Feed Store Chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by dallenk, Mar 1, 2015.

  1. dallenk

    dallenk Hatching

    Feb 26, 2015
    I have been raising chickens forever and have never had a problem with chicks. Last Tuesday, I purchased five chicks from our local feed store: two Wyandottes, one Americauna, one Rhode Island, and one Barred Rock. They all looked healthy. I put them in a cardboard box with plenty of food and water and put them on our radiant heated floor on top of a mat. I have done this with every batch of chicks I have ever raised. When I checked on the chicks Wednesday, one of the wyandottes wasn't looking very well. I took her out and put her in a smaller box under a heat lamp, but she died later that afternoon. Thursday, the other wyandotte was on her side and died later that afternoon. This morning, the Americauna was dead. I have never raised either of these types of chicks before, so I think I screwed up, but I don't know what I did wrong. Any help would be appreciated. I have six more chicks coming from a breeder in a month, and I don't want to lose any more chicks. The Rhode Island and Barred Rock are doing great.
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    They need to be kept at 90 - 95* for the first week. I'm guessing they weren't warm enough. What were you feeding them?
  3. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Enabler

    Mar 9, 2014
    Northern Colorado
    Feed store chicks are shipped to them and this year has been particularly hard on them. The stress from shipping and having possibly been chilled may not show for days even weeks. It is a sad thing to lose any.

    I do not think you did anything to cause the deaths. I think perhaps the ones that are doing great were ordered in a larger number or were in the center of the shipping box so did not get so chilled. They could have come from a different hatchery and did not have as far to travel too.

    Sorry for your losses.

  4. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Songster

    Jul 18, 2013
    You may never be able to put your finger on the exact cause. There could be several possibilities. How long were they in the feed store when you purchased them? Had they just arrived (been shipped) and what is the weather outside?
    I'm asking because for the first time ever last week my husband picked up some feed store chicks. We've been having frigid, below zero weather and the poor chicks arrived a day late so I'm assuming they were in transit somewhere. He got them within an hour of arrival. Quick trip to our home in a heated vehicle plus I had brought a heated towel and right into the brooder, but we still lost some.
    There's also the possibility if they were in the store for a while they may have been handled by people (Some stores allow interaction with chicks. I prefer stores that don't.) or exposed to something.
    How warm was it in their box? A thermometer would help there. Perhaps they needed it warmer.
    Sugar, electrolytes or probiotics in the water may help too.
    Good luck with the remaining ones.

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