New chick problems

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by polarbearforge, Jan 17, 2014.

  1. polarbearforge

    polarbearforge Out Of The Brooder

    25
    3
    24
    Nov 23, 2013
    So last weekend I finished building my brooder. It's a three level brooder with plenty of space (~20x96 per level).

    I got chicks in on Wednesday. All arrived in good shape as far as I can tell. This is my first time in many years raising chicks.

    Thursday morning, they were all still there. Thursday afternoon, I found 3 dead. Friday morning, I found 14 dead, and Friday afternoon I found 5 more.

    I called the hathery, and they will be sending replacements.

    The brooder is in my shop. I have heat out there, and it's been at least 50 degrees ambient. I have two of the ecoglow 20's. They were shielded from drafts and there is adequate ventilation. I had water and food ready for them, and had the nutrients in the water. Since I didn't have red light from a heat lamp, I installed red led lighting at the top to provide light so that I didn't have to have the shop lights on when checking on them.

    I had a layer of pine shavings with paper towels on top for the flooring.

    One of the ones that I found last, I noticed did not have it's eyes open. It's face was also asymmetrical, as if it had been smeared sideways a bit.

    Did I just get some unhealthy chicks or did I miss something else?

    I've read up it (alot) and am kinda bummed about this. I want to make sure that the survivors continue to survive (hens to lay eggs and cockerals for the freezer) and that I hopefully don't have a repeat with the replacements.

    Jamie
     
  2. SD Bird Lady

    SD Bird Lady Chillin' With My Peeps

    I don't see anything obvious that you missed, do you use your shop? Could there be diesel exhaust or another another type of "chemical" in the air?
     
  3. polarbearforge

    polarbearforge Out Of The Brooder

    25
    3
    24
    Nov 23, 2013
    My shop(garage really, but it has never seen a vehicle since I moved in) is not automotive, so no exhaust. I am a metalworker/woodworker/tinkerer. It's not dusty (I keep it pretty clean) and I had done any grinding or sawing anytime near getting the chicks.

    Jamie
     
  4. SD Bird Lady

    SD Bird Lady Chillin' With My Peeps

    I guess the next question is how many chicks did you start with? also, if it is 3 levels how are you only using 2 ecoglow 20's Maybe a picture would help.
     
  5. polarbearforge

    polarbearforge Out Of The Brooder

    25
    3
    24
    Nov 23, 2013
    I started with 30 chicks. Each ecoglow says it's for 20 chicks. It's 3 levels so that there is enough room as they get bigger. I didn't use the whole thing, everybody is in one level and it's sectioned in half. I'll take pictures later today.

    So all were alive Thursday morning. There 3 Thursday afternoon, 14 Thursday evening, 5 more Friday afternoon, 1 Friday night, 2 Saturday morning. I found the two this morning when I just checked, and one of them seems weak. The four still in there are fairly active, they are chirping occasioanlly. I see them eating and drinking. One of them is almost a whole head taller than the rest.

    I thought that maybe there still wasn't enough heat, or that the heater wasn't working. I checked the heater and it's functional. I added a seedling heat propogation mat beneath the shavings when I changed them yesterday. IR temp gun shows the floor at 70 degrees.

    The weak one I see this morning keeps closing it's eyes and swaying.

    Jamie
     
  6. polarbearforge

    polarbearforge Out Of The Brooder

    25
    3
    24
    Nov 23, 2013
    Here's a picture of the full brooder. It allows me to expand as the birds get bigger.

    [​IMG]

    This is one cell where everybody is now. There are five under the heater, they come out for a bit, usually grab some food and water and go back under. The temp where the black dish is measures around 70 degrees.

    [​IMG]

    I haven't done much in the shop with them in there, I didn't want to make too many loud, sudden noises (radial arm saw or table saw) to help keep the stress of being hatched and shipped down.

    Jamie
     
  7. SD Bird Lady

    SD Bird Lady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Awesome set-up , pictures definitely helped clarify... I think it may have just been weak stock.
     
  8. lmccall728

    lmccall728 Out Of The Brooder

    44
    2
    24
    Feb 18, 2013
    Day old chicks should be kept at 95 degrees and each week go down 5 degress until you hit 75 degrees. That is why they are staying under the heat source, they are cold.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. polarbearforge

    polarbearforge Out Of The Brooder

    25
    3
    24
    Nov 23, 2013
    The area around the heater is currently measuring 70 degrees or so. I tilted the heater up and the ir gun says 102 on the bottom side of it and on the floor beneath the heater is says 95.

    The ones that remain will wonder around a bit, eat a bit, drink a bit, peck a bit at the bedding and then wander back underneath. Pretty much the same thing that they did from day one. I originally thought they were cold, too, but they don't all always stay under the heater. Could they have gotten chilled to the point they couldn't recover during shipment?

    I don't know if the breed mix helps to know, but I had ordered 5 buff orpingtons, 5 australorps, 5 easter eggers and the remainder where assorted cockerals. There appear to be 2 buffs remaining, and of them is literally a head taller than any of the others remaining.

    I'm thinking of moving them inside the house for now. We have 2 cats and a dog that I know would "play" with them if given the chance. I know I couldn't fit the 30 comfortably and safely, but I may do that with these until they get a bit bigger and then move them out into the brooder. I don't keep the house very warm, but my grow room seed starting area has heat mats, so I'm thinking of using that for a week or two.

    Jamie
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    33,733
    6,855
    576
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Bummer! So sorry.
    What is your location, could the chicks have been delayed on the shipping trip in cold weather?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by