Losing Chicks

Discussion in 'Quail' started by coastie, Feb 27, 2014.

  1. coastie

    coastie New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Feb 27, 2014
    Good morning. I am new to quail. Last week I hatched out 62 little quails. They hatched out over several days starting Friday night and ending Monday during the day. I keep them in a 50 gallon tub that I set up as a brooder. I have 2 water bottles and feed as well as a heat lamp. I started losing them after a couple of days. So far 9 have died. It is a couple a day. THey all are found lying on their side with their legs stretched out. I was worried they may be over crowded so I built a second brooder with the same materials and transferred half of the survivors into that brooder. I am hoping that it was just overcrowding. Any thoughts on how I could improve? THey seem less robust than chickens.
     
  2. dc3085

    dc3085 Chillin' With My Peeps

    What is the temperature under the light and what is the temperature in the coldest area of the brooder? What sort of floor covering are you using (paper towels, shavings, etc.)? Do you have marbles in the water font? are the chicks able to get wet?
     
  3. coastie

    coastie New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Feb 27, 2014
    It is betwen 95 and 100 under the light. My floor covering was shelf lining for the first few days and is now hardwood pellets. Water is from 2 small rabbit waterers. They cant get wet from them. I dont know the temp at the other end of the brooder.
     
  4. dc3085

    dc3085 Chillin' With My Peeps

    That's a tough one. Overcrowding could have been the cause, were the chicks piling up on each other? Often they suffocate the bottom of the pile when they do that. Not as likely since you've lost so many, but I'm low on ideas. The only other thing I can think of is if its cold in the room and the brooders overall temp is too low, but I doubt that since you have so many chicks. Are they huddling together or are they evenly spread throughout the brooder? If they're huddling they're cold.
     
  5. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

    32,021
    4,702
    581
    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    WAY too hot. 100 degrees, stretched out like that, they are dying for over heating. Make sure the brooder size gives them exactly 1/2 square foot per bird, heat on one side, food and water on the other. A good thermometer placed directly beneath the heat source, reading no higher than 95. And I would replace the one you have incase it is not reading correctly.
     
  6. coastie

    coastie New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Feb 27, 2014
    So I used a different thermometer and it was 110 plus. Changed out the bulbs in the heat lamps to smaller bulbs and they are much happier chicks. Ended up losing ten total. It stinks but thank you for you help in figuring it out.
     
  7. dc3085

    dc3085 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I buy dimmer switches from home depot and splice them into the wires on my heat lamps. You burn bulbs out every now and then using it but at least you can adjust the heat.
     
  8. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

    32,021
    4,702
    581
    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    I am glad you got if all sorted out. These things happen. Enjoy the rest of your babies! [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by