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Death in the Brooder

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by teamsunbelt, Jan 25, 2012.

  1. teamsunbelt

    teamsunbelt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2011
    Midland, NC
    I hatched out 11 chicks last wed. 4 were EEs, 2 OEGB, 3 BLRWs, I Bantam Cochin and a Welsummer mix.

    So far I have lost 2, and one is looking weak. The first 1 died on Sat, the second on Tues. Neither one seemed to be eating or drinking like the others, and were smaller and lighter. I offered the first one some sugar water, but it would not take it. The second I offered some water and Drench Vitamins, but it must have been too late.

    They are under a white light at 90-95 degrees. Water and food, nothing else. I did make a mash today with chick starter, honey and Drench just to give everyone a boost.

    What could be the cause, or is this normal for the first couple weeks? I did have to help two to hatch, but they are very strong and growing fast.
     
  2. Trefoil

    Trefoil Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 7, 2011
    Its not normal. Are you feeding medicated starter? A lot of people would disagree with me but if I was you I would separate the smaller and or weaker ones. Make sure that they are eating and drinking. I sometimes give gro gel as my hatchlings first meal. I think it gives them a good start. They need to be able to move in and out of the direct heat to find their comfort level. What are you using for bedding?
     
  3. tec27

    tec27 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 6, 2011
    Pittsburgh
    Completely agree with this statement. Also a lot of people accidentally use cedar for bedding. This is toxic to chickens. I don't know if this applies to you but cedar will take out a whole flock of baby chicks in a couple days.
     
  4. Trefoil

    Trefoil Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I use paper towel, puppy pads, or old towels for bedding, especially the first couple of weeks. Usually after the first week I use a blender and mix broccoli in their feed. They like it. I usually scatter chick grit on their bedding.
     
  5. tec27

    tec27 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 6, 2011
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    Did you help them out of their eggs at all? It sounds like they are just weak chicks or at least highly acceptable to disease. It also could be something genetic. Like their crop or gizzard isn't working properly.
     
  6. Trefoil

    Trefoil Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The fact that it was a mixed hatch really reduces the odds that its a genetic problem. But it could easily be a competition problem.
     
  7. teamsunbelt

    teamsunbelt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2011
    Midland, NC
    Just to catch up.

    -I use blue shop towels for the first few days, then pine shavings for bedding
    -I am feeding medicated starter grower
    -Plenty of water, with chick vitamins the first two weeks
    - I did help two chicks out this time, but those are doing great.

    I am past the two week period now, and the remaining 9 are doing good. Not sure if others have had problems like this before.
     
  8. DebHinman

    DebHinman New Egg

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    Jul 12, 2010
    Northern California
    Sometimes there are weaker chicks in a hatch. I have has this happen a few times, with mostly robust, healthy chicks and a few weaker ones. I separate the weak ones so that they can receive more nutrition and not get forced away from food or water. When I've had chicks start to struggle, I give them one to two drops of Nutri-Drench. I also give all of my chicks gro-gel for the first 1-2 days, along with medicated chick starter and a 1/4 strength of vitamins and electrolytes in their water, If they don't make it with this approach, I have to assume that something went wrong in those chick's particular incubation. It happens sometimes and all we can do is make sure they all have the best chances to grow and thrive. Good luck with your hatchlings.
     

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