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Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by VolailleAmant, Feb 27, 2017.

  1. VolailleAmant

    VolailleAmant Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi,
    My chicks are about 4-5 days old today, I ordered from Cackle hatchery ( which I l[​IMG]ve ) I ordered 25 with 3 extras = 28.
    Anyhow, many of them developed pasty butt ([​IMG]), I panicked but cleaned them butts right up. They made it through the the cold Michigan February night with a wet butt. The next morning, today, I found 2 dead chicks, he brooder thermometer read 105, I raised the light inches higher so it was more comfortable. I added sav a chick electrolytes and probiotics to their water ALONG WITH fresh plain drinking water. Days earlier I had my first chick die, why are they dying? I'd be considered a chicken nut, reading every possible book there is on the topic, I guess I know my stuff bout them. I have done my reading plenty about raising chicks, I believe that I am doing everything there is to assure a safe and healthy upbringing, but why are they dying?
    I am sounding VERY novice, I am sorry to sound like I am entering something I have no clue about, but I want to know why they are dying and I there is anything I can do to prevent them from doing so. Thanks in advance!!!![​IMG]
    -VA
     
  2. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    the brooder being too warm can cause them issues and they can overheat and die
    and sometimes, chicks just die
     
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  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    105F brooder? Is there a cooler part of the brooder?
    Please show pic of brooder setup.


    Here's my notes on chick heat, hope something in there might help:
    They need to be pretty warm(~85-90F on the brooder floor right under the lamp and 10-20 degrees cooler at the other end of brooder) for the first day or two, especially if they have been shipped, until they get to eating, drinking and moving around well. But after that it's best to keep them as cool as possible for optimal feather growth and quicker acclimation to outside temps. A lot of chick illnesses are attributed to too warm of a brooder. I do think it's a good idea to use a thermometer on the floor of the brooder to check the temps, especially when new at brooding, later I still use it but more out of curiosity than need.

    The best indicator of heat levels is to watch their behavior:
    If they are huddled/piled up right under the lamp and cheeping very loudly, they are too cold.
    If they are spread out on the absolute edges of the brooder as far from the lamp as possible, panting and/or cheeping very loudly, they are too hot.
    If they sleep around the edge of the lamp calmly just next to each other and spend time running all around the brooder they are juuuust right!

    The lamp is best at one end of the brooder with food/water at the other cooler end of the brooder, so they can get away from the heat or be under it as needed. Wattage of 'heat' bulb depends on size of brooder and ambient temperature of room brooder is in. Regular incandescent bulbs can be used, you might not need a 'heat bulb'. You can get red colored incandescent bulbs at a reptile supply source. A dimmer extension cord is an excellent way to adjust the output of the bulb to change the heat without changing the height of the lamp.


    Or you could go with a heat plate, commercially made or DIY: https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/pseudo-brooder-heater-plate
     
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  4. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    To summarize what aart has posted, you've read enough about chickens, now observe and learn from their behavior.

    You will probably find that a lot of what you read isn't as accurate as letting your chicks tell you what they need.
     
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  5. VolailleAmant

    VolailleAmant Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I will see if I can find a picture of the brooder setup..... To explain what it looks like: A large gray-plastic 100 gallon stock talk with a long piece of wood on top for the heat lamp to be attached to. A piece of cardboard that can be lifted up is on top to keep excess drafts out (the brooder being right by a window in my chicken coop that was knocked out then replaced by chicken wire).
    this picture may not be very good :)
    I am going to switch my infrared light to a plain clear light. Is that smart to do or no? Crazy unpredictable February weather in Michigan made me quite worried about my chicks so I stuck with my infrared...I have always used them.
    At times, I have had the brooder a bit too hot.....Chicks around the sides. Too cold.......Huddled together. And just right (now) but I have ALWAYS had fresh water with both probiotic, electrolytes and plain water available to the chicks.
    I am using a thermometer, Yes, there is a cooler part in the brooder.
    Thank you!
    -VA
    [​IMG]
     
  6. VolailleAmant

    VolailleAmant Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have read to only provide water for the first hours after I get my chicks in the mail, then add their food, I waited like 200 minutes then added the food. Could this possibly be a cause for pasty butt?
     
  7. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    No. Please don't rely on everything you read. Please try to use common sense. Pasty butt isn't caused by chicks eating too soon. They eat when they're good and ready and not before. As a rule they will be more likely to eat crumbles sprinkled over the floor than food from a feeder, and not usually for a day or two after hatching.

    Pasty butt is caused most often by a brooder that is too warm. The guidelines usually call for a 95F heat source but that's too hot in most circumstances. 90-85F is more comfortable and safer. This isn't to be the temp of the entire brooder, only the spot directly beneath the heat source. The rest of the brooder should be 20-30 degrees cooler.
     
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  8. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    To put a damper on some replies......Pasty Butt is caused from Chicks getting cold....Not too warm....;)
    Access the temp and keep butts clean....If the temp is good and no drafts on the Chicks it will clear up....Vaseline on their butts helps....;)


    Cheers!
     
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  9. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Yes, chilling and stress do cause pasty butt in chicks. Probably this is the cause of the pasty butt you see most often in chicks in stock tanks in feed stores after a harrowing voyage from hatchery to post office to feed store. But the pasty butt most often encountered after chicks are installed in a brooder at their final destination, your home, is caused by overheating from heat lamps in confining brooders without a proper cool zone so chicks can shed excess heat.

    Here's what the Chicken Chick says about pasty butt and its causes and remedies. http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2014/03/pasty-butt-in-chicks-causestreatment.html Her advice is all backed up by a veterinarian so you can take this as scripture.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2017
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  10. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Over heating Chicks causes other issues......Not pasty butt....;)

    Anyways....

    Cheers!
     
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