6 dead 2 more look like they're on their way out

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by thoth3g, Feb 22, 2015.

  1. thoth3g

    thoth3g Out Of The Brooder

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    Well, to start with the hatchery for got to put the blue gel and electrolyte packet in with the chicks. Out of the 39 chicks that arrived so far looks like 31 might make it. I had to use a heat lamp and a radiant ceramic space heater to start with. As luck would have it my heat controller was set to arrive the same day as the chicks. When I went to test everything out a week before and found it was defective they sent a replacement last minute. It actually arrived at the same time so I ended up with A heat lamp in the brooder door pointing down, one in the brooder and the ceramic space (safe to touch) heater. I turned the space heater down and left the lamp in the doorway pointing down. I had it set so that the temp gauge would control the last one to only come on when it drops below 95. It seemed to work fine and they looked fine. I checked them at 3pm. When I came back at 11pm 4 were laying dead under the heat lamp pointing down at the door. No physical sign and my thermometer showed the correct temp.
    My only thought is perhaps they were still over heating. I removed the lamp from the (door with a window). I turned the space heater up where the last remaining heat lamp on the controller would have to work a bit harder to get to temp. I have two more looking pretty sickly that I expect to find dead in the morning. (for a total of 8 dead)
    Wow, not how I was hoping this would go. The hatchery wants a count. I'm assuming they plan to replace the dead ones.

    [After note: I'm putting about 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar per gallon of drinking water. (two 1 gal feeder). They have a Purina chick crumble and I've been sprinkling another feed which is ground up grains. They are on paper towels and because of the warm air flow created by the space heater the towels are staying dry. ]
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2015
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    First, some of this may be unavoidable shipping stress and genetic problems. They may still be a bit warm. I would be sure the brooder is plenty large so they can be at whatever temperature they want -- and I would find an inexpensive second thermometer and put it in there. Really the chicks will tell you what temp they want. See here:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...nd-i-have-a-couple-of-questions#post_11151084 (post #6)

    I would also reduce the amount of vinegar a good deal, to maybe 1 tsp per gallon. You might also add a very small amount of sugar instead, maybe half a tsp or a tsp to a gallon. Another thing you can do is slosh in some Gatorade, which gives a little sugar and electrolytes (too much electrolytes is as bad as too little.)

    The main thing is to get them drinking well. Be sure the water is up on a brick, or whatever you have to do to keep it relatively clean.

    Here is a long but very educational article on young chick mortality:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/39604/some-causes-of-early-chick-mortality

    Good luck!
     
  3. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Overrun With Chickens

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    I would second what Judy has written and add to stop the grains since they should be only on chick starter for a while yet.
    In order to digest the grains they would have to have grit.
    Also the grains are like candy. Not the correct nutritional value and they will eat only the bits they really love.

    I would also suggest crushing the chick starter to make it finer. It can be to large for some breeds to eat until they are a week or more in age.
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Good point about grains at this age.
     
  5. thoth3g

    thoth3g Out Of The Brooder

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    The grain is actually a 20% protein feed that is ground up to nearly powder.

    Fingers crossed so far no more dead ones. Total of 9 though. I removed the vinegar water and put in sugar water.
     
  6. doubleleft

    doubleleft Chillin' With My Peeps

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    glad you removed the vinegar .... yes as said they need/needed sugar water . I use honey most times or syrup from day one(i use a bit more honey/sugar than normally called for lol as it's life giving glucose for them) ...... i also use a water soluble vitamin mix in the water(i think it's very important) , it will do wonders for stress (as quoted above Gatorade is good) .
    Most feed stores carry the soluble vitamin mix .... i would continue using vitamin mix in the water long after i stopped using sugar & gatorade in the water .

    I also make sure my chick feed is at least 3 % fat ... 4 , 5 or 6 % is better . if i can't find the quality fat or protein i like to use i have a trick or two that's not politically correct .

    (REMEMBER)
    This is the time that Coccidia will always raise it's ugly head and the birds will start dropping like flies . I try to keep soluble Amprolium on hand all the time for coccidia .... i have noticed that shipped chicks will require it just about every-time (it's a life saver for those who have not progressed to far) .

    We learn as we go .... so don't let it get you down .... saw these words once "If you catch me down ... kick me .... i might still be alive ) this all coming from an old man .
     
  7. thoth3g

    thoth3g Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks Double
    2 more have went since then. The rest look fine but I'll find out. The hatchery was actually supposed to send me all of that and forgot but it should arrive today. Think they will be sending me replacements.
    Ill grab some Gatorade on my way home today!
     
  8. RitzHomestead

    RitzHomestead Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry but I LOVE that quote at the end! I may have to use that!! lol
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    If doubleleft's suspicion is correct and they have coccidia (cocci,) you will want to get some Corid (amprolium) and start it right away. You may have to use a dropper to get them drinking. Here is a link for the dose to use. Ist is possible they got too cold in shipping, though. I lost a lot more than that when one shipment wass delayed around this time of year.
     
  10. thoth3g

    thoth3g Out Of The Brooder

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    Yes I was just about to add...just got off the phone with local store said nearly all of theirs died cuz of cold weather during shipping.
    She added the thing about hydration but seemed to think 2TB apple cider wasn't too much. Regardless think I'll stay with sugar and electrolytes!
    I have some amprol on the way.
     

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