do I have chick trouble?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by azsandschool, Feb 20, 2009.

  1. azsandschool

    azsandschool Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 6, 2008
    we are first timers at raising baby chicks and we are a little worried. Our chicks were hatched on valentines day and arrived at the post office on Feb 17th. We had 27 when we started and are now down to 24!

    We have a nice cozy brooder box, the chicks roam about an peep, are eating well and gaining weight. I'm using a towel for the bottom of the brooder and have changed it out once. We change the water everyday and the food everyother day. They are never without food or water. We are using non-medicated from Onate feed mill.

    The three that have died have all had poop stuck to their vent, or nearby. I've tried to gently clean the vent area with a damp paper towel. I read in the book Chickens in Your Backyard that you should clean back there if they get some dried droppings.

    Am I on the right track? Should I be alarmed that 3 have died?
    Help, the sky is falling
  2. katrinag

    katrinag Chillin' With My Peeps

    You soak there butts in warm water to get the poo off. You can also apply vaseline to help poo slide off.
  3. antiquebuff

    antiquebuff Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 27, 2008
    Franklin, NC
    Baby chicks need grit. I don't know if its in the food you are using or not. But, you can add a small dish of sand or you can buy grit. This may help.
  4. azsandschool

    azsandschool Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 6, 2008
    thanks! I've mixed some sand in with their food and they made it through another night!

  5. PotterWatch

    PotterWatch My Patronus is a Chicken

    Apr 22, 2008
    They shouldn't actually need grit until they are eating something other than their chick starter.
  6. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2007
    When I had trouble with pasty butt in chicks, I gave them some uncooked oatmeal, that I ran in the blender until it was small enough for them to eat.

    Do you have them at 95 degrees? Do they peep alot or just once in awhile? If they're peeping a lot, I raise the temperature a couple of degrees. I always go by the book with the recommended temperature, but adjust it slightly, according to the chick's behavior.

    It's very important to keep their vents clean. Getting blocked can kill them. If you're having trouble, the easiest way to clean them if they're really bad, is to put their little butts under the faucet. Let the water run and adjust the temperature so it's not to hot or too cold. I slide my hand under the chick, so their legs will dangle below my fingers. I put my thumb over their back to gently secure them and let the running water flow over just their butt, not their whole body. Sometimes I use a toothpick to gently break up the poo, after it's softened. After they're clean, I pat them dry with a paper towel and put them back under the heat lamp.

    I use paper towels the first few days and then shavings, which is different than how you are doing it. The main thing, is to keep them as clean as you can. I put down clean paper towels over any dirtier areas during the day and clean them out at night. Once I go to shavings, I sprinkle shavings over any dirtier areas as needed and clean them out once a week. That's in a brooder that isn't over crowded.

    Also, I watch the water carefully. I always wash the waterer once a day. I clean it any time I see any poop in it, also.
  7. TXmom

    TXmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    First of all, I don't think 3 is a very high casualty, especially if they were in shipping for 3-4 days. I'm sure you're doing a great job so far!

    Second, the advice about cleaning their pasty butt is important... make sure they don't get plugged up back there.

    Watch them eat their crumbles to make sure they're not dropping them. I noticed mine would pick at the crumbles but then drop them because they were a little bit too big. I put the crumbles in the Magic Bullet (little blender) to crush them up a little finer. Then the chicks could eat more and faster, which yours need since they were without food for a few days in shipping.

    If you want to give them a super nutritious treat they will love...crumble up some hard-boiled eggs for them. They'll love it!

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