Chicks Dying

Cindy25

In the Brooder
10 Years
Aug 6, 2009
20
0
22
White City Kentucky
I have lost 6, six or seven week old chicks this week. They are outside in a large coop and good sized run. The first three that died seemed to have been squished by the other chicks in the night, because they were outside in the run instead of in the coop under the heat lamp. So I started putting them up at night and letting them out in the morning. It has not been below 45 degrees here so I can't imagine that they would be that cold. The next three I guess were too dumb to go into the coop the next day and get out of the rain and drowned or just got soaked to death. Has anyone else had this problem? I am very frustrated and heart broken because they were all my EE chicks and now I have none. What am i doing wrong that they wont go into the coop at night and get under the heat lamp? Am I putting them outside too early?
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noitulover

Songster
10 Years
Apr 23, 2009
780
2
141
Central Virginia
maybe you could take a picture of your setup and show us where they are living. your ramp may be too steep or something and they may be having a hard time figuring out how to get back in the coop. also, how big is the coop? if it's too small, they may be getting trampled/kicked out by a more dominant breed.

are they fully feathered? at six weeks, i wouldn't think that they would be, which might mean that they shouldn't be out of a brooder... six weeks is usually okay to be outside with a heat lamp, but it also depends on location.

chicks also must learn to go into the coop at night. a lot of times they won't figure it out themselves. you have to make sure that they are all inside. get them into a routine. don't just assume they will do it each night. check on them and make sure they get inside and shut the door for the night.

sorry about your losses!
 

Cindy25

In the Brooder
10 Years
Aug 6, 2009
20
0
22
White City Kentucky
Sounds like it could be the ramp it is pretty steep.

They are all fully feathered and have been for some time. I know the coop is not too small, and they have all died outside in the run. I think I will just keep them in the coop for awhile till they understand that is where they need to be.

I left them in today cause it is raining.

I guess this is just part of the learning process.

Thanks for your input.
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HBuehler

Songster
10 Years
Jun 30, 2009
2,557
29
181
Lebanon TN
If your going to put them out that young it has to be hot sunny and no winds.They need a constant warm. Then if your going to put them out you need to stick around to put them in if needed.They should always be closed up at night and when your not at home.NEVER out in the rain and never outside all day unless it's July here in the south you may get away with it..figure around 95 degrees if it's not that it's too cold for a week old chick.Chicks take a long time to know to go in at night.We spend weeks tossing them into the coop once we start letting them out..my week olds are not out however now that it's fall.
45 degrees is like the North Pole to a chick..sorry
 

noitulover

Songster
10 Years
Apr 23, 2009
780
2
141
Central Virginia
i would possibly rethink the ramp.... try teaching them to go up the ramp (sprinkle chick crumbles all the way up it) and herd them over to it so they will climb up...

also, does your ramp have "rungs" like a ladder? chickens do not have good traction and need something to grab onto as they "climb" up a ramp. i simple board tacked to the coop door won't suffice. there must be somtehing for their feet to grab onto.

definitely make sure they are inside at night. personally, i would only let them outside on a sunny day for a 15-30 minutes at a time in this fall weather.
 

poultrygeist

Songster
10 Years
Sep 4, 2009
171
0
109
Hunterdon Cty. NJ
Did you leave them cooped up at least 5 straight days. You're supposed to do that to imprint in there mind where home and shelter is! My 6 follow the leader one at a time up the ramp.
 

HBuehler

Songster
10 Years
Jun 30, 2009
2,557
29
181
Lebanon TN
Sorry mis-read it but still they are too young to be out in bad conditions .Our 6 week olds are fully feathered but want their heat lamps on at night on these cool nights.I also don't let them out on damp days at all there are so many things they can pick up from damp cool conditions it's not worth the risk.
They are no different than our 2 legged kids...don't ever assume they will do what they should when your not around.
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