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Chicks Are Dead in Moments

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

All 2 week + 3 days old. They are Easter Eggers and white sultans. All where well and lively at 9 AM at noon 2 of the Easter Eggers were dead near the feeder. The brooder is full of pine chips and there are some that got in the feeder.

Some background:

Started with 18 birds. After the first week I turned down the temp of the heat lamp controller a little too much and the next morning there was a squished flat and dead sultan under the center of the sleeping pile. Turned lamp up 1/2 the difference. A few days later...

Fed the birds 1 square inch of well boiled potato and 1 boiled baby carrot on St. Patrick's day. 1 bird was paralyzed for the day and all birds became super sleepy. Next morning another sultan was dead and flattened under the sleeping area all other birds seemed recovered. A day or two later

Found 2 dead Eggers near the feeder and 1 sultan dead near the sleeping spot but not at the sleeping spot. Another day all are fine in the morning find a dead one near noon at the feeder. Autopsy reveals very full stomach with a piece large piece of grain in it but unobstructed airways. I've been grinding the feed but not sifting it and see that there are handfuls of feed to large. Remove feed from the brooder for 16 hours.


Side note: After removing the food replaced brooder with new bigger one clean newspaper below new pine shavings. Grab first chick and spend 7 seconds inspecting for health and place in the new brooder. All the other chicks going crazy and running to the sleeping / safe spot. Go to grab the next chick for transfer and find them all standing on an Egger lying on its back. Egger is breathing but unresponsive. Transfer all chicks to new brooder including the injured one next morning all chicks appear to be healthy and happy.


Put food back in brooder all sifted so ensure no large pieces at 9AM, at noon today 2 dead Eggers near the feeder. 


They are checked for pasty butt 2x per day. All but 2 of them were clear of it after the first few days the remaining ones were clear of it a few days later. Water is elevated but accessible (they drink) and kept clean and filled. Food and Drink are kept away from the heat source / sleeping comfort area. Altitude is 7500 ft ambient air temp 70 degrees. 


Feed is self made have been using it for 3+ years but only with adults, others have been using it too with no complaints, never been used for chicks before. 12%fat, 66%carbs, 21% protein. Contains: 

Canary Seed, Austrian Field Peas, Lentils, Flax, Barley, Buckwheat, Millet, Milo, Mung Bean, Carrots, Hemp, Coconut Flakes, Raisins, Spinach Flakes, Parsley Flakes, Red Chile Peppers.
After the first week they got some mealworms and kelp blended in. They have been offered hard boiled egg and lettuce pureed separately but ignored it.






post #2 of 18
I may have missed it....are you giving them grit?
post #3 of 18
That was my question too
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 

No I'm not giving them grit, although the feed is the consistency of fine beach sand. Should I give them some dirt along with the feed? I accidentally double posted this and in the other post a suggestion has been made that the cause is  mycotoxin in the feed that are at levels adults can handle but chicks can not. 

post #5 of 18
What kind of light bulb are you using?
post #6 of 18
What about the mealworms? Are you saying you grind everything? The potato and carrot as well?

My guess is its the food somehow
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 

The mealworms were / are ground. The single potato piece and carrot were given whole but where super mushy.

post #8 of 18
Id be using chick grit just in case. Theres no harm in it
post #9 of 18
Agreed, grit is a good idea regardless and might be some of your problem, if not no harm
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 

Took away the feed yesterday and gave them some pureed veggies to hold them over until gave them starter feed this morning. The starter claims grit is not required with it. Haven't lost any more... yet.

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