Please help! Orphaned chicks!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by dixie1024, Aug 16, 2014.

  1. dixie1024

    dixie1024 New Egg

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    Jan 24, 2014
    We woke up to a horrible sight this morning. Our 3 baby chicks had gotten loose from the small coop in our kennel, their mama dead in the coop and a snake in the nesting box, eggs missing. (Background: mom laid on eggs while we were on vacation and a friend did not get eggs out, mom was still sitting on about 4 eggs with 3 chicks hatched). It appears the snake got in, and either killed mama or she died trying to get chicks out, which, we're not sure. The door to the coop was closed, but not locked and was only slightly (an inch or so) ajar this morning. The good thing was that the rooter and other hen were roosting in the kennel and did not mess with the chicks. Two chicks have a little dried blood on their cones. Now, we have 3 orphaned chicks, under a week old. We removed them and put them in a large container with food/water and cedar chips. What else do we need to do?!?


    This is a pic of my babies inside the coop the other day. Their mama was fiercely protective and didn't even like us changing the water and food containers.
    [​IMG]

    This is my poor 3 orphans. My heart hurts for them. They are scared and traumatized for sure.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Make sure they have a warm spot unless it's quite warm where you are.
    They can't have layer feed.
    Cedar chips may be too aromatic for them, pine shavings are better or even sand or paper towels.
    They'll be fine.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    They need a heatlamp over them about 18 inches. The light bulb can vary from 60 watts to 100 depending on your temperature there. Place a thermometer on the floor under the light, and keep the heat at 90 degrees F allowing for a cooler spot away from the light. Each week decrease the heat 5 degrees F by raising the light or putting a lower watt bulb in light. Dip their beaks in water several times to show them how to drink, and place some chick crumbles on paper towel spread on the floor for 2 days to get them used to what the feed looks like.
     
  4. MrsBachbach

    MrsBachbach Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ^This^ Heat immediately! Chick starter/grower feed and GET THEM OFF CEDAR! Everything I have read says the aroma is bad for chickens or chicks. Plain pine shavings or just paper towels for now.

    Cute little buggers. :)
     
  5. dixie1024

    dixie1024 New Egg

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    Jan 24, 2014
    Thanks all! We got them a heat lamp with red heat bulbs. I'm watching them closely. I took the cedar chips away and replaced with paper towels for now. What's the best bedding material for them? I never heard that cedar was bad for chickens. Should it be taken out of my nesting box? My older chickens never seemed to mind it.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Most people prefer pine shavings, and I would use the paper towel over them for a few days, so they don't mistake the pine shavings for feed. The 250 watt red lights are good for winter, but could be too hot for summer. It's best to put a thermometer on the floor, and then you can use a lower wattage bulb. Overheating can be worse than under heating.
     
  7. MrsBachbach

    MrsBachbach Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't think it will hurt your hens. They likely are not constantly exposed to the aroma. It likely helps keep the bugs away too.
    I believe I read that a chicks respiratory system is too delicate to handle the aroma or odor it gives off. Perhaps it burns them?
     

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