Help, I lost my babies and I don't know what I did wrong!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by sc-chick617, Jan 11, 2009.

  1. sc-chick617

    sc-chick617 Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 29, 2008
    Orangeburg, SC
    I purchased 10 RIR chicks from someone and on the two hour drive home, I lost seven out of ten. They were two weeks old and the person who sold them to me put them in a cardboard box. I drive a Tahoe and I cut the rear heat on. I am afraid I over heated them, maybe they suffocated, or maybe just shock from temperature changes? The temperature where I got them was 85 degrees with a lamp. Then, we walked from the house to my vehicle and outside it was 40 degrees. I cut the heat up as soon as I got in the Tahoe. I only stopped once to pump gas and immediately cut the heat back on. Then, as soon as I got home I opened the box and found only three still alive. They were the three smallest. Now that I have put them inside with the temp at 90 with a lamp, the three are fine.
    What went wrong? I hope someone out there has some answers.

    ~Elizabeth
     
  2. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    Oh no, I am so sorry to hear that!

    I don't know what could have happened, let's see what the pros say. There are so many variables.

    Sal.
     
  3. andehens

    andehens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Scenic Sierra Nevadas
    like ranchhand said there are so many variables, you may not ever know, but my first thought as I was reading was possibly asphyxiation if you had them towards the back. I thought that b/c you said the rear heat? so sorry about your babies.
     
  4. Like OMG.

    I am so very sorry. 2 week old chicks should be able to withstand temperature changes for a short while.

    By any chance, were there cedar shavings in the box ?
    This all i can think of.
     
  5. mtnhomechick

    mtnhomechick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2008
    Mountain Home, AR
    Is it possible they could have gotten any gas/exhaust fumes?

    Sorry you lost them.

    Mary
     
  6. sc-chick617

    sc-chick617 Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 29, 2008
    Orangeburg, SC
    No shavings. Also no fumes. I had the seats folded down and they were right behind my seat. My husband worried about air so he opened the top of the box for them. They ever very tightly together whenI found them so thats why I thought maybe the smothered each other. The temp in the back was really hot when I opened the door. Ask more questions so I can maybe give details to get us closer to a possible cause.

    ~Elizabeth
     
  7. MandyH

    MandyH You'll shoot your eye out!

    We sold chicks last year outside the feed place we shop at and we had NO casualties out of 400 chicks. It was COLD all three mornings, We put them in a water trough covered the top with cardboard and put them in the back of DH's truck, kept a lamp on them and had LOTS of people looking at them. The cold should not have affected them. The heat should not have either. I think, and this is MY opinion that something must have been wrong with them to start with?!
     
  8. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    All you can do now is keep them warm and show them their food and water. And cross your fingers.

    DO NOT bury the ones that died! Save them in your freezer as proof for seller, when you request new chicks or a refund. I know, horrible thing to say, but logic rules.

    (check your pm)

    edited because I get in a hurry
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2009
  9. SussexInSeattle

    SussexInSeattle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think they roasted only because my full size high top van gets hot as anything in back when I crank the heated defrost up front and don't crack the front window. If you have heaters in the back, it must have gotten extremely over hot back there. It makes sense that the smallest ones survived it since their bodies likely were small enough to not feel the heat as bad as the larger ones. They also don't hold body heat as well as large ones do.

    The only way you may ever know is to repeat a similar distance with similar aged chicks and run NO HEAT at all, just keep the box closed. Two week old chicks should have been well past the real danger age of new hatches.

    The only thing I don't get is how you cut the heat on. Usually you turn the heat on or cut the heat off. But two solid hours of blasting heat could definately kill animals. Especially younger and older animals
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2009
  10. jimnjay

    jimnjay Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am so sorry about your chicks. It sounds like to hot to me too. Actually two week old chicks can tolerate rather cold temps for short periods of time. If you have occasion to try again, Take the hand warmer packets that are available in the sporting good stores, even Wal-Mart and put them under a wash cloth or towel. Those will keep the chicks warm enough for a two hour ride. If the car temp is comfortable for you, with the hand heaters, it will be fine for chicks.

    Remember the hatchery's sends out day old chicks in boxes with plenty of ventilation with no heat at all. They are in the airplane from whatever airport to the post office hub then on a truck to your post office and most make it fine and it usually is 24 hours in transit.

    You should cool those babies down a bit now, 80 is fine for two week old and to hot is as bad for them as to cool.
     

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