My family (which includes myself, my husband and my 15 yr old son) decided that we wanted to raise chickens for fresh eggs. We went out and bought a coop at TSC and then went and bought 2 adult hens from a local flea market. Silly as we were, we did not think to look up the types of chickens, and I believe we bought a meat chicken and then a Rhode Island Red. The white meat chicken is really plump (we could never eat her) but anyway, that's part 1.
Part 2 - we decided we really were enjoying the hens (although no eggs a week later after bringing them home) and thought we would like to raise some babies as well, so we looked up a local place and went and picked out 10 babies. We got some 1 week olds and some 2 week olds. The one week olds are: Bufff Brahma, Exchequer Leghorn, Buff Leghorn, and the two week olds we got are 4 Ameraucanas (probably EE's though), 2 Silver Laced Wyandottes and 1 Black Australorp.
We brought them home, and bought one of those big tin bins that they have the chicks in at TSC and got a brooder lamp and the feeder/waterer and kept them inside for 2 weeks. During this time we are building a massive chicken coop that is 16x32 and will have multiple 8x8 rooms that we can connect or leave closed off to separate the different aged chicks as we go along and get more. We will have a nesting room and a supply room as well. It is a work in progress.
Well, after week 2, the Ameraucanas were getting really big, so we built a 4x4 brooder that we put outside on the back porch, and protected it with the hardware cloth and put peel and stick tile on the bottom to help make it easier to clean. We put a fold down door on the front so we could sweep out the pine shavings and put new in.
All this has been going well. It has been 3 weeks exactly when we lost our 1st chick (one of my favorites of the Ameraucana's). I noticed that she had been sitting by herself a lot and kind of puffed out with her head pulled in for a few days, but didn't think anything of it. Friday night my son found her dead (very recently as she was still very warm) and he was very upset. We immediately cleaned out the coop and changed out the bedding, washed the feeder/waterer and replaced it as to not have something spread.
From what I'm reading, it looks like it could have been Coccidiosis. Are my other babies at risk? I have been watching them closely, but so far nobody else is exhibiting any symptoms.
We are feeding then the Chick Starter-Medicated, but that is all. Should I be doing anything else? I sure don't want to lose any more? Now that we have the nice 4x4 brooder, we want to incubate/hatch some eggs too since we have all the separate areas to keep them until they get full grown.
We are sure loving the chicks and our big birds, though after a month we still don't have any eggs! That's another question...when should I expect them to start laying?