Lost 2 week-old baby chicks this morning. Help please!


5 Years
Apr 21, 2014
Cobbitty, NSW, Australia
We bought 4 3-day old chicks on saturday as a surprise for our kids. We have them in a tub inside with a covered heat lamp, shavings, water and food feeders. They have been happy until now, scratching, eating, drinking. Suddenly one took ill this morning and within an hour, died. Then another followed within the next couple of hours. started with shallow breathing, not moving, then gone. Other 2 appear fine and healthy. They dont seem to be huddling under the light, cold. Neither do they seem to be avoiding the light. No animals have been in there and it is free from drafts.
Any suggestions would be helpful!
Check your temp under the lamp and also check it in the coolest part of the brooder.

They need access to 90-95 degree temps the first week of life and decrease by 5 degrees per week until fully feathered, even on the head, at about 6 weeks of life.

They need to be able to get away from the heat - they will die from overheating very easily.

Another thing is, that I generally will lose some new shipped chicks every batch...just a few of them per 25...from the shipping stress. If they came from a feed store they were very likely shipped in from a hatchery and may have been stressed from that.

If you see them panting at all with beaks open, they are near death from overheating most likely.

I am sorry for your losses.

It is OK if the temp under the light is higher than 90-95 ONLY if you have a large enough brooder that they truly can get far away from the heat lamp...like if they were being brooded in a shed or large brooder. If they are in a smallish container, temperature regulation becomes vital.

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Your brooder should be large enough for the chicks to move away and be what temperature THEY want to be. If they want to be 50 70 or 90, its up to them. 2-3 feet away from the lamp should be a distance they can get to if they need to cool off. and yes shipping chicks does cost some lives. Make sure you use sav-a-chick electrolyte and probiotic in the water, along with medicated chick starter on any new shipment.

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