God I'm an idiot...what have I done to them?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Cat amongst the chickens, Feb 4, 2008.

  1. Hi, some help PLEASE!

    I have never hatched anything before and have week old guinea fowl chicks.

    I didn't realise the danger and they've been on clumping cat litter for 4 days till I changed them to dirt from the yard two days ago. Today one died and another is on it's way out, I think (via google) from brooder pneumonia???

    So I think I have two problems... the sick birds and the wrong bedding. [​IMG][​IMG] (Insert beating over head for stupidity smilie here)

    It's late here so I've just put them on paper towel tonight and tomorrow I will get some Blue Gum shavings from the tree harvest recently done on our farm. Will that be OK? You all say "shavings". Is that wood chips or sawdust?

    Will the kitty litter have done any damage? Maybe clogged up their intestine and thats why they die? They didn't get sick till I put them on dirt though.

    I guess I can only ride out the illness and hope I don't loose them all. I have 9 more healthy ones.

    Any advice would be appreciated. My eyes have already gone owlish from reading so much on here tonight trying to find the errors of my ways.

  2. tiffanyh

    tiffanyh Songster

    Apr 8, 2007
    I would think the dust in the cat littler or the clumping in the crop/intestine. You know what, we ALL make mistakes at this at one time or the other. Just do your best with what you have now.

    The shaving are pine shaving, not sawdust,m your going to run into the same dust prob. I would think you may have seen a delay in the symptoms if it was a clumping problem internally from peeking at it or ingesting it.

    Keep your fingers crossed! Ill will too! [​IMG]

    Maybe someone else will pipe in with more advice on what to do now. Avia charge maybe....
  3. OK, thanks for the advice and encouragement...

    So it's not saw dust. I assume shavings are smaller than woodchips? I thought woodchips would be a bit big and chunky.

    But I don't want dust right? My problem is I live 90 minutes from anywhere large enough to sell shavings. Any suggestions on something I have on hand that I can use?

    Can they just stay on paper towl?

    Assuming any live of course [​IMG]

  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Do you have something you could 'screen' the tree sawdust with -- ideally something like 1/4" or 1/2" mesh? On the bright side you wouldn't need to screen that *much* just for chicks. You wanna chuck the sawdust onto the mesh (put it over the top of a bucket etc) in smallish handfulls so that most of the dusty part goes down into the bucket (discard) and most of the chunky parts, up to an inch or two long, stay on top. Every few handfuls, tip the screen and the stuff that stays on top of it into another bin to USE. If it also contains whopping big chunks, just pick them out by hand, or find another much larger mesh screen to run it all thru to get the big'uns out.

    What you want is curly or flake-like shavings, not 'chunks' -- think of it this way, if an individual piece was flat in your shoe under your foot, would you go "yeoww!" or could you walk on it most of the day without noticing or caring much? [​IMG]

    But, Blue Gum isn't an 'aromatic' wood, is it? Sorry, I do not know my Australian woods [​IMG] but I know that aromatic woods such as cedar can cause sometimes-subtle respiratory problems in chicks.

    Good luck,

  5. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Feb 28, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    Hi Cat....im so sorry for your loss. I agree the cat littler might be the issue. Is there a way to get you hands on some hay...straw? That would work as well. Dont fret...we all make mistakes. They are hard to learn by, especially when we lose a little one.
  6. Isn't a gum tree a form of Eucalyptus? I seem to remember a song that we sang in music class as kids and that the music teacher said that it was. If so, then it might not be appropriate for your birds. Maybe Bantymum would have some suggestions as to what is comparable...
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2008
  7. fallenweeble

    fallenweeble Songster

    Dec 4, 2007
    if it were me and i didn't have other (appropriate) bedding options i would keep them on paper towels. if you have access to papertowels that have a bit of a bumpy texture to them (as opposed to smooth) that would probably be even better (as much traction as you can get i think would be good).
    i'm sorry for your loss and i hope that things get better. we all make mistakes - it's how we learn.
    hang in there.
  8. Thanks guys for all the encouragment and advice. What a great site!

    Yes Blue Gums are a eucalypt - they smell very eucalyptussey [​IMG] so maybe I should steer clear.

    We have heaps of pea hay, but it's a few seasons old and has mould on the outside. I use it to mulch the garden. There is nice clean stuff when you dig in there, but now I would worry about spores.

    I guess they can just stay on paper towel for a day or two till I work out what to do. I know someone else round here that breeds lots of chicks. I will ring him and ask what he uses.

  9. Poison Ivy

    Poison Ivy Songster

    May 2, 2007
    Naples, Florida
    I would just use sand or dirt and if you are worried about germs then take it and bake it in the oven for a little bit. Then let it cool and put that in your brooder. I've used sand before with my quail and it worked fine. Sorry to hear about your babies hope the others make it ok.
  10. Henrietta23

    Henrietta23 Songster

    Oct 20, 2007
    Eastern CT
    Sorry about the babies and good luck from here on out. Keep us updated okay?
    Kukaburra sits in the old gum tree-is that the song Martian was remembering?

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