Baby Chick Heavily Breathing

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by jp0318, Nov 9, 2018.

  1. jp0318

    jp0318 In the Brooder

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    Apr 17, 2018
    North Carolina
    I have them in a box with wood shavings. The chicks were hatched in a friend's incubator and I don't have a thermometer with me at the moment but they are not too close or far apart from each other when sleeping. I am feeding them chick starter from Tractor Supply, and none of them have pasting. The chick though I could add is sneezing too once in a while.
     
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Measuring the temp is important, if they can't get away from the heat they can get sick and/or die...there needs to be a cool spot in the brooder.

    Here's my notes on chick heat, hope something in there might help:
    They need to be pretty warm(~85-90F on the brooder floor right under the lamp and 10-20 degrees cooler at the other end of brooder) for the first day or two, especially if they have been shipped, until they get to eating, drinking and moving around well. But after that it's best to keep them as cool as possible for optimal feather growth and quicker acclimation to outside temps. A lot of chick illnesses are attributed to too warm of a brooder. I do think it's a good idea to use a thermometer on the floor of the brooder to check the temps, especially when new at brooding, later I still use it but more out of curiosity than need.

    The best indicator of heat levels is to watch their behavior:
    If they are huddled/piled up right under the lamp and cheeping very loudly, they are too cold.
    If they are spread out on the absolute edges of the brooder as far from the lamp as possible, panting and/or cheeping very loudly, they are too hot.
    If they sleep around the edge of the lamp calmly just next to each other and spend time running all around the brooder they are juuuust right!

    The lamp is best at one end of the brooder with food/water at the other cooler end of the brooder, so they can get away from the heat or be under it as needed. Wattage of 'heat' bulb depends on size of brooder and ambient temperature of room brooder is in. Regular incandescent bulbs can be used, you might not need a 'heat bulb'. If you do use a heat bulb make sure it's specifically for poultry, some heat bulbs for food have teflon coatings that can kill birds. You can get red colored incandescent bulbs at a reptile supply source. A dimmer extension cord is an excellent way to adjust the output of the bulb to change the heat without changing the height of the lamp.

    Or you could go with a heat plate, commercially made or DIY: http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/pseudo-brooder-heater-plate
     
    Wyorp Rock and micstrachan like this.
  3. micstrachan

    micstrachan Free Ranging

    Just one more thought to add...
    The wood shavings. Are they pine and not cedar? Cedar can be irritating to their respiratory systems. I think it may actually be toxic if they ingest it, too.
     
  4. jp0318

    jp0318 In the Brooder

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    Apr 17, 2018
    North Carolina


    This is the box they are in. The one on the bottom corner is the one with the breathing problem
     
  5. jp0318

    jp0318 In the Brooder

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    Apr 17, 2018
    North Carolina
    My chick is all better now! Thank you all for helping out!
     

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