Help With Baby Bantams!!


7 Years
Apr 19, 2012
My friend and her husband bought 6 bantam chicks. 3 of them died within about a week. She came to me to ask if there was something she was doing wrong.
From what she told me she is set up for the chicks very well. She is keeping them in what is basically a horse trough. So that provides a good draft shield. They have plenty of water and food and a heat lamp. She said the first one that died had never looked quite right from the very beginning. She said it had seemed kind of sick. But that the other 2 that died were a total surprise as they had been healthy.
Everything she told me seemed to indicate that she was taking care of them well. But she wants to make sure that there isn't something she is doing wrong as they want to get more bantams (and have them grow to be healthy chickens)
Is there anything that you guys can think of that she may need to change or do with her chicks? Is there any special care for bantams?
Any ideas or info is much appreciated

I have some questions...
1. Are the chicks staying huddled together?
2. are they being kept in the house, a garage, a shed, or just outside?
3. What type of bedding are they in?
4. What type of feed?
5. Anything added to the water?
6. Did she clean the horse waterer before putting them in? (especially if it was new it would need washed with a bleach water mixture)
7. What temperature is she keeping the chicks at?
8. Did she change the bedding, clean the dishes, and the container after the one that seemed ill died?
Those are good questions and I'll answer what I know....
1. She didn't tell me how they were behaving outside of the fact that they all were eating... so I don't know if they were huddling..
2. I don't know where they are being kept but I don't think they are not just outside...but they are inside some kind of shelter...
3. Don't know the bedding, but that is something I will remember to ask her...
4. She is giving them unmedicated chick feed.
5. She hasn't added anything to the water.
6. I don't think she cleaned it when it was new... but she didn't say.
7. The temp was one thing i mentioned to her and she didn't know the exact temp but she's gonna get a thermometer so she can keep it at the correct temp.
8. I know that they changed the bedding but didn't clean it with some kind of disinfectant.
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They should clean it with a bleach/water mixture to kill any virus that is in there. It prevents the other chicks from catching it. If the chicks are huddling together it needs to be warmer, if they are panting it needs to be cooler.
I've heard of chicks dieing from using a new (unwashed) plastic tote. I always wash totes before putting chicks in them never know who or what has touched it when it was stored before I bought it. Some places spray poisons to kill mice or bugs in their storage areas which can kill chicks. I may be paranoid but in this case it's a good paranoid.

If the chicks are having issues where they aren't very active but are warm add a tsp of sugar to 1 quart water. Take that away after 12 hours and give fresh water. It gives them an energy boost.

My cleaning routine with chicks is bleach the container before use, set up days ahead of time,
Change water every 12 hours
dump bedding and put fresh in every other day (and wash food dish)
Bleach tote once a week

I know that sounds like I'm going a bit far on being so clean (to some) But I lost chicks in the past that were very expensive and I learned it was because of an illness that could have been prevented simply by better cleaning routine. I don't remember what it was.
Thanks so much for your wisdom

And I agree that when it come to the safety and health of your girls, there is never too much you can do... its not paranoia.. its well like I said wisdom
Let's face it I'd much rather be teased by others for being "too" protective than beat myself up cause i wasn't protective enough.

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