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Dust baths

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Do I need to provide my chicks a certain type of dust? or just dirt? They played in dirt today. Also, our largest healthiest chick died today after putting them back inside. We have been letting them outside for a few hours now that it is warm out-is this ok? They seem to love it. We are building a coop now.

post #2 of 9
If you let them out they will find dirt themselves and happily take a dust bath in it. If you confine them to a run full time then yes you need to provide some very dry dirt (sand, wood ash) to bathe in.
How old are the chicks? Could your dead chick have gotten into something? Hurt in some way?
post #3 of 9

A sudden death like that with a healthy chick makes me suspect insect poisoning.

 

Here's the thing. You may have sprayed a trail of ants a month ago and totally forgotten when and where and thought it's all safe because it's dried up. But any moisture will reconstitute insecticide, and if there's even a tiny puddle of water that's been contaminated, a chicken can't resist drinking from it, and it will kill a chicken very quickly.

 

Even if you have no recollection of using insecticide in the last few weeks, make a new rule not to use it anywhere your chickens will be ranging. I know how awful it is to have a chicken die this way because I lost two because of insecticide.

 

The chick also could have eaten something that stuck in its crop and perforated it. That would be a freak accident, and there's nothing you can do to prevent that.

 

Back to dirt baths for chicks, I give mine little tubs of sand or peat moss, and they love it.

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thank you for sharing. It was a shock to us. We have not sprayed any chemicals at all. I thought it may have been something she did not digest like you said. She was the only one that had the pasting issue and I had to clean her off several times so I wonder if she had issues that could not be seen. But, she had not had the for the last week and seemed very healthy and was very active. we are very sad. I will try the sand and/or Peat Moss also/

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 


They are about 3 weeks old. No, we knew of nothing she could have gotten into. They are in a pen with grass when outside.

Thanks.

post #6 of 9
I'm so very sorry for your loss. That's very sad. Chickens can be very good at hiding illnesses. If the other flock members suspect something wrong it makes them vounarble to others so they hide it. Did you notice if before she passed she was fluffed up or more sleepy than usual? How was her stool? We're your chicks vaccinated for Mareks disease? It's going to be hard to find what actually happened to her without any clues. Again I'm sorry for your loss and hope the others do well.
post #7 of 9

Since they are only three weeks old she may have gotten to cold outside at this time.   It may not have been so sudden as you think.  She could have gotten cold days ago and it just now got her.  They are not feathered enough to go outside unless it is very warm out.  I still have the heat lamp on them at this age most of the day unless it is over 70 in the house.  Sorry about the loss.

I live in Northeastern New Mexico. Live on a 2.5 acres with my husband of 38 yrs.(husband pass away 6/13/16), 2 dogs, 2 cats,    I have SLC, Blue laced Red Wy, Partridge Cochin, Blue, Black & White Cochins, Americanas, Cuckoo Marans Roo, Dominque Roo,  Blue Bar Roo, Buff Orps, Lavender Wy, Black & Blue French Cooper Marans, French Wheaton Marans, Cuckoo Marans , Dominque , Blue bar  Whiting...

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I live in Northeastern New Mexico. Live on a 2.5 acres with my husband of 38 yrs.(husband pass away 6/13/16), 2 dogs, 2 cats,    I have SLC, Blue laced Red Wy, Partridge Cochin, Blue, Black & White Cochins, Americanas, Cuckoo Marans Roo, Dominque Roo,  Blue Bar Roo, Buff Orps, Lavender Wy, Black & Blue French Cooper Marans, French Wheaton Marans, Cuckoo Marans , Dominque , Blue bar  Whiting...

Reply
post #8 of 9
Mine start going outside at 3 weeks, as long as it is at least 60 and a dry sunny day. I start them out for just an hour or so and then slowly increase their time out. By week 4 they are completely hardened off and I no longer use any heat source for them. (I do continue to keep them in the brooder, keep them protected from the cats)
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 


Thank you.

It has been upper 60's and 70's here and will be around 80 degrees this week. They did not go out until it was upper 60's near 70.

I still use the heat lamp when they are inside in the brooder.

 

Thanks again.

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