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Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by LivingCanvas, Apr 12, 2016.

  1. LivingCanvas

    LivingCanvas Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 12, 2016
    Glen Carbon, IL
    Hi there! I'm a new chicken momma & I'm having a tough day. I acquired 8 birds over the weekend (3 of which were born the last week of March & 5 that were born within a day or two of April 9th). I had checked with the farmer and was told that as long as the bird were within a 2 week age-frame, I should be good to go.

    Well, I brought them all home & put them in the brooder I'd constructed via Rubbermaid container, waterer, feeder & ecoglow 20. I made sure they weren't in a drafty location & have even kicked the heat up in my house, just in case.

    Yesterday, I left for work, making sure everyone had food, water & all were accounted for. But when I came home, I could that one of the littlest ones, my Silver Laced Wyandottea, was dead. It was like she'd been sat on. Immediately, I became paranoid that I was doing something wrong, consulted with fellow chicken owner pals & was told that my set up was fine.

    I went to bed but woke up about 3am to check on them. They were all huddled together, sleeping under the ecoglow. I moved the ecoglow & counted the babies, seeing the my little GLW was dead underneath the group, mainly two of the larger ones.

    I'm devistated & wondering if I'm cut out for this. My friend keeps telling me that it's not uncommon for chicks to die, especially after days 3-4, when their yolk is completely absorbed. The two that passed would've been hitting that mark between yesterday & today. They also seemed to be the smallest of the group. [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2016
  2. TroyerGal

    TroyerGal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Awww... I'm sorry!
    Yes, it's very common for chicks to die early, especially the tiny ones.
    I ordered about 29 chicks from Meyer Hatchery about 1 month ago. the chicks all arrived fine and my brooder was great and i was doing everything right, but... in the time-frame of less than one week, 4 died :( trust me, it is common and you are NOT a failure!! [​IMG]

    plus, everyone makes mistakes, just this morning I almost killed one of my meat chicks by smashing it's neck in the feeder.[​IMG]

    Jesus loves you!! have fun with your chickies!
  3. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Of course it could be these four died from failure to thrive, which is genetic and completely out of your control.

    But since you discovered your dead chicks "smashed" under the larger ones indicates you may have a problem with the brooder size.

    Using the Ecoglo rules out heat problems, probably. But you should NOT try to heat the chicks general environment. Having one heat source and the rest of the brooder and room they're in cool is what you want.

    Back to brooder size. If the brooder is too small for all the chicks to safely move from heat source to cool spaces, causes the chicks to "pile". That results in the smaller ones being smothered. If the Ecoglo is rigged in a way so there's not adequate openings for chicks to move out of its confines, then a small one could still get trapped inside and become too warm and die, or get smothered because larger ones are piled on top.

    If you posted a pic of your brooder setup, we could help you assess if the size and setup are adequate.

    This happens to all of us, even people who have been raising chicks for years. This past year I had my first chick fatalities, one from failure to thrive, the other from a freak accident, so you are not alone. Even knowing that, it doesn't lessen the pain. Only time will enable you to be able to stop feeling the pain of loss.[​IMG]
  4. LivingCanvas

    LivingCanvas Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 12, 2016
    Glen Carbon, IL
    It wasn't 4 chicks that died, just two. They were the smallest & part of the younger group. The GLW didn't seem to be eating or drinking much from the start, even though I'd dipped it's beak in both. She also had issues with pasty butt since the moment I brought her home.

    I've got a 30gal tub with the ecoglow on one end & the food/water on the other so they've for space to move around.

    Before going to bed, I was holding the little GLW & she was chirping non-stop.
  5. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

    Jan 17, 2013
    I'm so very sorry for your losses. How much bigger are the older chicks? You might choose to brood them separately if the smaller ones are getting smashed. It's hard to tell what really happened because the small chicks could have just passed away then they were walked on by the others. It's common for things to happen sadly. If your chicks are really small make sure your brooder has rounded corners so they can't get "stuck". This might help a bit. Wishing you the best with your new flock.
  6. LivingCanvas

    LivingCanvas Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 12, 2016
    Glen Carbon, IL
    The older ones are about 1.5-2 weeks older. I'd asked the farmer I got them from if it'd be ok to house them together & they told me it would be.

    And I'd thought about that too...about how they could've passed & the others just walked on them. They were under the ecoglow so that's definitely a possibility. Given that the little GLW wasn't really eating or drinking as much as the others, I wonder if that was the issue.

    And thankfully, the Rubbermaid tub has rounded corners.
  7. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2010
    southern AL
    Sorry for your losses.

    A 30 gallon bin isn't really that large for 8 chicks once you have the ecoglow, food and water in there as well. I'd increase your brooder size.
  8. Cage10

    Cage10 Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 12, 2015
    Live Oak, Florida

    The chirping along with the pasty butt makes me think she could have died from her vent being clogged. One cause of pasty butt is too much heat, which may be the case. But like others said, it's common too lose babies at young ages.
  9. LivingCanvas

    LivingCanvas Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 12, 2016
    Glen Carbon, IL

    Well, I was keeping her vent cleaned up & she's the only one to have the issue.
  10. LivingCanvas

    LivingCanvas Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 12, 2016
    Glen Carbon, IL

    Well, now I'm down to 6.

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