Sick chicks help!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by higginskapilla03, Mar 19, 2008.

  1. higginskapilla03

    higginskapilla03 Hatching

    Feb 25, 2008
    I'm on my second day of chicken-keeping, having been surprised yesterday with the delivery of my (canceled) order of 6 day-old chicks. Long story short, we set up a makeshift brooder, got them fed and watered, and they all made it through the night. The chicks had been riding around with the mailman all day, but ate and drank with gusto once we got them inside.

    They all seemed fine when we went on a supply run this morning, with the exception of one who was hunkered down in a corner away from the others. That chick (a Chanteckler, I think) passed away while we were out, poor little thing.

    We have a decidedly less-makeshift brooder, now, with a real feeder and waterer (the kinds that screw onto quart mason jars), and a shrouded red-bulb 250 watt heat lamp to keep them all warm.

    One other chick (Gold-laced Wyandotte, I think) is having trouble. She seems to have a large umbilical stump, and she's stumbling around as if drunk. I hand fed her some crumbles, and she ate well enough, and she drank several large sips of honey-water (for electrolytes) when offered. I covered the umbilical stump with a dab of triple-antibiotic cream and a little bandaid so the other don't peck at it. I tried to separate her from the others so she could rest, but she started cheeping up a storm, so I put her back in with the other 4, where she seemed much happier. What else can I do to help this little chick get better? She is still pretty bright-eyed and active, so I hope she'll pull through.

    The other 4 are happy as can be-- 2 Americuanas, 2 other Chantecklers, and a Silver-laced Wyandotte, and are hopping all over each other, eating and drinking and peeping at one another...

    I'm keeping a close eye on them all, but after their high-stress day yesterday, I don't want to handle them a lot and stress them out even more!

    Any advice would be tremendously appreciated!

    Katie and the kids
  2. horsejody

    horsejody Squeaky Wheel

    Feb 11, 2008
    Waterloo, Nebraska
    What is the temperature in the brooder?
  3. Dawn419

    Dawn419 Lost in the Woods

    Apr 16, 2007
    Evening Shade, AR
    Quote:...and how big or small is the brooder? the brooder in the house or outdoors?

    I found that a 250 watt heat lamp is a bit much for our indoor brooder and have been using an 80 watt red floodlight instead. Also, make sure they can get out from under the lamp to a cooler area, if they want to.

    Hope this is some help!

  4. higginskapilla03

    higginskapilla03 Hatching

    Feb 25, 2008
    The chicks aren't huddled together or anything, nor are they running away from the light. I don't have a thermometer in there to check for sure, but when I hold my hand a chick-level in the brooder, it seems to be sufficiently warm-- 88-90 at least.

    Last night, however, the warming light I had in with them burned out, so I had a heating pad (covered) and several bottles of hot water that they all snuggled together on. I insulated the box-in-puppy crate setup with several blankets and put them in the warmest room in the house. It wasn't great, but the best I could do at the time. We couldn't go out last night to get chick supplies for a bunch of reasons (only car at work w/husband, who couldn't leave until end of shift at 11:30pm, by which time the stores were closed, and I couldn't leave my three little ones to go out for supplies...)
  5. higginskapilla03

    higginskapilla03 Hatching

    Feb 25, 2008
    Okay... The brooder is inside, in the warmest room of the house (probably 70ish degrees), and consists of a small wire-puppy crate (2.5' wide x 2' high x 3.5' long) with a cardboard box inside. The box has a good inch of pine shavings lining the bottom. A double-thickness of thermal blanket is clipped around the sides of the crate. The top is not covered with blanket because the heat lamp is on top in the "back" of the crate-- the can get away if they want to (to the "front").

    Thanks, Dawn for the suggestion of the 80 watt lamp. The lamp is 250 watt, but is a good distance from the chicks... I'm more worried about them not being warm enough than being over heated, kwim?

    There are only 5 chicks in the brooder, and they have ample room to get around.

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