Near Catastrophe in the Brooder Box

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Queen of the Lilliputians, Jun 4, 2007.

  1. Queen of the Lilliputians

    Queen of the Lilliputians Songster

    Apr 5, 2007
    The babies aren't really babies anymore. They've passed some invisible threshhold into "kid-dom". At three weeks, they hop all over, land on, and fly onto whatever they can. I knew this, but since they are going into the big coop with their heat light very soon, I thought they would be ok for a few more days.

    Well, today the kids and I went to check on them. Their waterer was tipped over, and all of the chicks except one were huddled WAY on the other side of the brooder. The one chick was huddled behind the wooden block that the waterer normally sits on. The 'extra' dish (a 2.5" high tupperware container) that I am using to help keep their hungry selves fed was upturned in the middle of the box. They were obviously panicked, and didn't peep to me like they usually do. I got it all sorted out, replaced water, and removed wet shavings. They seemed ok (although still a bit scared) and started eating and drinking. Well.. out of reflex I counted heads.. and counted again. Someone was missing! It was my son's chick (our suspected roo) Blackeye. I looked all over, and finally found him huddled under the tupperware container. He's a little shaken up, and I'm checking him periodically to make sure he's ok, but seems otherwise fine. The shavings he was on were not in line with the water, and were thankfully dry.

    So.. how in the heck do I prevent this? Was it just a freak accident? I really don't have a way to hang or hook the waterer. Maybe I need to make a cone of some sort for the top? Never in my wildest imaginings did I think a chick could get stuck UNDER that container. Maybe I need to switch to a flat one.. but I'm afraid they'll just scratch it into the bedding. I also don't want to invest in another chick feeder, since they are about to move out to a much bigger space, with a big feeder inside.
    It's just so bizaare.

  2. joanm

    joanm Songster

    May 13, 2007
    I had the same problem and my chicks are only 2 weeks. They dumped over the water and feed. I placed both on a brick paver inside the brooder to lift them up a bit and it's worked so far.
  3. bigzio

    bigzio Crowing

    Jan 20, 2007
    It really pays to buy the proper waterers and feeders designed for chicks. Feed stores sell one gallon waterers for less than five dollars that don't tip over, and 18" trough feeders for less than five dollars that don't tip over either. Well worth the money and last forever if kept clean.

  4. urbanhomesteader

    urbanhomesteader Songster

    Feb 26, 2007
    Yorba Linda, CA
    You can get a brick or something really heavy and twist tie the tupperwere container to it. That way it is almost impossible to tip. I used garden ties that come on a spool (had it laying around) and punched a few holes in it. Threaded the ties and wrapped it around a brick
  5. Jsto

    Jsto Songster

    Apr 30, 2007
    North Carolina
    My chicks go crazy as well, but I've got the layout so everything is out of the way. They just love to take a fast run all the way down the middle of the brooder then promptly take flight and land on one of their buddies. I've left a clear pathway, keeping the feeder against one wall of the brooder (it's a trough feeder, up on bricks) and the waterer on the other wall (also up on bricks.) That way, they can run crazily to their hearts content, with a clear path.
  6. panner123

    panner123 Songster

    Jan 15, 2007
    Garden Valley, ca
    Quote:I agree with the above quote whole heartly. Please don't water with tupperware or order open containers. This is the best way to come home and find a chick in the middle of the water dish, belly up. And it almost always the kids that find them that way.
  7. Queen of the Lilliputians

    Queen of the Lilliputians Songster

    Apr 5, 2007
    Update: Little Blackeye is doing fine! Seems none the worse for his little adventure.

    Hmm.. these supplies were purchased at the feed store, and are specifically for chicks. However, I can see where perhaps a heavier waterer would have helped.

    And the brick is a great idea! I'll set that up tomorrow. Everything is moved to the edges of the brooder, and there is a clear path in the middle (this gives more playroom, and also cuts down on shavings in them, I've noticed). Not sure I can change the placement.

    And also, the tupperware container does NOT NOT NOT have water in it. It contains extra food. I agree, 2" of open water, even at this age, is invitation to wet chilled sick chicks, or a drowning.

    I appreciate your input! Thankfully, tomorrows weather will be nice, and the 'kids' can get outside to play a bit and burn off some of their enthusiasm!

    Last edited: Jun 5, 2007
  8. OHChick

    OHChick Songster

    May 8, 2007
    We had something similar, they haven't knocked over the watered, but they were eating the feed tray down 2-3x per day, so I put another feeder in there thinking, well then they won't be hungry waiting on me to come home from work. But 20 mins after putting the new chick feeder in, one flew up and fell down in it. So I got her out, and kept checking, they all seemed fine. About 4 hours later, another chick stuck in there. But then the rest of the night, they were good.

    So last Sunday I get up, 1 chick is sitting on the edge of the feeder, so I thought, well I'll set her down so she doesn't fall in. Then when she moved, I found 2 more stuck down in there. Needless to say, I just took it out. Poor girls. I was worried their feet or wings would be hurt, but all seems well.

    Anyway, I know how freaky it is, I check on them all the time. Soon we'll be putting them down at the barn (still in their dog cage/brooder), the hubby says he cannot stand the smell (though I'm always cleaning it out). Once they're in the barn, I'm thinking a webcam, so I can keep an eye out.


  9. Emchick

    Emchick Songster

    Mar 10, 2007
    Quote:ya right:rolleyes:

    we have an 18" feeder that tips all the time

    my mom jokes around and says to bolt it down:lau

    Last edited: Jun 8, 2007
  10. mudhen

    mudhen confidently clueless

    Jan 15, 2007
    Shepherdstown, WV
    Same thing happened to me a while back, unfortunately the waterer fell on a chick and it died [​IMG]
    I solved the problem of it tipping after raising it up on a brick.

    I also kept my chicks from falling into the feeder by cutting a small hole in the bottom of a pie tin and putting it over the top of the feeder, securing it with the wingnut that controls the height.

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