PLEASE HELP WITH BABY CHICKS & DUCKS!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by kdawgg, Apr 25, 2019.

  1. kdawgg

    kdawgg Hatching

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    Apr 25, 2019
    Hi, my name is Kelli, i recently got 6 chickens and 2 ducks from TSC. i have water and feed, they have been doing great. i’ve kept their cage clean and a heat lamp on them. i’ve had them for about 2 weeks. i came home today and their whole cage was wet. 2 chicks were dead and the other chicks were wet. the ducks look fine, just a little feather loss but other than that they act fine. i’m worries about the chicks they’ve lost many feathers and are wet. are they too hot? water situation? are the ducks picking on the chicks? someone please help!!
     
  2. danceswithronin

    danceswithronin Crowing

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    Ducklings and chicks should not be brooded together. Ducks are messy and wet and clumsy; chicks have to have a dry brooder and are easily stressed by being jostled around. The chicks probably got chilled from being repeatedly soaked by the ducklings, and died.

    I would blow-dry the chicks (with just air, not heat) to dry them completely, separate the ducklings and chicks into separate brooders, and cross your fingers for the two chicks that they didn't inhale too much water. Make sure both brooders have a heat lamp on them. The chicks would benefit from a low overhead brooder lamp like a Brinsea EcoGlow or something of a similar design rather than an overhead lamp because it emulates the heat of a broody hen and puts the heat directly over the chicks and allows them to self-regulate better.

    How do you have water in the brooder? Is it in a pan or in a waterer? Because the ducklings will want a pan of water to play in, but the chicks will easily drown in it.
     
    kdawgg, BirdsBeesTrees, Amc29 and 2 others like this.
  3. Amc29

    Amc29 Songster

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    Ducks are very very messy with their water. Some people keep chicks and ducklings together, but I don't even try. I have finally settled on wood pellets as the least messy bedding for them that handles moisture the best (at least in my experience), and using something for a waterer they can dunk their heads in, but not walk in and splash around (I cut a hole in a milk carton for this purpose). The water may be making the chicks much too cold. At two weeks, I imagine the ducks are much larger than the chicks...is that the case? They may be picking on them, or just moving their weight around on them too much. I am sorry for your losses, that's rough :( And you say the ducks have also suffered feather loss?
     
  4. Mademoiselle_JubJub

    Mademoiselle_JubJub Chirping

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    I’m not sure if this is your situation but I know from experience that ducklings make an unholy mess with water, soaking everything in their wake. I’ve read that chicks are more susceptible to getting chilled and the complications that arise from it. It might be prudent to have one brooder for chicks and one for ducks. I’m sorry that you lost some chicks, but hopefully it is an easy fix. Good luck.
     
  5. azygous

    azygous Crossing the Road

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    You need to get all the wet chicks in a warm towel out of the dryer. Bundle every wet baby chick into the towel. You can bunch up the towel so all the chicks will be cuddled in the warm towel. I would guess they'll be content.

    Ignore the ducks unless you see any that aren't moving much. Toss them in with the chicks warming.

    Then take the most lifeless babies one by one and blow dry them on low heat on their tummies and under their wings. This is where most of the blood in chickens flows and you can get a hypothermic chicken warmed up far more quickly.

    Then each chick should get a drink of warm sugar water or warm Gator-aid. A few drops each is fine.

    Then hope none of the chicks dies because the ducks tried to teach chickens to swim.
     
    kdawgg and danceswithronin like this.
  6. danceswithronin

    danceswithronin Crowing

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    I have had a lot of luck with brooding in a pet playpen sort of like this: https://www.pawaboo.com/pawaboo-dog...ate-with-carry-bag-large-size-blue-khaki.html

    It can be zipped up to prevent escapees, but has tons of ventilation. The material dries easily, is collapsible, is lightweight, and is easy to clean. I got the largest size available and it was like, a hundred bucks. But I've used it two chick seasons in a row. My oldest chicks are almost six weeks old and just now starting to outgrow it.

    I use it in conjunction with a brooder lamp like this: https://www.schoolspecialty.com/bri...MIi9aZsvLs4QIVF47ICh3NQQxrEAQYASABEgIbYvD_BwE

    It gives plenty of heat and is adjustable in height as the chicks grow older, but is firesafe, most closely stimulates the warmth of a mother, and gives the chicks plenty of room to self-regulate their own temperature by moving in and out from underneath it, rather than having a heat lamp blaring down on them from overhead.

    You could set up two pens like this side by side, and they would be easy to maintain.
     
    kdawgg likes this.
  7. kdawgg

    kdawgg Hatching

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    Apr 25, 2019
    THANK YOU! I feel like the ducks might be picking on the chicks. i have a waterer from TSC that i bought. it seems to do okay. the ducks play in it a lot. i guess i do need to separate the chicks and ducks. it was just crazy to me because they have been doing fine this way until today. it went from everything was fine to 2 of my chicks dying in a day!! the ducks are 2 times the size of the chicks
     
    danceswithronin and AJKinville like this.
  8. kdawgg

    kdawgg Hatching

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    Apr 25, 2019
    THANK YOU! yes the ducks have lost some feather kinda of towards their butt. i watch them and they just kinds peck at themselves. it’s not wounds just feather loss. the ducks are probably 2 times bigger than the chicks
     
    Amc29 likes this.
  9. kdawgg

    kdawgg Hatching

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    Apr 25, 2019
    THANK YOU! i also think that separating them is a good idea!!
     
  10. kdawgg

    kdawgg Hatching

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    Apr 25, 2019
    THANK YOU! I will take note of this! i hope the chicks get better!
     

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