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Lost a chick last night - What went wrong?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by RoyalCoopMom, Mar 12, 2015.

  1. RoyalCoopMom

    RoyalCoopMom Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 13, 2015
    St Louis
    Finally got my fist chicks! Picked up and Amberlink and a sex link red last Thursday both were over a week old. and got an Australorp and Barred rock Friday both under a week.

    I have had these 4 chicks for almost 1 week now and last night I lost the Australorp (about 12 days old). She was fine last night active eating and drinking. Got her first treat, boiled egg, at 5pm, was fine at 10 pm dead at 6am. What went wrong? They are getting chick crumbles and water with apple cider vinegar. what should I watch for in the other 3?

    I would also like to replace the Australorp but I can only get a 6 week old or 5 day old. should I get just one more or would it be better to get two for an easier transition. The other 3 are 12 days to just over 2 weeks. If I get two and they both survive I will have to get rid of 1 as I'm only allowed 4 chickens.

    Help! Need advise!

    Thanks,
    Bonnie
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2015
  2. song of joy

    song of joy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 22, 2012
    Central Pennsylvania
    It's really hard to tell what could have gone wrong. Some potential ideas include: pasty butt (make sure the vent is not obstructed with poo, as it will kill the chick) or coccidiosis. Check the poop to look for signs of coccidiosis. As a precaution, clean out the entire brooder and put in clean bedding, and make sure food and water containers are cleaned. I'm assuming your temps are OK in the brooder (around 80 to 85 degrees under the heat source).

    It would work better to introduce a chick that is within 1 week of age of your existing group. It would be riskier to integrate a 6-week old due to the size difference.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2015
  3. ckelley

    ckelley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 26, 2015
    Southern Colorado
    Sorry to hear that. [​IMG]

    We lost one at about 5 days. I had just changed to a nipple waterer and an ecoglo heater instead of the dish and lamp. I'm thinking that she just didn't transition well. I watched to to make sure they were drinking out of the new waterer for a day before pulling the other one... but maybe she didn't get it.

    It's so hard when they are so little.
     
  4. hartmannshens

    hartmannshens New Egg

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    Mar 1, 2015
    Santa Fe, Texas
    I have 21 baby pulleys of all kinds. We've already raised over 30 the same way but this time 4 chicks have died all ready. I've had them almost a week. I'm cleaning their feed, water, and nesting out every day. I have a best lamp on them with a towel over the top . I found 3 dead this afternoon so I cleaned the container out and took some of the other things I had over the box because I thought I had smothered them by over protecting the top. But tonight I went out yo check on them and one more chick was dead? Anybody have any ideas what's happening ? I've noticed that there's a lot of moisture build up on the container which is a ten gallon storage tote without the lid. Help!
     
  5. Artemis1

    Artemis1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 12, 2014
    Northwest Montana
    I lost a 4 day old polish last night as well. She was the strongest and biggest of the 4 babies I got. She was the last one I was concerned about, it was so weird. I specifically chose her for her activity level at the feed store. Same as yours, no real indication. If anything, she was pretty vocal in the afternoon and wouldn't "settle down" with the rest. She did have a slight bit of pasty butt. Super quick deterioration. Now I have been watching the others like a hawk, all seem fine except that the same one is always awake while the other 2 are sleeping and vice versa. Kind of funny. It sucks, but I am hoping that it was just not meant to be. Fingers crossed on the other 3. Never had this happen, if I ever lost any there was something very obviously wrong :/
     
  6. RoyalCoopMom

    RoyalCoopMom Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 13, 2015
    St Louis
    I think I figured out what happened to my chick. at the store my chicks were on a nipple water system so last weekend I put in water bottles but left the fountain in the brooder. The chicks were all over the bottles so a couple days ago I removed the fountain. The morning I lost the chick I noticed there was less poop than I expected when I cleaned. Sure enough when I offered the fountain again they all drank ravenously. Back to more poop today. When I made the bottles I didn't put an airhole in the top so I think they were not flowing properly the chicks were getting some but had to work really hard at it.

    Last night I replaced the Australorp and got a Wyandotte cause I thought introducing 2 would be better than one. Now I have 5 - up from the planned 3 and one more than I am allowed! Here goes the chicken math!
     
  7. song of joy

    song of joy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 22, 2012
    Central Pennsylvania
    Double and triple check the brooder temperature at chick level, both under the heat source and on the far side of the brooder. If they're a week old, temp should be no more than 85 under the lamp and 75-80 on the cooler side of the brooder. Plastic totes can get really hot, really fast.

    Did you mean a 100-gallon tote? I'm not sure if you have bantams or large fowl, but a 10-gallon tote would be extremely small for 21 chicks. I'd recommend switching to a very large cardboard box to give them more space, make it easier to regulate temperature, and ensure moisture dissipates.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2015
  8. song of joy

    song of joy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 22, 2012
    Central Pennsylvania
    Thanks for sharing this. People often forget that an air hole is essential when using a nipple water system (or water bottle). I made the same mistake until I saw my chicks were struggling to get water out of the nipple. Water flows easily at first, but after a while a vacuum is created and hardly any water can come out of the nipple. To remedy this, I poke a small hole in the top of the water bottle.
     
  9. Artemis1

    Artemis1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 12, 2014
    Northwest Montana
    Wow, great observation on the water bottle! Good info for those who haven't used them before. Glad you got a couple more ;-)
     
  10. hartmannshens

    hartmannshens New Egg

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    Mar 1, 2015
    Santa Fe, Texas
    i just bought the biggest tub I could find, put a smaller feeder, bought a new red light for them. I also put electrolytes in their water. Hopefully this works!!
     

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