We are new to having our own baby chicks... we bought them from our local feed store when they were about a day old, however I believe that some of them were a little older because they already had a few feathers on the tips of their wings. We bought 14 chicks and have now have lost 4 of them... The first one that we lost was only 72 hours after bringing them home.
Here is the set up of our brooding area... We purchased a new coop that is actually a fairly common one...
This is a picture of the design of the coop that we purchased and currently have set up in our living room as we live in a very cold area that is not suitable for our chicks to be outside yet... I have the opening to the ramp closed of with cardboard and inside the hutch we have wood shaving on top of cardboard and a few piece of newspaper. I have been replacing all of the bedding every other day and removing soiled bedding when I fill up their feeder and waterer twice daily. I have a 60 watt light bulb in a clamp light attached to the top of the Hutch area... with this being said, we do not have the roof installed on the large portion of the coop so that we may reach in the area and clip the light to the side panel.
We are feeding the chicks medicated crumble food and when we add more food of water we rinse the containers out with a dish detergent and rinse extensively. So I am feeling like we have lost quite a few chicks in the past 3 weeks for what i would consider very attentive care. The second chick we noticed was acting "drunk like" and had a swollen craw, we tried to hydrate her with a small syringe and a warm washcloth, however she only made it a few hours... Our third chick broke her neck in between the 2nd and 3rd week when we had a few chicks that seemed twice the size of some of the others and they all started playing more aggressively.
The fourth chick is the one that I am the most concerned about. We were gone for the day and when we got home the lil chick had very swollen eyes and had her beek open as if she was trying to find the water, food or struggling to breathe. We immediately took her out of the pen and tried as it suggested on many posts to rinse her eyes with a saline solution as well as drip water into her beek... Then I quickly changed the bedding and scrubbed the removable plastic pan with dish soap and a few tablespoons of bleach.. I let it sit for a min and rinsed throughly with the garden hose for a few mins to make sure that all the chemicals had been removed. I then let it air dry before putting the complete bedding system back down.
Breed info: We decided to get a variety of breeds that are considered dual purpose... we started out with
2 Rhode Island Reds
2 Barred Rocks
1 Black Astralorp
3 Golden Buffs
2 silver laced wyandottes
Our 1st loss was a maran, 2nd was a barred rock, 3rd silver laced wyandotte and 4th was a golden buff orpington
I just wanted to see if there was anything else that I could do to help keep my remaining chicks alive?!?! I called our vet and he is setting some antibiotics out in his mailbox for us to pick up tonight and put in their water... but I just was curious to see whether our chick loses were anything that was preventable or not?!?! One last factoid about our set up is that our temp seems to be perfect the chicks are not too close or too far away from the light...
Edited by BridleHouse - 5/11/12 at 7:07pm