Chicks dying after taken from momma?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by OtterCreekRanch, Jun 28, 2011.

  1. OtterCreekRanch

    OtterCreekRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 16, 2011
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    I came across someone who was selling out of there chickens and they had some I wanted. Among the group was a broody hen and her six chicks (about 2-4 days old at the time). I bought them knowing I did not have a proper pen for them away from the other chickens that the chicks could not get out of, so I figured the only way to do it is remove them from their momma and put them into the brooder. I have never lost a chick before so I don't know if these being off of a broody hen has made a difference or not, but these chicks are dropping like flies now. I only have two left today. They are eating and drinking. The temperature has been fine. I am not sure what could be different from any other batch of chicks I have raised except that these are in a smaller cage (a large rubbermaid tub verses a small wire rabbit cage that I have used in the past) with paper towels instead of pine shavings.

    Are you not "able" to take chicks from their mother to raise in a brooder once they are out with a broody hen? I just don't understand what I am doing wrong. They are not peeping like they are too cold and are not trying to get away from the lamp like they are too hot. They are acting normal until they get really weak and lethargic and die and hour or two later.
     
  2. Erebus

    Erebus Chillin' With My Peeps

    Is there any chance that they have an illness that you were unaware of? I don't know much, just clutching at straws.
     
  3. mandelyn

    mandelyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've never seen that happen just from the act of taking the babies. But I'm limited on experience in that aspect. My baby call ducklings came off a broody hen who was VERY ticked off that I took them. A long time ago 2, 3 week old chicks lost their mom to a hawk and they were fine after I chased them down and caught them out of the brush pile. I gave them to another broody though.

    The ducklings have a chicken-chick that buddied up with them, they're calling her momma now even though she's only 5 weeks old or so.
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    I just took 11 away from a broody at about 5 days with no problems. I would expect something at your place - bad fumes or Cocciodosis.
    I keep the brooder on the cool side until I see them huddling together and then move the heat a little closer. I think that's better than too hot. Getting the temp right is the trouble with a small brooder container.
     
  5. OtterCreekRanch

    OtterCreekRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There is not any illnesses involved that I know of. The person I got them from has not had any issues with loosing any of his chicks that have been raised by their mothers. They are not acting sick at all until right before they die. Otherwise they are active, eating, drinking and pooping just fine. I don't think they are getting too hot. The temp has been around 92-94 degrees in the cage. They are not huddling or peeping like they are too cold. They only have a 100 watt bulb so I don't think over heating is the issue. They are in with a chick I got from somewhere else that is about 4-5 days older than them and I have not had any problems with him/her.

    I will add that I also had them with two chicks that were hatched out of my own birds (took the eggs to someone to have them incubated) and though all of my eggs are showing up fertile I am getting a few poor hatch rate (a lot quitting part way through, others never starting despite eggs from the same hens being cracked and having the bulls eye that indicates they are in fact fertile). I also lost those two chicks as well though one was slightly deformed (one eye did not fully develop) so I chalked that up to them probably not being incubated properly and therefore they never thrived from the start. I never seen one eat or drink and the other I only seen drink. They seen the other chicks eating and drinking and I tried to show them how but they never "got it". Both lasted about 4-5 days...just about the time they would have been out of yolk and needing additional nutrients. I am not sure if why I lost these two was related to why I lost the others or not.

    I guess I may never know what the problem is. I have some more chicks out of my own adult birds due this weekend. If they hatch I will be keeping them in a different brooder in the house instead of out in the work shop just in case.
     
  6. OtterCreekRanch

    OtterCreekRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 16, 2011
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    I just went and checked and one of the last two was in there laying on its side gasping so I put it down. I only have one left. I wish I knew why I was loosing them. I have raised so many baby chicks before this and never lost a chick until they were out of the brooder and in the coop. Loosing tiny babies is tough.
     
  7. Buugette

    Buugette [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG]Cra

    May 26, 2009
    Bucks County, PA
    Could there be something in their water or food? Did you clean the pen with a household cleaner they might be ingesting...?

    Sounds strange... and not like an illness. So sorry you are going through this.

    D
     
  8. OtterCreekRanch

    OtterCreekRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There food is a fresh bag of Purina chick starter...my older chicks who have moved outside are eating it too and they are fine. They are getting tap water that the rest of the chickens are also getting. The tub the brooder is in has only ever been cleaned with a highly diluted bleach or dawn dish soap. Same with their food and waterers. All rinsed very well and dried before being used.
     
  9. bywaterdog

    bywaterdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Perhaps they were not weened from their mothers milk yet.......
     
  10. OtterCreekRanch

    OtterCreekRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:If only the answer was that simple.
     

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