Please Put Rocks In Larger Waterers !

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Barry Natchitoches, Apr 14, 2011.

  1. Barry Natchitoches

    Barry Natchitoches Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 4, 2008
    We just got 27 babies this morning, and my wife and I were both very tired even before the 6:30am call to pick the birds up at the Post Office. We've been on overload, workwise, and when you get tired, well, you can make mistakes too easily.

    We had a large Rubbermaid tote (105 gallon) that we figured we'd use for a couple of days, then we'd move the birds into a large dog pen.

    Our first mistake was that we didn't realize how much room 27 babies need before we brought them home -- even when they are newborns. They might have all fit in that Rubbermaid tote, but it didn't give them a whole lot of room to romp and play. They were stumbling all over themselves.

    My wife said something about she was going to split them into two Rubbermaid totes tomorrow morning when we could go out and get another 250 watt heat lamp. All we had tonight was a 250 watt red lamp bulb on the brooder they were all piled into, and a 150 watt Reptile infraret heat lamp, bought for a different purpose. She figured that if we split them into two totes tonight, we'd have to have another 250 watt heat lamp for the other tote, since the reptile infrared heater would not be good enough to keep newborn chicks warm.

    So we put them in the back bedroom -- 27 birds in one 105 gallon Rubbermaid tote, with 1 long feeder bar and two Mason jars that fit into those red waterers.

    We were so tired, we weren't thinking right.

    We KNOW that you should put rocks in the rim of a waterer when that waterer is for baby chicks. This is done to keep the babies from drowning, and we knew tht.

    But we were tired, and it did not occur to us that we were supposed to put rocks in the waterer in order to keep the babies from drowning.

    So we didn't put any rocks in the waterer.

    About 10pm, we started hearing alot of loud chirping coming out of the bedroom where the babies are at. We went in there to check, and one chick had already drowned, and several others were soaking wet and shaking from the cold.

    We pulled the wet ones out of the original Rubbermaid tote brooder, and put them in another box directly under the 250 watt red light, and then pulled out a space heater to heat the room air immediately surrounding the original Rubber maid tote, which we had just stolen the 250 watt bulb from.

    Eventually we got the wet ones warm and dry, but it was not easy, and they look weakened for the privilege.

    We have solved the overcrowding by separating them into two Rubbermaid totes, though one has an inadequate 150 watt infrared heating element to warm the birds, instead of the 250 watt red bulb that they really need. I will be at a nearby hardware store at 7 am when it opens to buy another 250 watt heating lamp for the second Rubbermaid tote.

    And now, all the waterers have rocks in them so that nobody else will drown.

    But one of our baby chicks has died under our watch, only two days after hatching. And that death was preventable.

    Please do NOT do what we did -- if your waterer has a wide mouth, PLEASE put rocks in it to keep the kids safe from drowning.

    I hope this message is coherent, because I am falling asleep as I type it. I have fallen asleep at least four or five times since I began typing out this message.

    I'm dead tired, but I just have to get on here and remind you that baby chicks need for you to protect them if you use larger waterers. You can put rocks in the mouths of the waterers. The chicks will have plenty of room to drink, but will not fall in

    Don't do what we did tonight -- forget the rocks, and then loose a precious little baby to a preventable drowning.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2011
  2. snazzyboots

    snazzyboots Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 3, 2011
    i'm so sorry about your baby. i hope that your story will help save some more. good luck and thanks for sharing that [​IMG]
  3. arenea74

    arenea74 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2011
    [​IMG] and thanks for sharing the info.
  4. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

    May 11, 2010
    I learned a valuable lesson from your mistake. Thanks for sharing this information and I'm sorry about your mishap.
  5. Wisher1000

    Wisher1000 Bama Biddy

    I'm sorry for your trouble and exhaustion. Don't beat yourself up, these things happen...

    Another option (which I do) is to buy the quail waterers that are just like the others but have a half inch wide reservoir instead of the wide one that the chick waterers have.
  6. Clucknut

    Clucknut Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 6, 2011
    I’m sorry you had problems.
    When I set up my brooder, I warmed up the water like the instructions said to. Then I dipped each of their beaks as I took them out of the box. Before I realized it, they were all climbing into the water to get warm![​IMG]
    I quickly washed up some river rock from the yard, and put it in the waterer so they could drink between the stones. Pretty soon, they figured out the heat lamp.[​IMG]
  7. LeezyBeezy

    LeezyBeezy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 13, 2010
    Lancaster PA
    Aw, sorry about your loss! I used marbles in our waterer- they kind you can buy for flowers.
  8. zengrrl

    zengrrl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2011
    Oakland County, MI
    Its a tough lesson to learn but thanks for sharing. I'm sure alot more lives will be saved because of your story. This totally sounds like something that I would have done, exhaustion does terrible things to you. Get some sleep and don't beat yourself up too much over it.
  9. zookeeper15133

    zookeeper15133 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2010
    SW PA
    I'm sorry for you loss, but it happens. I use marbles from the $1 store in my waterers for about the first week. Get some rest.
  10. Chic-n-farmer

    Chic-n-farmer Showers of Blessings

    Quote:Yes. I picked up a couple for chinese painted quail, but I use them for all my hatches

    They also are harder for the chicks to poop in.

    The only drawback is that you need to make sure they are flowing when you refill them.

    The opening is small and it sometimes takes a gentle tap to start them working.

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