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Just lost a chick - so upset!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by JenNY99, Mar 27, 2011.

  1. JenNY99

    JenNY99 In the Brooder

    Jan 31, 2011
    I am brand new to this whole chicken thing! 3 weeks ago we took the leap and got 3 Buff Orpingtons. I'm happy to report that they are all healthy and happy.

    But last Thursday we got 6 Brahmas. We got a new brooder light since the Orpingtons were using our first light and so the first night we had trouble regulating the temp (too hot). Friday morning 2 had pasty butt. Not real bad and we got them cleaned off. Friday were were able to regulate the temp and had the perfect 95 degrees. Last night before bed, all Brahmas were running around, eating and drinking.

    This morning when I got up, DH said that one chick was not looking good. Laying on her side and lethargic. We tried a little sugar water and nothing. I went down an hour ago and she was completely non-responsive. I brought her upstairs and held her while we frantically searched here for possible solutions. She then opened her eyes and appeared to have a seizure. She had labored breathing for another 15 minutes and then streched out and died.

    I am so worried that we did something wrong. I've looked through the diseases - she had no coughing, no nasal discharge and no diarrhea. I am also worried about the 5 remaining chicks. Any thoughts?

  2. looptloop

    looptloop Songster

    Feb 21, 2010
    Pilot Hill, CA
    Oh no, I'm so sorry! I know how upsetting this is for you! I'm no expert, but I'd be willing to bet it had absolutely nothing to do with you or the things you were doing at all.

    When I was first looking into getting chicks, everyone told me to get twice as many as I wanted because half of them would die..... failure to thrive they called it.

    I'm so sorry.
  3. schellie69

    schellie69 Songster

    Oct 8, 2009
    So sorry about losing the chick but it does happen. [​IMG]
  4. wistlindixie

    wistlindixie Songster

    Feb 27, 2011
    Sometimes, it just happens. You probably were doing everything that you should.
  5. catdaddy66

    catdaddy66 Songster

    Nov 18, 2009
    Lugoff, SC
    95 degrees is the textbook temp. for the youngest chicks, but older ones can do with incrementally less temps. Also the chicks need an area that is cooler in order to escape heat that is too strong. Does your brooder for the brahmas have an area they can escape the heat? It is the first thing I would check, but may not be the only issue. How are the other birds doing? Is there plenty of cool water?

    Hope you have good luck the rest of the way in your chicken travels, but some chicks are not destined to survive no matter what we do. [​IMG]

    You have come to the correct place for all of the best info on care for your birds. BTW, [​IMG]
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2011
  6. JenNY99

    JenNY99 In the Brooder

    Jan 31, 2011
    Yes, The brooder we have them in is 95 under the light, but the coolest part of the brooder is about 50 degrees and that's where the water is. So they have their choice from very warm to quite cool to everything in between.

    She died in my hands and died in a very similar way to my 12.5 year old German Shepherd who died last summer, so this makes it even more hard.

    All the other chicks seem fine, but it just happened to FAST.

    Thanks to all for your support.
  7. ralleia

    ralleia Songster

    Mar 22, 2011
    Omaha, NE
    Quote:95 degrees to 50 degrees is an HUGE temperature variance. Where is the brooder located--in a sheltered location somewhere?

    I personally prefer to brood them in the house for the first couple weeks. Since the house is always in the high 60s/low 70s, that's my lower range. For the upper range I don't like getting over 90 (though if they showed signs of being cold I'd listen to them).

    What type of brooder are you using? I'm a bit concerned if you had trouble regulating the light--overheating is a quick way to kill chickens.

    Though it's very possible that the chick was just in poor health and wouldn't survive anyway, it's good to rule out other possibilities.

  8. JenNY99

    JenNY99 In the Brooder

    Jan 31, 2011
    The chicks are in our basement. We put the new brooder light in with the 3 weeks old Orpingtons and the old light that we started the Orpingtons with with the new chicks. Since about 11AM Tuesday morning, under the light has been anywhere between 92 and 96 degrees. The cold part of the brooder - which is about 4 feet away from the light - is pretty steady at about 53 degrees.

    We just checked and all other chicks seem fine - but so did the one little girl last night...
  9. Judy

    Judy Crowing Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Your brooder sounds just fine to me. My broody raised chicks have no light, only mama for warmth, and typically are out and about in temps lower than 50 the first week. They can choose where they need to be. I feel brooders should offer this kind of variation. Used to be, they would be in a barn, and you'd see chicks under a covered light and chicks way away from the light cover.
  10. chickenbarn-gal

    chickenbarn-gal Songster

    Jun 6, 2010
    No, you did not do anything wrong. It happens, not all baby chickens survive. (That is exactly what happened to one of my baby chicks, Savannah. [​IMG] )
    I'm sorry about your chick. [​IMG] Sometimes it happens because the place you bought her at wasn't to good.
    We first tried this one chick store, and 2/5 of them died. Then later we went to a different place and all of them survived. Sometimes they were born too weak... it depends.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

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