2 Month Olds dying on cold nights, what to do?? *update*

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by cluckcluck42, Jan 31, 2011.

  1. cluckcluck42

    cluckcluck42 Songster

    Oct 4, 2009
    I had 11 two month old chicks then the cold weather got really bad in my area. I'm now down to 7. They are fully feathered and no signs of disease or bloody poops. No signs of illness at all but this morning was the 4th one I have found dead. It looks like they have all been on the bottom of huddle piles. [​IMG]

    I am at my wits end. I have no idea what to do. We are thinking of bringing them into our porch or putting them in a different coop with a heat lamp. But I have always heard it is bad to put them on a heat lamp and will only cause more problems further on. They are in their own section of a big coop with good ventilation. It is much warmer in the coop than it is outside. They get no drafts where they are.

    What do I do? I am so frustrated and upset.

    Update in last post [​IMG]
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2011

  2. Sir Birdaholic

    Sir Birdaholic Night Knight

    I would overlook everyone's personal opinion, except mine, [​IMG] & hang a bulb above them, so they can get warm when they need it. This will also decrease the "pile-up". A regular 60- 100 watt bulb will work, hanging about a foot above their heads. A warm chicken is a happy chicken. [​IMG]
  3. WingingIt

    WingingIt Songster

    Apr 16, 2009
    I have to agree, if they are piling up for warmth to the extent that the bottom chickens are being crushed, they are too cold. I'd put in a LOT of whatever you use for bedding so they can snuggle down into it to keep warm. But in a whole bag of shavings or bale of straw, whatever you use. That will give them insulation and hopefully keep them from piling up so much that they crush each other. No risk of fire that way, either. If you know you can secure a heat light, you can try it, but if it's super cold it probably doesn't raise the temperature all that much.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2011
  4. cluckcluck42

    cluckcluck42 Songster

    Oct 4, 2009
    There are a lot of shavings, I thought of getting some straw but not sure if that will make a difference?? I can separate them and have another smaller coop that I can put a heat lamp in. But I only have 125 watt lights and no where near us sells 100 watt that I have found (weird huh?)

    I'm at a loss. I won't put a heat lamp in the main coop, too terrified of fire, but I can definitely safely attach a heat lamp in this other coop. I guess that might have to be our course of action this evening. If I lose another I am going to have a mini break down. I think I will move them today once fiance gets home. My worry is that they will get sick frm going from cold to warm. But I guess I have nothing to lose!

    Another question- I have chicks that are going on one month old, would it be a bad or good idea to put them in with the two month olds? I don't think they would fight but would more chicks be better or worse? ie. Piling under the heat lamp and having huddle piles of death

  5. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    Quote:I agree with the others. Put the lamp in your main coop or the other coop and move those babies. They will not get sick going from cold to warm. Use the 125 watt and just hang it a bit higher. If you have a thermometer you can use, place it on the floor under the light - I would want it no warmer than 65/70 degrees during the day - you are not trying to heat the chicks, just add a bit of warmth to stop piling at night.

    At this time, I would NOT put the month olds in with the 2 month olds - the little ones will be smushed under the pile. Wait until you have stopped the piling. I would check in the early, early morning - set the alarm and go out to do a chick check at like 2 or 3 AM - see how the chicks are sleeping under the light and check the warmth (I would not want it hot, but would aim for 40 ish at night for them.)

    I currently have 7 chicks who are 7 weeks old in the garage. They "lost" their heat lamp toward the end of last week - I also get up in the middle of the night to check to be sure they are not piling. Our garage stays just above freezing at night.
  6. tammye

    tammye Songster

    Mar 22, 2010
    can you bring them inside on these really cold nights? you can put them into a large dog crate on the porch. Heat lamps are dangerous when they are not secured to something. I use a red 250 watt heat lamp on the nights that get below zero, mine is secured by screws to the wall, that way if one of the girls flies into it, she can't knock it over. I think your chicks are to little for these extremly cold nights we are having.
  7. cluckcluck42

    cluckcluck42 Songster

    Oct 4, 2009
    Thanks guys we are going to move them tonight. The heat lamp is very secure, we have it attached to a carribeener screwed into the ceiling. It is not going anywhere!

    I wouldn't put one in the main coop, somehow a chicken would manage to cause a fire. They are such spazzes. One got stuck in a string that I had no idea was even in the coop. I walked in to find her snoozing 3 feet off the ground with her wings stuck in the strings. I about had a heartattack! She came out of it perfectly fine though.

  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Get a large box, tip on side, place lots of straw or hay in it, pack it down like a nest. If need be partially cover with sheet. Place chicks into hollowed out nest. Make certain chicks have topped of crops before going to "roost / nest". Sheet will help trap heat chicks produce but allow ventilation.
  9. cluckcluck42

    cluckcluck42 Songster

    Oct 4, 2009

    I have no idea what to do now. I moved them into a separate enclosed coop with a heat lamp, foot++ of shavings and multiple roosts and this morning I again found one dead from a huddle pile. [​IMG] I'm trying not to get upset because I'm doing everything I can so I'm trying not to blame myself but as you can imagine it is heartwrenching.

    There have been absolutely no signs of illness and no bloody poop or anything that would lead me to believe they are unwell.

    What the heck do I do? How do I stop them from doing this? Should I separate the group with chicken wire half and half and put them on different sides of the coop? Will that help by lessening their huddle pile? oh my gosh [​IMG]

  10. cluckcluck42

    cluckcluck42 Songster

    Oct 4, 2009
    Also he was in a corner. Why are they sleeping in the corner when they have a heat lamp in the middle with roosts right next to it? They can even sleep on the shavings under it if they are not into roosts. [​IMG]

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