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Red Ranger Meat Chickens 2 Weeks Old Dying - HELP! In Georgia

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by redrangerfan, Sep 8, 2014.

  1. redrangerfan

    redrangerfan New Egg

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    Sep 8, 2014
    I bought 50 Red Ranger meat birds from Mcmurray. They all arrived looking good, none died in transit. After day 3 they were all looking great. I awoke the next morning and found one dead directly under the heat lamp. I checked the temp it was 100 degrees! The rest of the birds were ok in the 64 sq ft circular brooder.

    I adjusted the temp and beat myself up a little about it. But thought this is my first time so I guess one has to learn. Two days later I awoke and I found another dead bird! This time this bird was on the outskirts of the heat lamp, temp was 88 degrees roughly. I brought the temp up 2 degrees, removed the bird that showed no sign of butt pasting or anything else. From what I can tell their poop looks like normal chick poop.

    An hour or so later I heard a loud chirp, a distressed chirp and one more bird had died and was on it''s back wings and legs straight out! It seemed like it had a stroke and just keeled over.

    OK I'm paranoid! I know there are higher mortality rates with hybrids like the Red Ranger, so I expect to lose some and I never prepared myself what that would look like or what to expect.

    * They have plenty of space, the temps have not been perfect but the rest of the flock looked fine.

    * They have clean water twice daily and I am feeding them Country time organic starter feed.

    * 2-3 inches of pine shavings changed 1 time weekly - Do I need to change this more often?

    * They were not vaccinated as I was wanting to go as Organic as possible.



    Is there anyone out there who can help me with this? Am I just paranoid? Or should I be looking for something more here....

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. ChickenPox

    ChickenPox Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When I start losing chicks like I that suspect cocci. You can treat with sulmet or corrid. Although with them coming straight from the hatchery and I'm assuming they haven't been around other birds, it's odd that they would get it. Not unheard of though.

    I doubt it had anything to do with the temp. With that much room, they could get out of the way of the lamp and self regulate.

    Maybe switch to a medicated feed? It's not uncommon to lose some.......50 is a lot of chicks. It could very well be just a fluke. I lost one myself the other day. :(
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. iawoodchip

    iawoodchip Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm new also. On my first batch. I lost one about that age, with a full crop. I suspected it had eaten a bunch of wood shavings. I put a dish of sand, for grit, in with them, & they all tried it. Just a thought on my part.
    Jim
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. redrangerfan

    redrangerfan New Egg

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    Sep 8, 2014
    Thank you for the reply. So far I have not lost anymore chicks since posting this thread. I assume they were getting too hot possibly, so I made a few changes. They were panting at 85 & 88 degrees so I was confused as I was told 90 degrees the second week. I am a professor of watch the birds, use the text books but obviously watch the birds first.

    Also with 52 birds I guess your going to lose a few to inherit weakness, unknown health issues etc. As I considered setting up a brooder I decided to go with a 8 ft circular pool that was 24 inches high. I put paper down on the bottom and 3-4 inches of pine shaving on top. I used 2 metal conduit in which I laid across the brooder and hung my feeders and waters off the ground using them. The other thing I did was get 4 panels that are see through greenhouse sheets to lay across the top when they were chicks, but left an opening. after a few days I only used two leaving a gaping area for fresh air roughly 3 feet.

    I noticed that the panels really helped to keep the temp regulated better, but left less air and venting for breath ability so I just took them all off after the beginning of week 2 and have not lost a one since. Someone mentioned that with the birds pooping etc the build up of that could have been an issue even with a 3 ft opening and created toxic air. I'm changing the shavings once a week due to the amount of bedding and the bird quantity.

    I appreciate your input on this, so far it just looks like calculated inherit loss
     
  5. ChickenPox

    ChickenPox Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Glad you haven't lost any more! Are you brooding them outside? I live in GA as well, and with this heat, I don't even have a lamp on the babies in the outside brooder. They get enought heat from each other as long as I have at least 10 or so, even at night. Even then, the one I lost was due to heat....on the day the index was well over 100. Good luck with your remaining babies!
     
  6. KCMOLisa

    KCMOLisa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    From what I have read, these birds do not need the heat that the regular breeds need. I have read on the Meat Bird forum about a lot of people having theirs outside with no heat with temps in the 60s and 70s at two weeks old. Also, with 50 of them, they should be able to stay warm by huddling if they need to, so I would err on the side of making it cooler in there rather than hotter. If you notice them huddling a lot, then raise the temp. It doesn't really sound like temperature was your problem, though. I don't think a few degrees either way is going to cause them to die.

    You said you give them fresh water twice a day. Does that mean they don't have water the rest of the time? It's very important that they can drink whenever they want. I have Cornish X, not Rangers, but I know even at 7 days old, they drink a lot more than I was expecting.
     
  7. iawoodchip

    iawoodchip Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for the thumbs up. I was also letting them try some meal worms, oat meal. eggs & all the treats folks talk about, in small amounts, so I added some grit with the sand. The rest of the six did great. 3 Cornish went to freezer camp, & the 2 BO's are each doing a egg a day @ 27 weeks
    Jim
     
  8. redrangerfan

    redrangerfan New Egg

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    Sep 8, 2014
    Yes i'm east of Atlanta near Conyers Ga area. It is warm, I noticed these chicken prefer mid to high 80's thus far. I may have killed them keeping 90+ like the rule of thumb states. It is hot, they are in a garage, nice fans but not direct air. Anything above 88 @ 2 weeks these guys start to pant. So I am keeping it around 85 right now, In the 80's they are in heaven!
     
  9. redrangerfan

    redrangerfan New Egg

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    Thank you for the reply! I change their water twice a day, they have access to food and water 24/7. When I'm changing out 1 water, they have another to quench their thirst at for a few minutes until I change and clean their water. I have noticed that they love 80's temps. anything above and they pant at 2 weeks old. I have not lost another chick and I ditched the heat lamp except in eve when temp drops I leave in on and string it up high to keep in in the 80's. It has been steady 90's here and hot! I like this breed so far alot, I just wanted to make sure I was not killing them with textbook rule of thumbs. I have spent dozens of hours watching, and learning what they seem to like and for the red ranger after a few days I would ditch the 90's all together here in Ga, late fall. I'm glad to hear they are a hardy bird with people keeping them in 60's and 70's at 2 weeks. I feel less stressed now and hope it's all no stress to the freezer from here on out! Thanks again for the reply!
     

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