Okay, so when I got my first batch of chicks I ordered them from http://www.mypetchicken.com/. I ordered 2 Rhode Island reds, 2 Barred rocks, 3 Light Brahmas, 3 Easter Eggers, 2 Buff Silkie bantams, 2 White Silkie bantams, and 2 Speckled sussex's. I ordered them in late December so I knew I would have to order them to come in at least spring since it was freezing outside. It took me awhile to decide which breeds I wanted at first so when I decided and ordered I found out since the Silkie's were so popular and everybody would be ordering them they were all sold out except for June and some in fall. I didn't want to wait in fall so I scheduled my order for June 1st. At LAST the morning came when the post office called and told me my chicks were waiting to be picked up. I anxiously drove to the post office and picked them up and on the way home I figured out one of the White silkies were dead. It was so tiny and with the Brahma's and all of the other standard sized chicks I guess they just trampled it (thats what it look like) So when I got home I went in the house and checked each chick for pasting and dipped their beaks in the the water and buried the Silkie. I was so excited, I couldn't believe they were actually here!
My chicks waiting to go in the brooder.
So I had did my research and everything but I thought, Hey, its June! My chicks can survive in the coop in the brooder with a heat lamp! I mean, whats the matter with it? They'll keep each other warm! So I put them in the brooder in the coop. All was well . . . for right now. The night I went and checked on them, they were doing well except for one of the buff silkies. (The top buff silkie in the picture above) She wouldn't eat or drink. So I read you could give them some scrambled eggs for the energy they need. She wouldn't eat. I dribbled some sugar water on her beak for some energy but still the poor little chick just couldn't thrive. Also, I thought her butt had some pasting on it (I think it might've been her umbilical cord scab ) So I tried to get it off and she just got weaker. That morning I dreaded going out to the coop in fear of what I might find. The buff silkie didn't make it through the night. Neither did one of the speckled sussex's. The night before I thought it was too hot for the chicks (I didn't have a thermometer in the brooder) So I raised it just a bit.
I guess they got so cold they smothered each other trying to stay warm and in the process killed two chicks. I buried them and thought that they would be fine. That night I noticed that one of the RIR's was very weak and wasn't walking around like a normal chick should be doing, nor was he eating or drinking. And right in front of my eyes he stopped moving completely and suddenly started kinda convulsing and just died right there. I was shocked. What had happened?
I didn't know what to do. I thought they might be sick since this wasn't normal and cleaned and sanitized all their feeders/waterers and put some new pine shavings down hoping they would make it another night. The next morning of the barred rocks were dead. I knew this wasn't right. They were dropping like flies. I called MyPetChicken and they said our chicks were probably too cold and needed to be moved to the house. So that day I went and bought a very large plastic tote and and moved the chicks in our basement. I also added a thermometer to the brooder this time. The chicks were finally content and healthy! I was so happy!
^ My chicks in their new brooder.
They made it and when the time came to move outside I was more ready than they were! They were WAY too small for their baby brooder and needed to moved to the big girl coop. They loved the outdoors and since the brooder that I had used for them the first time was bigger than the 2nd one so I moved them into that until the other chickens were used to them. They lived and were thriving until one day my Speckled sussex, Speckles, was listless. I had forgotten to clean out their brooder like I was supposed to and Speckles had Coccidiosis. But of course, I didn't know that and we had to leave to go somewhere so I quickly put them up and rushed off. The next morning I found him dead in the brooder. I was heartbroken! I then read about the disease and put some apple cider vinegar in their water as a treatment until the Corid treatment I ordered got here. Until then I was to make sure they didn't get back in that brooder. I had to keep my 7 older chickens in their run and keep the little chicks in the big girl coop. I mean nights, too. But one of the Light Brahma's, Thumper, was acting listless. I froze, she was the nicest Light brahma and I loved her. I continued putting apple cider vinegar in their water and keeping their coop clean. I waited as long as possible before going out to the coop the next morning. I couldn't imagine going out there and finding Thumper dead. I finally went out and she had made it through the night! I was so relieved!! The liquid Corid treatment came that night and the next morning I put it in their water. It did improve the bloody droppings. The bottle said to give it too them a week or so. After a week they were completely better. Now their full grown and healthy hens who lay lots of eggs and are so nice!
The Light Brahma 'Triplets', as I call them. (From the front): Thumper, Dumpling, and Seagull.
Fanny, my only Barred rock.
(Fanny's first egg) Fanny was the first chicken to start laying with the chicks, I was surprised she started laying so soon. She began laying in November! I thought she wouldn't start laying until spring!
Muffin, one of my Easter eggers.
Lester, a White silkie bantam.
Pickle, the Buff silkie bantam.
Queen, an Easter egger.
Bunny, Queen and Muffin's sister.
And finally, Penny my Rhode Island red. I want some more RIR's now because I LOVE their personality!
I hope you all enjoy the pictures and learn something from my beginner horror story!