Chicks dead, dying...ideas anyone?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Knock Kneed Hen, Jun 11, 2010.

  1. Knock Kneed Hen

    Knock Kneed Hen California Dream'in Chickens

    Feb 15, 2010
    So. Cal.
    A friend called me this morning and told me that two of her week old chicks died and a third one is dying. I had dropped off a brooder box and heat lamp to her yesterday afternoon. She'd had them a week and said she had them in a cramped box with a white light on them. She let me know that they were happier in the brooder and seemed to be doing much better with the heat lamp on them. I asked her if she was checking the temp..."NO, I don't have a thermometer
    but they're acting fine." OH, and she didn't wash out the brooder box like I told her to. She said she was using some old wood shavings and didn't know if they were cedar or pine. She just put them on electrolytes and vitamins a couple of days ago (her husband brought it home).

    I didn't know really how to advise her since she didn't follow my advice that I had already given her: clean out the brooder box, check the temp. with a thermometer, buy new shavings and make sure they are pine only. She said she had to leave this morning so couldn't do anything else for the birds until she got home this afternoon but would bring fresh shavings home.

    SOOOOOOO, my question is, is it possible to lose chicks like this just due to weak birds or genetics (as her husband suggests) or would you say there is something else happening? I asked her if the birds seem otherwise healthy and she said yes. She said that they lay under the heat lamp but then go to the other end of the box to run around, eat, etc. Sounds like it's not a heat issue. Any ideas?
  2. reesepoultry

    reesepoultry Songster

    Jul 4, 2009
    Has she checked them for mites? They can kill chicks very easily.
  3. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
    Sheesh. Why get chicks when you haven't bothered to find out anything about how to raise them. [​IMG]

    Reprimand to her and her DH done.

    You might be fighting a losing battle, but print out some basics for her. Temp, water, food etc.

    Temp at one week old should be about 85-90F at chick level. They need one end of the brooder to be cooler.

    They should be fed only chick starter food, since it doesn't sound like they can be trusted to manage treats and grit.

    Stuff like that, all you know to help. Worse comes to worst, can you take them and brood them for her?
  4. Knock Kneed Hen

    Knock Kneed Hen California Dream'in Chickens

    Feb 15, 2010
    So. Cal.
    For some people animals are possessions and not a whole lot more. These people are kind and have many wonderful qualities but they don't really see the value of animals as pets. They generally provide the basics but that's it. They don't vet their animals and their animals usually only live a couple of years. I didn't think of mites so I'll ask her about that.

    Thanks for your help!
  5. zazouse

    zazouse Crowing

    Sep 7, 2009
    Southeast texas
    It could be that the old shavings are getting into the water and contaminating it making them ill, i know i have to change my water several times a day when the chicks start scratching in the litter.

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