sometimes you HAVE TO sacrifice some chicks to save others

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by maf2008, Sep 8, 2009.

  1. maf2008

    maf2008 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 19, 2009
    Sometimes you HAVE TO sacrifice some chicks to save others

    I hatched the prettiest batch of chickies ever! (48 strong and fluffy) [​IMG] but two late comers were "weak and sickly" but I moved the 48 healthy day old chicks to the brooder pen inside my big coop......

    I should have put down the weak ones. They died anyway. [​IMG]
    But I rushed to put the strong chicks in the outside pen too soon.....

    The outside pen had 1/2 inch of water in it, (I sprayed my meat birds with the hose to keep them cool......) so I added pinshavings to make mud and covered up the water and everything looked ok until this morning.... [​IMG]

    Did you know day old chicks can drown in 1/4 inch of MUD? I lost about 14 total chicks [​IMG] and the rest I brought back into the house and put back in the brooder that they were in the first place..... [​IMG]

    Moral.... take care of the strong ones keep them on the brooder pen and just do not worry about sick weak chicks. Nature's way is best. I was so wrong..... [​IMG] I lost some pretty chicks and I am really shook up.
  2. Elite Silkies

    Elite Silkies Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 17, 2009
    My Coop
  3. joletabey

    joletabey SDWD!!!!

    Apr 9, 2009
    western NC
    I am so sorry- this whole chicken thing is "live and learn", isn't it? Thank heaven for BYC where people can share.
  4. tulie13

    tulie13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2009
    NW Florida
    The chicks ALL need to be kept at 95-100 degrees or so for the first week, then gradually come down from there. They might have just CHILLED to death in the mud. [​IMG] If there are two that are "sickly" runts out of a batch of chicks, there is either A) a disease in the chicks that they all have already been exposed to or B) there are simply two chicks that "weren't meant to survive" (sometimes the hatcheries can get eggs to hatch that Mama Hen would not have hatched, these can result in "bad chicks" and they just die - standard infant mortality rate stuff).

    Best thing to do if you have a whole batch of chicks is to try to keep them all warm, dry, well-fed and well-watered, and clean. Standard brooder situation. If you have a couple "sickly" ones but no way to isolate them, you need to just be prepared for them to not make it, and watch the rest to make sure it's NOT a spreading disease of some sort.

    Sorry for your loss, and sorry you had this hard lesson. [​IMG] [​IMG]
  5. maf2008

    maf2008 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 19, 2009
    In texas it has been 107 degrees in the day time and 74 at night ... i did not think that that was too cool. But I lived and learned that even a little mud will kill a chick.... I just can't believe what a stupid thing I did... I lost 14 perfect babies [​IMG] to save 2 and they died anyway! I will NEVER take a chick out of a brooder before 5 days old!!! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] Now I know in the brooder at 90 100 degrees!

  6. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    [​IMG] Awww, I'm so sorry for your loss. But we live, we learn, we often learn the hard way, and we remember our lessons & share our knowledge with others. You may have lost those chicks, but I bet you'll save many others by posting your experiences with us.

    I can see putting chicks outdoors during the day when it's so very hot outside, but not when they're day-olds, maybe not until they're a week or so. I'm here in sunny South Florida where it always feels like the inside of a brooder pen. But I keep my hatchery chicks in a big box with a light at one end, so they have a warmer place to go if they feel chilled. When they're about a week or so old I'll keep them in a safe enclosure outdoors during the day, and bring them back into the box at night until they've grown bigger & gotten feathery.

    Was it overnight that the chicks died? Was there a heat lamp in your brooder pen? If so, was there just one lamp or more? Because it may not have been the water that killed them, but maybe they were smothered by the others. Forty-eight chicks would need 3-4 heat sources so they won't bunch up in a big pig pile to sleep in at night.

    Remember too that there is often some attrition in every batch of chicks, even ones that look big & strong at hatch. Of course we try to minimize their risks and provide the ideal conditions, but even then there are sometimes mysterious losses. You may have lost some, if not all, of those chicks to something else.

    Thank you for sharing this unfortunate episode with us.
  7. maf2008

    maf2008 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 19, 2009
    Thank you. [​IMG] Your words really made me feel better. I was really upset. I still am but coming to grips with my loss. I guess I was feeling good about the hatch and that I had plugged up snake holes.. I felt that this time I will not have any losses.... [​IMG]

    See.... I have hardware cloth all around the coop at top area for ventilation... we have found hold after hole where snakes get in... nasty little monsters. [​IMG] I spend each morning patching up "possible snake entrances" with wire.... last night some of the chicks climbed into the mud and hard ware cloth at the bottom...... this is where some of them died too. I have found 2 snakes in the last month that were sleeping off a meal of 2 or 3 chicks each..... They did not get far.... All holes are patched up. There are so many ups and downs with chicks.

    I did put on another batch of 111 eggs! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] I guess I will get a few out of that batch too. I WONT save any litte weak ones and focus on my bigger strong chicks) I will have a bigger brooder in the barn too. Thanks for your kind words.....[​IMG]

  8. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

    Aug 17, 2008
    Larry, KS
    My Coop
    I'm so sorry for your loss- that really is awful to experience, I'm sure!! [​IMG]

    You can give yourself and the weaker one a break: You might consider having a separate box for smaller or weaker chicks. I can't imagine all of my chicks hatching at the same time or close enough together to allow me to put them all together the first day.

    The fresh ones aren't strong enough for the mass of energetic ones, and some of them take a little longer to get strong- that doesn't mean they're destined for death, nor that they are diseased. Some take a couple of days, but they can live and grow, if not trampled. That's not to say there aren't a few who will die, too.

    Do yourself a favor and don't expect them to all be in the same condition at the same time. If you're hatching large numbers, make a separate bin- like a rubbermaid tub, and set it up as a transition brooder for them to get strong enough to join the masses.

    You don't have to assume they'll die and just give up on them.

    Best of luck with the next batch, and remember, 100 degrees for the first week, but give them room to get away from the heat by putting the heat at one end of the brooder. Then drop the temps by 5 degrees each week. They can't take 75 degree nights until they have real feathers, unless they're under a broody hen.

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