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CX Chicks dying like crazy

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

This is my first time trying meat birds, I ordered 15 from Murray McMurray Hatchery. I followed all of the steps that were suggested: made sure that the heat lamp was on and up to temp for 24 hours prior to their arrival, they had free access to warm water with sugar added, and food. They are in my garage right now which I am keeping the doors shut on so they don't get a draft. The morning I got them it was 40 degrees out, but the post office had them inside- got them home, dipped all their beaks and showed them the food. They all warmed up and seemed active and healthy. Within 24 hours 4 died- I literally checked them and everyone seemed bright and alert and mobile, 1 hour later 2 dead. The other 2 I found prior to dying and they were just weak. I put out some greek yogurt and they all seemed happy for the next few days. Got cable installed yesterday and the garage door was open for a little while but they didn't seem cold (they weren't piling up under the lamp) this morning I check on them- 2 dead and 1 that is now neurologic (right leg and wing aren't functioning). What the heck am I doing wrong?! I have raised chicks before (egg layers) several times and never lost a single one, and didn't put in half as much effort. So now I haven't even had these darn things for a week yet and I've pretty much lost half of them. At the rate I am going by next week I will have invested money into getting fresh meat and have nothing to show for it. I should also add, that I don't feel like they are eating as much as everyone else's chicks on here are: I filled the feeder the first day and have been topping it off by adding about 1-2 cups every other day.


Edited by yolkie - 5/17/16 at 6:03am
post #2 of 9
Are they too hot? Do they have a place to go to cool down? Maybe a picture of your set up would help.
post #3 of 9

The brooder should be large enough that the heat lamp is only heating one spot, not the whole thing. You're not trying to cook them just, yet. The rest of the brooder should be significantly cooler, by at least 15 to 20 degrees. And the food and water should be as far from the lamp as possible. 

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

I am using a large kiddie pool with 2 lamps that together heat about half of it. There is plenty of space for them to get out of the heat. I will attach a picture of the setup. The food and water is in the middle so that half of it is in the warmth and half is cooler.


Edited by yolkie - 5/17/16 at 7:04am
post #5 of 9
Could they have coccidia?
post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by yolkie View Post
 

I am using a large kiddie pool with 2 lamps that together heat about half of it. There is plenty of space for them to get out of the heat. I will attach a picture of the setup. The food and water is in the middle so that half of it is in the warmth and half is cooler.

Too much heat. One lamp is ample for 15 chicks in a kiddie pool. The food and water should be as far from the lamp as possible, otherwise the lamp will also heat up the water. Drinking is one thing they use to help cool their bodies. If the water gets too warm, and the chicks are already overheated, they will start to die. It's much easier to kill them with heat than it is if they are a bit too cool.

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 


Here is a picture of the setup right now. It is barely 60 degrees outside during the day and the garage they are in is probably in the 50s which is why I had the 2 lamps. They generally sleep under the lamp like in this picture and then play all around when they are awake. I shut off the lamp closest to the water to see if that will help. I'm just disappointed because after the first 4 died, everyone was fine for the rest of the week. I don't think they have coccidia because they are all staying clean and no runny poops everyone is eating and drinking and active. Could this just be a bad batch of chicks? The neurologic one is the one parked by the feeder, it is still eating and drinking but both legs are paralyzed from the knee down, I will take it to work with me later to be humanely euthanized. Still have no idea how/why that happened. Thank you for the input!

post #8 of 9

They are prone to weak leg joints, causing mobility issues.

post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by junebuggena View Post
 

 The food and water should be as far from the lamp as possible, otherwise the lamp will also heat up the water. Drinking is one thing they use to help cool their bodies. If the water gets too warm, and the chicks are already overheated, they will start to die. It's much easier to kill them with heat than it is if they are a bit too cool.

+1

 

Food and water as far away from the heat as possible.

 

Also, just because they are genetically made to grow fast, doesn't mean that it's good genetics.  CX are designed to die, sometimes it happens earlier than expected.

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