50% chick loss in 3 weeks...help?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Aetheria1923, Apr 6, 2017.

  1. Aetheria1923

    Aetheria1923 New Egg

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    Apr 6, 2017
    Hello everyone. I just re-joined BYC and re-introduced myself but real quick, I'm a 2nd timer with back yard chickens. I had them before in Vermont and now that I'm back home in New Mexico I finally am getting my chickens back. Or I thought I was. Three weeks ago I got 6 RIR chicks from the local feed store. It's still WAY too cold where I live to put them outside so (like last time) I have them in a large plastic tub with standard food and water feeders, feeding chick starter. The tub is covered with a panel from an old baby gate. Plenty of ventilation, but no access from household pets. My house is warm but not hot. I have them in an area I don't consider drafty.

    I lost the first one about 3 days in. I came to change water in the morning and she couldn't have been down long. There was a single puncture wound behind a wing, that was bubbling brown liquid (sorry for graphic, but I know you need to know to help me). The second was about a week later. No obvious injury. I lost the third this morning, another week later. Again, no obvious injury. I'm looking at the remaining three...I have put a bar in the bin so they can perch. Two are lively and happily get up and down off of the perch. The third remaining stays on the floor, has it's eyes closed most of the time and is sort of drunkenly weaving. I'm pretty sure I'm about to lose that one, too.

    I called the feed store and they haven't had anyone else call to report problems, and the first round of chicks they sold numbered about 200.

    What am I doing wrong? Assistance please.
     
  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    My first thought with chick losses in plastic totes is always overheating. 3 week old chicks, were they raised by a broody hen, would be out from under her several hours at a time during the day at this point, no matter the ambient temp. How large is your tote, and what are you using for heat? While they do need access to a warm spot, it's just as vital they be able to get out from under the heat, especially once they're past the tiny-little stage. maybe try taking the heat lamp off for a while, giving some cool water and see how that does. If you've got access to poultry Nutri-Drench, that never hurts to dose them either.
     
  3. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Did they have a heat source? Pics of your brooder setup? If using a heat lamp inside a house, it was probably overheating them. If you didn't use any heat source at all, then it was likely chilling.
     
  4. Aetheria1923

    Aetheria1923 New Egg

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    Apr 6, 2017
    *sigh* makes sense now. I have in-floor radiant heat. We had hard freeze before each loss, so the floor heated up. I feel horrible. [​IMG]
     
  5. Aetheria1923

    Aetheria1923 New Egg

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    Apr 6, 2017
    *sigh* makes sense now. I have in-floor radiant heat. We had hard freeze before each loss, so the floor heated up. I feel horrible. [​IMG]
     
  6. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    And now you know that to brood chicks, they must have constant access to a heat source, but they must also be able to escape that heat source if needed.
     

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