HELP please. New to raising chicks, and something has gone wrong. :(


8 Years
Mar 7, 2011
Hi all. I just have a few questions. We bought some chicks to raise for eggs. I got 5 pullets. 1 was a smaller breed than the rest, but I can't remember the breeds. Well, we've had them since Wednesday and last night the littlest chick started falling over and acting really weird. She wouldn't stay standing. This morning, she was dead and 2 other chicks started doing the same thing, falling over. 2 hours later they were dead. I'm down to 2 chicks, who have been fine all day, but I'm worried they might die too. Any ideas what's going on? I have them in a big plastic tub with about a half inch of wood shavings, a heat lamp about 1.5 ft above the tub, fresh water and food. I have changed the wood shavings once since I got them. I really don't know what's going on. I tried googling it, but could only find stuff about grown chickens. Any advice would be appreciated! The shavings are the off white color. The tub they are in is 1.5 ft high, by 2 ft long, by 1.5 ft wide. I started the lamp at the ceiling, but when the little one starting acting sick, I lowered it bc I thought she was too cold. Thanks!!
They might actually be too hot, do you have a thermometer in the brooder at the same level as the chicks? It should be about 95F for them
First, I'm sorry about what is happening. Welcome to BYC.

A couple of questions to start: Do you know what type of shavings you are using. Pine is fine, but cedar is toxic. Do you have a thermometer in with them to monitor the temp? Are they able to get away from the hot end of the brooder if they get too warm? What are they being fed?
I have pine shavings. Someone told me to try shredded paper. I'm going to try that tomorrow. It stays between 90 and 95 in the room. Yes, they can move toward the cooler end. I'm feeding them the medicated chick food from Atwoods. That's what the worker who takes care of the chicks there told me to use. Also, I have 2 ducklings. Could they have something to do with it? They seem fine, as do the last 2 chicks I have. But the ducklings tend to stick together away from the chicks.
I don't have any experience with keeping ducklings and chicks together, so I can't really answer that question.

I hope someone else might be able to offer more help. I just don't know.
Where these chicks vaccinated at all?

What chick feed are you using?

Are you using any form of supplement in the water? If so what?

You said the room is 90 - 95???????????? If so the addition of a heat lamp is going to roast them. You want 90 - 95 at chick level under the lamp.
Are there any weird fumes coming from the plastic bin they are in? Perhaps the heat lamp in heating the plastic and it is off-gassing chemical fumes that are too much for the small chicks to handle?? I'm so sorry for your loss.
I have had chicks die of starvation with chick food right in front of them, but do great if I put it in the blender and make it like cornmeal consistency. I spread it out on a few layers of paper towel and pretty much cover the whole floor with it so no matter where they are standing, they are near food. It wastes a few cups of chick feed in the beginning. After a week or so, I put it in feeders, and then the next week I give it to them straight out of the bag. Hope you can save the two remaining chicks. And welcome to BYC. Lots of people come here for a quick answer to a serious question, and stay for years. Like Hotel California...

Edit to add, make sure their water is not too close to the heat. They like it a little bit cooler than 95.
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