Baby Chicks all died in one hour

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by chickenfamilyof, Jan 23, 2017.

  1. chickenfamilyof

    chickenfamilyof New Egg

    Jan 23, 2017
    Looking for some help and questions answered. We are on our 3rd year of chick raising and all went well the first 2 years. This year though we bought our 6 Rhode Island Reds from a Farm Supply Store on Thursday evening. They have been eating, drinking, walking, chirping, pooping normally. All was well. Tonight we peeked in on them at 7:00 then sat down to watch a movie. On commercial break an hour later we peeked in on them again and every single one of them was dead... scattered about their brooder. They had fresh water, good baby chick feed, the right temperature. Nothing makes sense. Any help would be appreciated!
  2. Pyxis

    Pyxis Hatchi Wan Kenobi Premium Member

    Mar 27, 2012
    My Coop
    What type of heat bulb were you using? The ones that are shatter proof are coated in something that gives off fumes as it heats up and they are toxic to birds. If everything else really was perfect this is what immediately comes to mind as what may have happened.
  3. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Aaaw gees chickenfamilyof I am so sorry to hear of your loss; that must have been heartbreaking to walk into [​IMG]

    As Pyxis has suggested, with them all going from happy and healthy to gone in an hour, I am also leaning towards toxicity of some description.

    What do you have on the brooder floor? Anything different to previous broods?
  4. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Hi and welcome to BYC, but sorry to learn of your loss. I'm new to incubation / brooding, so I have little to offer on the subject. You could try posting on the "incubating and hatching" forum, but the feedback above seems logical, pending your response.

    Best wishes
  5. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 True BYC Addict

    Jun 23, 2013
    Hilo, HI
    Sorry for you loss! This is your 3rd year of raising chicks, the first 2yrs all went well, what did you do different this time?
    Pyxis & Telia thinking possible something toxic, heat source and/or flooring material? I would also check with the feed store if they had anyone call to report the same incident. Keep us posted.
  6. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    I'm sure Pyxis is right. Maybe you can contact manufacturers of those bulbs. What a terrible shame - so sorry.
  7. N F C

    N F C phooey! Premium Member Project Manager

    Dec 12, 2013

    What a shame, sorry you lost your chicks.
  8. chickenfamilyof

    chickenfamilyof New Egg

    Jan 23, 2017
    Thanks to all for the well-wishes. We do get quite attached to our animals, and we try to take very good care of them. So it is a blow on two levels - 1 We get attached to them and 2 we wonder what did we do wrong.

    My initial thought was illness of some sort, but it seems odd that an illness would kill them all at once, and that there are no other symptoms that I am aware of. They have been active and eating and drinking normally, and their stool is not oddly colored or bloodied.

    I also thought of some sort of toxicity, but could not think of what may have caused it.
    We used the same food product, same water, and same bedding as last year. The only thing we did differently this year was we purchased a metal bin such as the farm store keeps their chicks in.

    Temperature in the tub was about 98 degrees directly under the heat lamp.

    As for the heat lamp vapor theory, that makes sense, and I had never heard that those bulbs released anything toxic, so I'm glad to know it for the future. But that bulb had heated them for four days, and was much closer to them to keep the temperature up in the first few days. At the point they died, the bulb was suspended some two feet above the base of the tub, and above the top edge of the tub. The fumes then would not be trapped in the tub, but exposed to the air flow in the house. Perhaps I'm overthinking that, though.

    We've checked this site to learn a great deal in our Chicken keeping in the past, so we knew this would be the place to come for this problem! Thanks for all the suggestions.
  9. chickenfamilyof

    chickenfamilyof New Egg

    Jan 23, 2017
    The bulb idea makes sense. It did just occur to us that this bulb was relatively new and was not bought at a farm store. It was bought at a hardware store. We had no idea that it could be toxic. That makes sense and we feel terrible. Good to know so it won't be repeated. Thank you so much!
  10. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Greetings from Kansas and [​IMG]! Great to have you aboard but sorry it is under these circumstances. [​IMG] I have nothing to add that has not already been said in previous posts. I hope you isolate the cause so it doesn't happen again. Best wishes and don't give up!

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