REALLY NEED HELP FOR THIS ONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!18 died

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by 1st timer, Feb 28, 2008.

  1. 1st timer

    1st timer Hatching

    Feb 7, 2008
    Ok this is my first time ever to raise chickens. I decided I would give it a try and see how it went. I talked to alot of people and they told me what a great experience it is. So I went for it. I ordered 31 chickens and they arrived on Monday morning from Murray McMurray. When I opend the box 2 were dead. I figured that must be normal. Well when I brought them home I put them in a 3 foot tall 3 foot wide round stock tank. Did the putting the beaks in water and etc. Then we got to the heating situation. I wanted to use 1 heat lamp and that was it. 45-60 in the day and 20-30at night. Figured it would be sufficient. Well I had a friend that raised chickens for years keep insisting that i put another heat lamp in there as well as a 75 watt bulb. So then there was 2 heat lamps and a regular bulb. The bedding was compressed wood flakes. I had a water feeder and a chicken feed feeder in there too. They seemed to have plenty of room for 29 birds. Ok so now I'm thinking I might actually be able to do this. That night they do alright. The next morning there is 1 dead one. Looked like he got smothered. So all day they do alright again with the same lights on them. That night they do alright as well. So by now it is Wednesday morning. I go to work. It gets to 55 degrees by one. The lights are on them still. Well I get a call at about 4 saying that 18 of my 29 chickens died. This is were I am confused. If it was the lights why did they nght die the first day. Was it me of them? I am getting more today but I want to know what I did wrong before I get them so I don't do it again. Were they too hot? HELP! Oh ya there were in a 10 by 20 foot metal building as well. It kept them from the elements pretty well.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2008
  2. SeaChick

    SeaChick Songster

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    I'm sorry for your loss..... however baby chicks need to be kept at 90-95 degrees for the first week, and then down only 5 degrees per week after that. They really need to be warm. it sounds like it was MUCH too cold for them to survive. Were thise temps you gave the outdoor temps or the temps in the brooder? I am surprised that MM hatchery did not include some instructions about temperature....
    It helps to have a thermometer in the brooder so that you can be sure of the temps. Put it at chick level and monitor it.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2008
  3. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

    Jan 30, 2007
    Shipped chicks chill easy....Their brooder should be draft free and a 250 heatlamp kept over it with the temp right under it at 95 degrees....and room to get away from the heat if needed....I've always kept my chicks in the house.......

    Sounds like your set-up was too cold for them in a metal building....
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2008
  4. Farmer Kitty

    Farmer Kitty Flock Mistress

    Sep 18, 2007
    Welcome to BYC!

    You need to start day old chicks at about 90 degrees. Then every week you can back it off 5 degrees. When you set up the lamps have enough area so they can all get under without crowding and an area where they can go away from the lamps if they get to hot.

    After you put the chicks in if they all huddle under the lamps they are cold. If they all move away from the lamps it is to warm. So watch them and adjust your lamps accordingly. You didn't say how many you are getting but, if it is a large number you do need more than one lamp. I'm not sure on the ratios, maybe someone with the kind of knowledge will chime in.

    Good luck!
  5. BrahmaMama

    BrahmaMama Songster

    Jan 8, 2008
    South Dakota
    Do you have a thermometer in the brooder, to see what the exact temp is? The temp you are talking about, I am assuming is the air temp where you live...the brooder temp needs to be at 95 degrees for brand new chicks. The compressed wood chips-do you know what kind of wood? Cedar is toxic to chicks/chickens. Hope this helps, I am so sorry for your loss.

    Edited: I'm too slow, everyone else got it [​IMG]
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2008
  6. crazychickens

    crazychickens Songster

    Jan 19, 2008
    Belleville, Wisconsin
    Your chicks need more heat asap, or they will ALL die.

    The heat should be 90 - 95 degrees the first week. Then lower the heat 5 degrees each week after that, till you get to 70 degrees.

    You need a red heat bulb, put it about 18 inches above the brooder floor. Lower each week as needed.

    Should your chicks huddle in a tight group it is because they are cold.

    Go to this web site as you have question, we will help.
  7. chels23

    chels23 Songster

    Jan 10, 2008
    S.E Kansas
    You might have already done this, but if you look at the back of you invoice that came with the chicks they give tips on taking care of them. It was in the side of the box and not really easy to see. That really helped me out.
  8. SeaChick

    SeaChick Songster

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    I'm going to add: if it were me I would bring the whole brooder inside. Can you set it up in your basement or a spare room for a while? That way you can monitor the temps better, there won't be any drafts, and it'll just be warmer in general. Don't put them outside without proper heat until they're fully feathered and it's 70 degrees.
  9. newnanchic

    newnanchic Songster

    Jan 3, 2008
    Newnan, Georgia
    I am so sorry for your loss. Even here in Ga. where we rarely get below freezing temps. this time of year I keep my babies in our basement until they are bigger (12 weeks or so)and the temps outside don't drop below 60. Good luck with your new ones!!!!
  10. chickbea

    chickbea Songster

    Jan 18, 2007
    Oh dear.
    Check out this sites "Learning Center" - all the info you need to know on raising chicks (and everything else!).

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