the chick is fed from the moment of hatch, the yolk nutrients are reserved for the G.I. tract development. A better G.I. tract means a healthier, more robust chick.
Also make chick grit available to the chick from hatch. Sprinkle it over their feed for the 1st 2 days and then put it in a cup once they figure out it is not feed. This is important you don't want them mistaking the grit for their chick feed the first few days of life. They will figure it out. You will not physically see any advantage from giving them the chick grit while they are growing. Many folk will tell you it's not necessary if all you are giving them is chick feed. That's true from a food grinding standpoint. The advantage to the bird is all internal. What is happening is that giving grit to the chicks, the right size at the right age, is that the exercise the grit is giving the gizzard of the bird while it is growing will result in a larger and stronger gizzard. Here is a research project I did on the subject of grit for poultry. Read all 5 posts. That Gran-I-Grit brochure has size and age feeding instructions on the 2nd page: http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/891051/the-science-of-feeding-grit-to-poultry I get my Gran-I-Grit at Agway. The bags are big but can be used for many other things than poultry and the price is very cheap. Under 10.00 for 50 lbs.
When the bird reaches egg laying age, this healthier and stronger gizzard will process its food better for digestion further down the G.I. tract The end result is up to 20% more eggs from that bird.
Edited by 3riverschick - 2/23/16 at 5:29pm