loosing chicks fast :(

Discussion in 'Quail' started by TriciaB, Jan 12, 2014.

  1. TriciaB

    TriciaB Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 10, 2012
    lincolnton, NC
    9 coturnix chicks and 11 bobwhite chicks hatched out. Coturnix chicks are 2 weeks old, bobwhites are 1 week old.
    I have lost 7 coturnix chicks and 4 bobwhite chicks! The tempature under the light is 96 degrees F, unlimited access to ground crumble food and water. Bedding is spruce covered completely with newspaper. No huddling under the light and no staying on unlighted side.
    What is going on?? They all Look healthy and are running around.
     
  2. SeptemberQuail

    SeptemberQuail Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 10, 2012
    Australia
    I'm no expert, but factors could include not enough ventilation, eating at the spruce, drowning in the water, or even the fact that the eggs were bad eggs. Other times chicks can drop dead and no one knows why.

    I honestly can't really tell why, but I hope you do come to a conclusion.
     
  3. dc3085

    dc3085 Chillin' With My Peeps

    You need to give some more information. How are the ones that died acting just before hand? Do any of them have crusty eyes? Are their butts clogged with poop? Can you take a picture of where you are keeping them? maybe something in the environment is causing it. Also with the news paper over spruce shaving is the bedding dry everywhere or is wet in places?


    edit to add

    I would take the shavings and new paper out and keep them on an old towel for a couple days. Dont' worry it will wash out when your done. The towel better allows you to see their feces and that might offer a clue as to what is wrong with them.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2014
  4. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

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    2 week old Coturnix should be around 90 degrees, Bobs at 97-95 for week one. Improper brooder temps and crowding are usually the reason that babies die in the brooder. Sounds like your Coturnix could be over heating. If they are on the cooler side of the brooder, they are too hot. Make sure you are using a good thermometer. One that you know is reading correctly. Even a few degrees off can kill young babies. Keep the heat off to one side of the brooder, and place the thermometer directly under the heat source on the floor. The bobs may be be starving from uncrushed food.

    Keep the food and water off to the other side of the brooder so they babies have to leave the heat to get to the goods. Also there will be places along the sides to cool off. Make sure you have at least 1/2 square foot per bird in this brooder. Do not cover the lid of the brooder with anything but a screen or wire for good heat and oxygen exchange.

    Unless you have completely disinfected these spruce branches, get rid of them. If you cut these from a tree outside were wild birds have been using, there could be bacteria and mites in them. Scrub them really good and use bleach on them if you are going to use them. And this goes for adult birds as well. I doubt this is the problem, but everything is suspected when you are losing babies.

    All this being said, I think you need to lower the temp to around 92 to keep each species happy. The bobs need their feed crushed at this point still. Keep paper towels down for another week and sprinkle food on the floor near the feeder so they can find the food. Make sure the water is accessable and dip everybodies beak in it so they know where it is. Give them plenty of space, 1/2 square foot per bird and make SURE your thermometer is correct. Get a new one from a good brooder supply if in doubt. I think your thermometer is not correct, at leas this is what I would think if this were happening to me.

    Also, disinfect your waterers once a week with bleach and vinegar and give them fresh water daily to prevent a bacterial outbreak.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2014
  5. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

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    Oh, and lower the temp of the brooder 5 degrees each week for 6 weeks. Good luck with your babies!
     
  6. TriciaB

    TriciaB Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 10, 2012
    lincolnton, NC
    I am using a digital thermometer (with humidity gauge), that I know is correct (have checked it many times). The newspaper completely covers the spruce shavings (store bought, think that would be disinfected?) So I know they are not able to get to or eat the spruce shaving. Heat lamp is on the left side above 1/4th inch wire cover, water and food is on right side. I have ground up the food, and both water and food containers get sanitized 2X a week. I check bedding twice a day for wet spots and change bedding completely 3X a week.
    Chicks do not have crusty eyes or rears. No sores either. It seems to happen mostly at night, though I know for sure the temp isnt dipping (the digital temp gauge keeps track of high and low temp up to 48 hrs.)
    Will post pics if my computer will start up when I get home. Its old and doesnt like me
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2014
  7. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

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    I think you need to lower your temp. Try that and see if it doesn't stop the deaths.
     

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