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Tragedy! What happened?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by BroodyRoo, Feb 17, 2012.

  1. BroodyRoo

    BroodyRoo In the Brooder

    Feb 10, 2012
    I received my shipment of chicks from Ideal Poultry yesterday morning and set them up in two cages because the peanuts seemed to be fighting with the chicks I'd ordered. I wanted 8 cochin pullets and a jungle fowl. They sent 15 (I believe they are Silver Laced Wyandotte) chicks with for warmth. Three of them looked like they were being picked on/having trouble standing, so to aid them and improve possible survival, I removed those to the container for my cochins.

    The two containers share a heat lamp. They both had food and two sources of water. Same sized containers. Last night, most everyone looked vigorous, but I could see a few of the peanuts laying all the way down all stretched out.. they looked really, really tired? One of my cochins was doing it too. Some time between midnight and six this morning, the light went out. Today, I discover, the cochins are huddled and when I get the light on again, they waddle around, pecking and happy. The peanuts are sprawled out, dying. Four had decided to hog pile in the shallow water dish. A couple are just KO - no obvious reason. There is one making a valiant effort to regain his balance, but not doing so well. He was in the water dish when I found him.

    Now, we do have a cat, but she was locked in the basement for safety reasons. The dog is way too big, and the kids were sleeping. We handled all of them yesterday to pet and snuggle them. Gently. Can anyone help me? I have raised chicks before, but never have I had a tragedy like this. Why did all the peanuts in the box die, but my order, Plus the peanuts in the other container, Live?

  2. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

    Aug 17, 2008
    Larry, KS
    My Coop
    My guess is that the box cooled faster. It must have had less warmth to begin with, though they shared a light.

  3. allpeepedout

    allpeepedout Songster

    Mar 2, 2011
    Southern Indiana
    Sorry you lost some babies. I am not sure how you can get the temperature correct split between two containers unless just a wire wall between them? Have you measured it? Maybe the temp was more correct in the cochin container. When my chicks were stretched out and lethargic, they were seriously overheated. Total speculation: Some of your peanuts, already in bad shape from transport, may have been then overheated, found the water to cool off, then when heat went out chilled to death? Or they were in such bad shape that the chilling from loss of heat source did them in. What a shame for your lamp to go out. Did the bulb die? Hope they're doing OK today.
  4. GableBabble

    GableBabble Ninja Chicken Herder

    May 27, 2010
    As allpeepedout said.

    This might make me sound like a worry wart but we have backup's just b/c of this. My hubbie got all our brooder boxes on thermostats. We have back up lamps on timer set to go off if the temp drops below a certain point for x amount of time. The main lamps are set to turn on a x temp and turn off if the temp gets to x degree. The whole thing is cued into our generator system for emergency's. We also redesigned the boxes so that each has sizes and depth to suit different amounts of chicks and different ages. This all might sound a bit OCD, but I invested 150 dollars in chicks one year and we lost them due to lamp failure in one night. I am a huge penny pincher and I cry over 150 dollars lost for any reason.....lol
  5. BroodyRoo

    BroodyRoo In the Brooder

    Feb 10, 2012
    Thank you. It is a faulty bulb that when you jostle it, it sometimes disconnects, only it worked fine yesterday and we went to bed without touching it. As an update, 9 of my (presumably) deceased 12 birds have perked up and I moved them into the other container. The other does, indeed, have a wire wall as it is a rabbit cage.

    What I want to know now is, why did the cochins plus peanuts huddle, and the peanuts alone scattered? They did not huddle up but walked all over the place and laid down separately. Is it because they are pullets? Isn't huddling supposed to be instinctual?

    Three lost is so much better than 12, but it is still a loss. Am so glad the others are up and about.[​IMG]

    Thanks for your comments. It's a horrible way to wake up.
  6. felidaet

    felidaet Songster

    Dec 10, 2008
    Vancouver, Wa.
    I buy a new heat lamp bulb at the beginning of the season and use the new one in the brooder. In fact I just bought one tonight. I keep the prior year bulb around as a spare. I feel a new bulb is less likely to burn out or stop working than one that has been used in the past. My thought is that bulbs are one 24 x 7 for several weeks, I would think the constant extended heat would be hard on them.

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