Most critical time period

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by DimaMathers, Sep 9, 2014.

  1. DimaMathers

    DimaMathers New Egg

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    Sep 9, 2014
    Los Angeles, CA
    Hi, I bought 2 baby chicks on Saturday and the feed shop had them since Friday only, I'm assuming they were 2 days old when he got them. So today, I am assuming again, they become a week old. My mom warned me baby chicks have high death rates, I'm thinking if I make it through the 2 week mark they'll be less likely to die. Is there a time frame that most baby chicks die in? This is causing me a lot of stress, sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night worried they died. I live in CA and the weather here from sunrise till sundown starts at around 80 F, then from about 11am till 5pm it's 95 F then the last 2 hours before sundown back to 80F, it's at a constant 65-70F through the night! I felt this was good so I didn't buy them a heat lamp. They stay in my garage in a big comfortable open box and my garage is very warm at a constant 90F all day. I bring them out after my last class around 2pm for a few hours and let them roam the backyard while I'm with them then back to the garage. My garage light is always on so I started putting a towel over them idk if they prefer to sleep in the dark? I change the sheet under them in the box every other day and change their water about 3 times a day and they always have starter mash, I even put a piece of lettuce in their for them to play with. Is there anything I am doing wrong or missing? Please help with my worry they're gonna die. Should I feed them anything other than started mash?
     
  2. David1998

    David1998 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 30, 2014
    Houston, Texas
    They already made it past the most critical time, which would be shipping and the first 3 days. The risk of death continues to decrease after that.
    Regarding the temps, I’ve kept mine outside in temps similar during the day and about 5-10 warmer at night without a heat lamp. There are 17 of them, so I think that helped the first few days. I don't see any issues with what you're doing.
    Regarding the light at night, I think it’s better for them to have it dark to sleep. 24 hour lighting overstimulates them, making them more stressed and more likely to peck each other.
    Regarding feed, starter is what they need with clean water. I like to add a little raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar to their water, but it’s not a must. No need to give them anything else. You can start to give them some treats after a few weeks. Search BYC for more info on the treats or apple cider vinegar.
    Are you chicks acting healthy and energetic? If they are, then you’re good. Don’t worry. Just continue to keep an eye on them, watch their energy level, their butts for pasty butt, and their poop for any signs of blood. And, start on their coop as soon as you can. They grow amazingly fast and will soon outgrow their current home.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  3. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    RE treats - if/when you do start offering feed other than commercial feed (which is designed to be water soluble and easily digested) you will want to provide grit for your birds. Grit is small stones that the bird takes in and holds in their gizzard to grind the food it eats. As the stones wear down, etc they pass through the digestive tract and are expelled with new stones being taken in. If you do start offering treats and grit, you can purchase chick grit (while your birds are small) at the same place you get your feed and other poultry supplies. It's important to note (in case the staff at the store is not) that you want hard grit, not what is sold for pet birds or laying hens as "oyster grit", etc. Oyster grit is soft (compared to hard digestive grit) and is used as a calcium supplement once females begin to lay eggs - but is unsuitable as a digestive aid.
     
  4. DimaMathers

    DimaMathers New Egg

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    Sep 9, 2014
    Los Angeles, CA
    Thank you get much for your reply, I went in the garage this morning at 6am and it was decently about 75F so I immediately ordered a 100 Watt red heat lamp, I'll be getting it tomorrow. I don't know if it's because they're getting older but this morning they wouldn't let me touch them at all they usually run away at first but after a few seconds of holding them they settle but this morning they didn't settle at all it was impossible changing the sheet under them! Is it a morning thing or does it mean something? Ya they're healthy and energetic, is a closed garage with no windows or anything a bad place to keep them? I do let them out everyday. Also I read chicks can get worms how do I avoid that?
     
  5. David1998

    David1998 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 30, 2014
    Houston, Texas
    Be very careful with the heat lamp. First, they get so hot they can start fires when accidentally in contact with flammable materials (cardboard boxes, straw, wood chips, paper towels, etc…). Second, they can make it too hot and overheat your chicks. I am not a fan of them at all.
    Very quickly, your chicks will be more active and much faster. They will be much harder to catch and will resist being held. It’s their instinct, but it can be overcome in time. They will start to jump, fly, and run. This could be what’s happening.
    I don’t see any problem with keeping them in the garage as long as the light is on during the day. I do think they’d do much better outside when it’s warm enough for them. Animals are built to be outside and will be much happier when they have the fresh air, natural lighting, and outdoor sounds. But, it has to be warm enough for them and their coop is predator proof.
    Regarding worms, they are more of a problem in wet, muddy, dirty situations so keeping their area clean is advised. Some give their chickens a dewormer regularly. Others watch for signs (weight loss/low weight gain, acting sickly, watery poop, visible worms in their poop) and then treat.
    The best advice I can give regarding raising chickens, or any animal, is watch their behavior, appearance, and poop. By doing so, you’ll quickly learn what’s normal and you’ll quickly be able to spot changes and investigate. You don’t have to be a vet, you just have to know your animals.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. DimaMathers

    DimaMathers New Egg

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    Sep 9, 2014
    Los Angeles, CA
    One of the chicks died today I don't know why, I want to buy 2 more chicks so the 1 left doesn't get lonely but I'm scared it won't accept them or is traumatized
     

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