My DD had to cull our polish chickie 2day :'(

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by earnhardtlvr, May 24, 2011.

  1. earnhardtlvr

    earnhardtlvr Songster

    Mar 25, 2011
    Hagerstown, MD
    Well I have read numerous threads on here trying to learn as much as I can about my chickies and how I can b the best chickie momma I can b. They r due to go out in the new coop and new covered run this weekend. They just turned 6, 7, & 8 weeks old today. So I have been slowly weening them off of the light at night. I have a red 250 watt heat bulb and a regular work light bulb. I use the white light to simulate day and night and the red light at night. They aren't benefitting from the heat because they r feathered out and don't need the heat. It is about 70 degrees at night. Last night was their first night without light in the brooder. I checked on them numerous times for the first 3 hrs after I turned out the light. I only heard a few contented cheeps. So I figured everyone was fine. NO one was cold and they were ok with the lights not being on. When I got up this morning and went down, one of my polish roo's (6 weeks old) was laying on its side, stretched out. I thought I was going to see a dust bath or he was just stretching out. So I poked him not believing that anything was wrong and he wouldn't move. I picked him up and he looked me square in the eye and was very alert. I took him out side and tried to get him to stand up on the truck tailgate and he would just fall over and his legs would twitch. I started bawling and hollering for DD who was getting ready for work. I told him I thought that they got scared last night and piled up and he was at the bottom of the pile and had broke his back or something. I held him and felt his legs and back and worked with him trying to get him to stand, but he just fell over and his legs would just twitch and his toes were all curled up. We were at such a lost as to what to do. I have never killed an animal in my life ad DD wasn't keen on it either. But with the twitching and curled toes we thought it best to save him from pain. DD took care of that and we buried him. I am so devastated. I blame myself because if I would have checked on them better (I'm saying better because I didn't actually go down to see how they were laying - I figured they would cheep if the were cold or scared within the 1st couple hours and they never did. So the moral of my story is that until my chicks tell me they r ok to sleep in the dark, they will have a small obsure light on forever!
  2. earnhardtlvr

    earnhardtlvr Songster

    Mar 25, 2011
    Hagerstown, MD
    Wow there r a lot of posts about chickies dying! Sad. [​IMG]
  3. bird_brain_scientist

    bird_brain_scientist In the Brooder

    Mar 5, 2011
    That's really sad! It must have been heartbreaking watching the poor little thing trying to move. They are so fragile ... and so prone to breaking themselves. Honestly, I do wonder how they survived as wild birds. Through sheer numbers, I imagine. If that's true, one way to think about it is that the survival ratio in your care is much higher than it would be naturally. [​IMG]

    I have also been trying to wean my chicks off of light at night in - they are still young at 4 weeks, but I want them to keep their wits if the power goes out. As a first step I reduced the light to a 25w blue bulb at night, which they seemed happy with, so long as they could see (it's pretty warm in the attic). There are also deep shadows cast in their cage by feeders etc, that some of them, especially the submissive chicks, like to hide in.

    I also read somewhere that using a timer helps, and so I picked one up and used it to gradually reduced the number of daylight hours that their light is on. Now I have started killing the light for 30 mins every night, also using the timer. I don't hear them at 3am when this takes place, but no problems yet ...
  4. BrattishTaz

    BrattishTaz Roo Magnet

    Jan 8, 2011
    Tampa Area, Florida
    [​IMG] I am so sorry this happened. At 6, 7, and 8 weeks old they do not need the light. You did nothing wrong. Try putting a roost in the brooder to stop them from piling.
  5. earnhardtlvr

    earnhardtlvr Songster

    Mar 25, 2011
    Hagerstown, MD
    Well I am using a 5x8 metal wood cart as their brooder now and can't attch a roost. But they have 6 logs in there that they roost on all the time. Othr than turning the light off nothing else changed. It really sucks loosing one. [​IMG]
  6. cmfarm

    cmfarm Songster

    May 3, 2010
    Elgin, TX
    I wonder if there was just something wrong with it. It doesn't seem like at the age and that temp. they would pile on one another. I have put younger chicks out in colder temps. with no losses, and cut the light off cold turky.
  7. off-grid hen

    off-grid hen Songster

    Mar 1, 2011
    Upstate NY
    I'm sorry. [​IMG] I agree that you did nothing wrong. I wonder what could have happened? Just don't blame yourself. Again, sorry!

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