big flying chickens

In the Brooder
8 Years
May 29, 2011
i was thinking about sand and i think it would be too cold for little chicks so i put some hay in my chickencoop. now a lot of my chickens are dying but i dont know if its because of the hay or the heat or anything.i know that there was a rat that killed them at night and nibbeled them so i covered itès hole and put poison in the hole AND im pretty sure that its dead but now right before they die they pantlike a dog. so i took out the heater and the temp is now 85 degrees and it used to be 95 and they are not dying as much
What kind of heater were you using? Were you heating the entire area to 95 degs? They need a localized heat source where they can go to get warm and cooler areas so they can also get away from the heat.

95 is WAY to hot. Mine newborns are never at above 90. Put them in an 80-85 degree brooder with lots of fresh water (with vitamins in it) and food.

Trying to bring an area to any specific temperature is problematic. I've never used a thermometer. Where would you even measure the heat under a lamp? They need a heat source in one area of the brooder. They'll do the rest. If you find them all huddled up too close to each other right next to the heat source then it's too cool. If they are all hanging out as far they can from the heat source, panting and spreading their wings then the heat source is too large for the area or needs to be moved further away. If there are warm and cool areas of the brooder they will take care of themselves. It's like sitting around the campfire. If you get too warm you move away, if you get too cold you move closer. They'll do the same.​
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I took out the heater and heat lamp so its 80 degrees they seem to be doing fine now. But the one is still sick and i dont know how to get them back to normal.
Try some electrolytes in the water. You might be able to get a pack at the local feed store.

Do you think the heat was the problem? How was your heater and heat lamp set up? Were you heating an entire room or box to 95 degs?
Probably a combination of several factors. Heat sounds like a major factor. Given the fact that they are panting, I'd say that's most likely. I always put a thermometer at chick level, then guage the rest of the area based upon that reading and their behaviour. Mac's right, they will let you know if they are too hot or cold.

How old are the chicks? When did you move them to the coop?
What are they eating? (hay can cause an impacted crop)
Do they have constant access to clean, fresh water?
Here's a digram that I found that shows what I was talking about above. It shows a heat lamp hanging over brooding area. By adjusting the height of the lamp you can adjust the temperature. A ring would be better than the box though so they can't pile up in a corner. This works even in a cold drafty barn, as long as there is a ring to prevent drafts from flowing across the floor and the lamp is at the correct height, the chicks will regulate their own temperature, no thermometer required. If you heat the entire room to a specific temperature they have no way to get warmer or cooler as necessary and regulate their own temperature.


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