Chicks Keep Dying! HELP

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Chicknewbie17, Mar 3, 2017.

  1. Chicknewbie17

    Chicknewbie17 Just Hatched

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    Hello....
    I'm a newbie to raising chicks. I've had chickens before but they came to me already grown. After a predator broke into my Coop & killed my chickens a couple years back I've decided to try my hand at raising chicks.
    I went to Tractor Supply & bought 6 pullet chicks & 6 Rhode Island Red chicks. Right off one of the RIR chicks died within a few hours of being home. I know loosing a few chicks is expected so I didn't worry. Then later that night I lost another RIR chick. It was lethargic & appeared to be gasping for breath. This morning another RIR chick appeared lethargic & would move only when another chick ran into it. This evening it wouldn't move at all & eventually passed. I have them in a plastic tote as a brooder with a red heat lamp...they were in my husband's metal building but the temps go down to 30 this morning, so we moved them inside this evening. When moved them inside I noticed another RIR was acting lethargic....an hr later it was dead. The pullets seem to be acting normal but I'm worried something is wrong with the RIR chicks. I only have 2 left & I don't want to loose them. They are now inside with the brooder light on them...water & medicated food in brooder with them. Any ideas???
     
  2. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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    Have you checked their backsides for "pasty butt"?
     
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC. It's possible that the chicks were suffering from stress from their shipping to the feed store or to you, or how they were being cared for at the store. Also, it could be that they were too cold outside in a plastic box. Temperatures can vary quite a bit from night and day even inside your house under a brooder lamp. I always put a thermometer on the floor under the heat lamp to maintain a 90 degreeF temperature with new chicks. They can survive in cold temperatures with a broody at night, but they may have been cold. How big is the Tote? Sometimes they can get overheated as well inside with a red heat lamp, so put an inexpensive thermometer on the floor under the lamp. You can switch to a lower watt bulb if needed. 12 chicks would be okay at first in a medium box, but I would have to see it. I would make sure the chicks inside are drinking often, and put some SaveAChick electrolytes in their water. Are they eating crumbles and running around? This may be just a bad batch of chicks. Sometimes you can seen them in feed stores where they will run out of water because the pine shavings get knocked into it, or be so over crowded that their water is 5 feet away from them, and they have to go through 200 chicks to get there. It's great that you have them inside, and you may want to go get some more to add to them while the others are small and easy to put together. I'm really sorry that you lost so many, but hopefully you can get some to be with the ones left.
     
  4. Chicknewbie17

    Chicknewbie17 Just Hatched

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    Thank you all for quick response.
    No "pasty butt" I checked that first.
    The tote is medium in size but I plan on getting a bigger one when I go to the store tomrrow. I also plan on getting a thermometer....I have been going off the chicks & how they are acting. Now that they are inside they are running around & eating crumbles. I have provided a picture of their setup so you can see. Now that they are inside I'm thinking of moving the heat lamp to a different place so that it is isn't directly on top of them. My house stays around 70-72 all the time. So far this morning they seem good & all are eating. Hopefully it was just a bad batch, mixed with the shipping stress & temps. [​IMG]
     
  5. ShoreRoad

    ShoreRoad New Egg

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    From the looks of it, it seems like the heat lamp it too close. It is very possible that they are over heating. Before I got my thermometer I found that I was keeping my brooder too warm causing some of my first ever chicks to become lethargic. Raising the headlamp on a stick and directing it into only one corner so they can move into and away from the heat worked best for me. Also look online and find the week-by-week temperature guidelines and adjust the MAX temp under the headlamp accordingly.
     
  6. Chicknewbie17

    Chicknewbie17 Just Hatched

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    Ok.....that's what I was thinking now that they are inside. When they were outside I had it like that because it was so cold. I will re-adjust the lamp & keep an eye on them.
     
  7. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    The minimum the light should be at minimum at first is 18 inches from the tops of their heads, and probably should be closer to 2 feet. I use a fairly cheap thermometer that lies flat on the floor. They poop on it, and it has to be cleaned a lot, so no need for an expensive one. I would get more chicks right away, since they need to be close in size to put together. A week apart is ideal, since they grow so fast. Good luck with everyone.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2017
  8. Chicknewbie17

    Chicknewbie17 Just Hatched

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    Thanks so much. I have the light at an angle now. I definitely think it wasn't too close for them, especially being inside my house. Cheap thermometer is on the shopping list for tomorrow. Not going to lie...I'm hesitant to get more chicks. I still have 8 with 6 of those supposedly female. I just want them for eggs for my family.
    Thanks again! All seem good as of right now.
     
  9. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Aw well, that is plenty of chicks then. We just always try to make suggestions as to what might be wrong, so no problem. It's always how to tell from pictures how close things are. Raising chicks with a broody hen is so much easier, which you might find out later.
     
  10. Chicknewbie17

    Chicknewbie17 Just Hatched

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    I just realized that I had a typo in my reply to you. I didn't mean that it wasn't too close....I meant that it WAS too close. Just didn't want you to think I was being rude before. I really appreciate your help!
    If the rest of these do well & I get my new Coop set up the way I want I may find out what you're talking about. I didn't think I would enjoy watching these little ones so much but chicks & chickens are kind of addicting! :)
     

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