Chick panting and laying down a lot

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Plinky, Mar 13, 2016.

  1. Plinky

    Plinky Chillin' With My Peeps

    120
    2
    54
    Mar 9, 2016
    Well, now the questionable male-female Leghorn (two weeks old tomorrow I think) is standing around with wings out, beak open or laying down (often) with head extended. I saw her eating and drinking. I thought perhaps too hot so I raised lamp. Other chicks a few days younger but since none have been huddling under lamp I'm giving it a try. Reading about some chicks dying at two weeks has got me worried. She's a beautiful chick that has not had any other problems. Feeding medicated feed, water with vinegar and sav-a-chick electrolytes/probiotics. What could it be? what should I do or look for? Thanks very much.
     
  2. Jensownzoo

    Jensownzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,965
    290
    148
    Feb 7, 2016
    Saint Louis, MO
    Overheating or trouble breathing are the two things that pop into my mind with that behavior.

    You've corrected for the one possibility while giving nonspecific supportive care for the second. It might be up to the chick now.
     
  3. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,948
    377
    236
    Jun 23, 2013
    Hilo, HI
    x2
     
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

    18,360
    5,330
    496
    Nov 7, 2012
    CENTRAL MAINE
    Do you have a thermometer? Check the temp. At 2 weeks old, they should be fine at 75 - 80* directly under the lamp. How many? The more chicks, the less heat they need.
     
  5. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

    9,557
    2,496
    411
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    It sure does sound like an over heating issue. The problem can be not only with the heat lamp being too low and putting out too much heat, but if your brooder is too small or is plastic, not allowing heat to dissipate, the chicks find it difficult to find space in which to cool down.

    I dislike plastic totes for this reason. They hold the heat in, making the brooder oven-like so the chicks bake like hamburger patties.

    Heat lamps are fine for large areas, but they can be dangerously hot for a small brooder. A low wattage incandescent bulb 100 watts or 75 watts would be plenty warm.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. Plinky

    Plinky Chillin' With My Peeps

    120
    2
    54
    Mar 9, 2016
    Thanks. I raised the lamp and she does seem better today. Problem was this one is a few days (more like a week I think) older than the others. We got them at a feed store, directly from the hatchery person. He kind of thrust the Leghorn on us and said she was four days old and the others were one day old.
     
  7. sabrina11

    sabrina11 Chillin' With My Peeps

    157
    0
    51
    Mar 6, 2016
    I had one do that from overeating and being to hot.
     
  8. Plinky

    Plinky Chillin' With My Peeps

    120
    2
    54
    Mar 9, 2016
    Actually they are in a 2' x 2' x 2' cardboard box open on top (with chicken wire) and ventilation holes cut on sides. I think the thermometer is not accurate as well. I'm going to get it down to about 85° at least and see what happens.
     
  9. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

    9,557
    2,496
    411
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Is the heat lamp a 250 watt? Your brooder, at two feet square, is exceedingly tiny. Even with it being cardboard, there is no room for the chicks to get away from the heat.

    It's every bit as important to have cool zones as it is to have a heat zone. Without cool areas, ten to twenty degrees cooler than the area directly beneath the heat lamp, the chicks will have no way to regulate their temperature, and the heat will build up in their bodies, making them heat stressed.

    It's so very easy and simple to make your brooder larger by getting another cardboard box, taping it together with the first one, and cutting a pass-through into the common wall. Instant chick two-room condo! Use a 100 watt bulb instead of the 250 watt, and place in over one side, leaving the other side as a cool down space. The chicks will be much more comfortable and will love the additional space. As they grow, you can even add more "rooms". It's great fun. I even used to cut windows into my chick condos, covering them with see-through plastic.
     
  10. Plinky

    Plinky Chillin' With My Peeps

    120
    2
    54
    Mar 9, 2016
    Great advice. I'm actually about to build a wood frame and wire mesh (hardware) brooder like some I've seen on the internet that will be much larger but with a semi enclosed place will be warm. I'm planning to start taking them outside in it (still with heat from lamp) and possibly transferring them in it to shed or garage. I think this will be useful as a sick-chick place for possible future use. Its' only getting down to 50° here tonight, but it could go down to freezing for about another month.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by