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Chicks Dying

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by kuchchicks, Jan 26, 2016.

  1. beb444

    beb444 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Give them roosting poles so they sleep on those instead of in a clump
     
  2. kuchchicks

    kuchchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I do have 3 in there but they are choosing to huddle on the ground with the light off. :(
    I know now that I probably caused this situation by leaving the light on. Like I said I've never done chicks this time of year before. I feel incredibly guilty. But setting that aside I now need to find a way to get them out of this situation. So do I give the light back? I would like to move them to the outdoor coop. It is 2x the size of what they have now. There is currently no heat lamp out there. Do do I just put them out there without it? Or do I move them with the lamp and just leave it on til spring at this point? What would be the downside to moving them outside with the lamp besides a possible power outage?
     
  3. beb444

    beb444 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know it's hard not to feel guilty but guilt can eat you up so don't dwell on it too much:( What I did with my chicks(I just put them out a couple weeks ago) was I used a bike light/light source during the day and night for a couple of days so that they would have light without using a heat lamp to get them accustomed to the cold. Then after about 3 days I only used it during the day, and at night I left one very dim night light on. Then, when I moved them outside I used a battery operated light source for about 3 weeks, and I just recently turned that off. So now they are fully accustomed to the darkeness/cold. Also try bringing them to their coop outside to get them in the cold for a couple hours, and then bring them in at night.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. ffibyar

    ffibyar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I do have 3 in there but they are choosing to huddle on the ground with the light off.

    I am new at this but it sounds to me like they are cold!

    I just raised 20 this winter and they are out in the cold with the big girls today. I am in Ohio where today Jan 29 the high is or will be 22 as I am posting this. Tomorrow we will be at a high of 45.

    The key is, ( in my mind ) is to get them to the point of being covered with feathers, lights on or off, who cares if they are above ground? After that, the girls have their down coat on and can handle most weather ups and downs most areas can throw at them.

    I could have missed something but when I seen "I do have 3 in there but they are choosing to huddle on the ground with the light off."
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. chicken man 553

    chicken man 553 New Egg

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    Dec 27, 2015
    The nest option may be to move the chicks inside I host got some chicks and I keep them in with a lamp and they are fine
     
  6. kuchchicks

    kuchchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feeling very nervous.... I just moved all 24 out to the empty coop. I normally use this coop for breeding do it is not as big as my others, but it is double size of the brooder. We are having a warm snap. It's in the 50s here today. Tomorrow is supposed to be the same with the rest of the week slowly dropping into the 40s and then back to the 30s next weekend. I don't have the light on right now. It's still day light. It's semi dark in the actual coop with the only light coming in from the small window. There is an enclosed run attached that they can go in and out as they please. None have ventured out yet even though I have tried to coax them. I don't think they need a heat lamp at all this weekend because I is nice out. The reason I am nervous though is because I am afraid of them pig piling on top of one another. I have never felt nervous like this before. I've had chickens for 7 years....never this may young at the same time. But more so never this many deaths. Fingers crossed. Wish me luck.
     
  7. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

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    I wish you the best! I worry about my girls too. I just lost a 3 year old broody who passed on her eggs! it was heartbreaking!She was absolutely fine. A litter lite but fine. next day, gone. I hate loose birds! my babies are coming in April and I'm just praying I don't loose any. I'm only getting 5 so I can't afford to loose any! keep us posted on how your babies do out side. I wish the best for you!
     
  8. kuchchicks

    kuchchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    GOOD NEWS!!!! I moved the girls (and one boy...,) out to the coop yesterday. I was so nervous. I have not been that nervous since I first got started. I kept wanting to jump out of bed all night to make sure no one was getting trampled. But my husband - stronger than I - made me wait. This morning I ran out like a little kid on Christmas and everyone was just fine!! I was thrilled. But they still would not venture outside into the run. So I bribed them. I put some treats in the yard and a few brave girls ventured out... once the others caught on that they were getting something that they were not, they all followed. Sweet success! I was really surprised that they had not eaten all of their food from the day before. It is usually empty first thing in the morn. Thinking that they were probably a little nervous and did not want to eat. It's another warm day here - 50s again, so I am thinking they will all calm down and go back to their normal piggy selves. It is supposed to gradually get colder as the week goes on. I am confident though that they will adapt and do just fine now.

    This was a very hard lesson for me to learn. But I have learned and will never make the same mistake again. I have done a lot of reading on the cave brooding method (not sure if that is what it is called, draping a heating pad over a little cave so chicks can come and go as they need to like they would under their mom). I have gotten everything together and plan on brooding that way from now on. No more heat lamps for this girl. I have chicks due Feb 16 and very excited to test it out.

    Thank you to all of you who have kept up on my journey and who have offered up advice. My girls are approaching 9 weeks and are much happier now that they are outside!!!!
     
  9. bawkbawkbawk

    bawkbawkbawk Chillin' With My Peeps

    So did you end up thinking that what went wrong was too much heat?

    I am brooding three chicks inside with a lamp and wondering how to progress. They are two weeks old. Sometimes take a nap under the lamp but I worry about it being too warm. At what age do you turn off the lamp? I am in southern California - can go down as low as mid-30's at night; has been mid-60's, low 70's during the day.
     
  10. kuchchicks

    kuchchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No I don't think the issue was too much heat. I have had chickens for 7 years, and it gets quite warm here during the summer. It is not unusual to have high 90s with high humidity. I know it was not anywhere near 90 in my brooder in the past few weeks when it was near 0 outside. The heat lamp I think was just keeping it above freezing only. My chicks were fully feathered and capable of handling the low temps. BUT every time I attempted to turn the lamp off, they were in the dark and I think they panicked. I think they were climbing on top of one another and smothering the weaker chicks. In the beginning I had a couple of chicks die but think that was something wrong with them. The last 3 that died I think was due solely to panic.

    The biggest reason why I have decided to go with the cave method is because I think it is much closer to "momma". There is a definite day/night schedule. There is no constant artificial light. Chicks can come and go from the warmth as they decide that they need it. And as they get older I can slowly turn down the temp so eventually they have no extra heat. There will be no panic when suddenly the light is just turned off.

    Looking out the window at my girls right now, they are all in the run doing exactly what chickens are supposed to be doing. NOT locked up in a box with light blaring down on them.

    I have learned a lot caring for chickens over the last several year. I started out with day old chicks. I brooded them with a light and then moved them outside in early summer. I lost bird after bird to predators until I finally figured out how to protect them appropriately. I have not had a predator death in over 3 years. Then I stared hatching. My hatch rates were terrible... 30%... I was so frustrated that I almost gave up. That's when I found BYC and all of you wonderful people helped me figure out what I was doing wrong. Last year my hatch rate was consistently between 87%-94%. I have finally figured out what works there. Now it's brooding. I lost 5 chicks and that really sucks! But the best part is that now I know what I was doing wrong and have learned what to do right!!!
     

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