New Chicks -- Need Help

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Rebecky54, Aug 21, 2010.

  1. Rebecky54

    Rebecky54 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2010
    North Dakota
    I've raised lots of chicks, but never when the weather is hot. I received 26 Blue Cochins and 6 Buff Orps in the mail yesterday -- hatched on Wednesday. They arrived alive and in good shape. I gave them water with electrolytes right away and chick starter. They are in an 8x8 coop -- it's an old entryway (detached and now freestanding) for the house and it's never been used for chicks before yesterday. I noticed small tiny spots of blood by a few toes yesterday, but other than that, they all drank. This morning one was near death and later died. I did put a heat lamp on them last night but turned it off around 11 a.m. because it's supposed to be 98 today and I don't have the new windows in the coop yet. The chicks seem cold even though it's warm outside and will be warmer in the coop. They are drinking but not eating. I gave them some boiled, mashed eggs, but they didn't seem real interested.

    I don't want to lose any more chicks!

    Do they need a light on all they time, even when it's very warm outside? What can I do to make sure they are eating and drinking? Infant vitamins?

    One more question....

    I put in a vinyl in the new coop, but it's very slippery for the chicks even with shavings. If you use a vinyl floor, do you leave it loose or nail/glue down?


    Becky in NoDakota
  2. chicken stu

    chicken stu New Egg

    May 4, 2008
    Schuykill Cnty,Pa
    I would keep a light on them,but not too close.Give them enough room to move away if they need to.It would be a good idea to have some type of air circulation in the room if possible ,maybe a fan but not directly on them,only enought to keep the air circulation going.If they are drinking water that is a good sign.Keep the shavings deep enough to be effective.
  3. azygous

    azygous Flock Master

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Do you have a thermometer? Place it down low where the chicks are. It should be no lower than 95, nor higher than 100, for the first week. That ought to take the guess work out of things.

    Tiny chicks' feet need litter deep enough so their toes will curl around it. If the surface is flat and slippery, their feet could developed malformations.

    If the air temp climbs above 100 in the coop, you'll need to cool it down with some jugs of cold water place at intervals. Keep an eye on the thermometer. Keep it within recommended range. After the first week, they can handle five degrees less each succeeding week.

    Those spots of blood may indicate someone is getting pecked. Pick up each youngster and examine them thoroughly. If you see even the tiniest open sore, get some Blu-kote ( gentian violet) and dab a tiny bit on it so the color changes from red to blue. I had one baby in the latest batch get pecked on her precociously developed wattle, the others thinking the red thing required sampling. If you leave a sore untreated, that chick could become a victim quickly, and you don't want to even think about the gory consequences.

    Hope you don't lose any more and that one was just a fluke. Chicks are really pretty hardy little scamps in spite of their tiny size.
  4. buildingmyark

    buildingmyark Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2010
    For the slippery floor, I would recommend using drawer liner that can be purchased at walmart for $.99. It will provide the friction that they need to get their footing. Also, are you using a red heat lamp. They are supposed to help prevent pecking. I gave Poly-Vi-Sol to one of my little ones that didn't seem to have much of an appetite... I think 2 drops a day for 2 or 3 days, and now you would never know anything was ever wrong with her. As for the vinyl floor, we used the sticky tiles for the floor of the coop (for the older chickens).
  5. Rebecky54

    Rebecky54 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2010
    North Dakota
    Thanks for all the advice. The litter is deeper, but I did turn off the light this morning as it's going to be over 100 today. I dug out my thermometer, why didn't I think of that? [​IMG]

    The chicks are all doing fine -- must have been a weak one that died and the rest are eating, drinking and running around. I did get some vitamins and I'm going to give them each a drop for insurance.

    I've wanted cochins for a long time. Went to see a "chicken friend" earlier this summer and he had a blue rooster. The most beautiful, show quality rooster I had ever seen. I was able to talk him out of the roo for $20, and we decided to order some pullets so we can start raising blue cochins. It's hard to find them out here, so we had to go with hatchery chicks. We'll breed and cull, and hopefully get some nice birds.

    So, I'll have a pen of blue cochins and a pen of Buff Orpingtons plus a few other laying hens in with them.

    Love my chicks!


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