*Update* (No longer) Losing broiler chicks!

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by dltc96, Apr 14, 2011.

  1. dltc96

    dltc96 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 26, 2010
    Colorado
    I'm not sure what we're doing wrong. We lost 3 in the first 48 hours (they arrived Monday morning), and I attributed that to the stress of going through the mail. Then we lost another yesterday, and one more while we slept last night. We started out with 26, now we seem to be losing them left and right. At this rate, I won't have any left by the end of the month!

    All of our laying chicks are doing great (aside from a bit of pasty bottom that we promptly took care of). They are in separate brooders and eating different feed. The layers are on a medicated starter feed (Nutrena), the broilers are on a locally mixed higher protein feed.

    The heat lamps had been keeping the temp. at 98 or so, the corners of the brooder were staying around 80 (during the day, it gets colder at night). We had 2 lamps in with the meaties, but thought they might be getting too hot, so we turned one of them off (now it's staying around 95 with the corners at 65-ish). The water has "Broiler Booster" added, and we had added sugar for the first 24 hours. Everything was disinfected and dried before the chicks arrived.

    They all seemed fine when I checked on them last night before going to bed (2:30 - I'm a bit of a night owl), but one was dead this morning. They also seemed fine yesterday morning before I went to work (8:00), but my wife had one of them die right in front of her later that morning (9:30 or so). Is it normal to lose them after a few days of being fine, or are we missing something?

    Any suggestions are appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2011
  2. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    what do they look like when dead; on thier backs, curled up, or flat like pancakes?
     
  3. dltc96

    dltc96 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 26, 2010
    Colorado
    The one this morning was flat. We witnessed two dying, they just seemed to have no energy and were laying down like they were going to sleep. The others were just laying there like they were sleeping (feet tucked under and neck stretched out).
     
  4. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    flat usually means a pile up. adding another light or lowering your lights so that they have to spread out more usually works.
    I would also give some PolyViSol just to make sure it isn't weakness from shipping.
     
  5. PotterWatch

    PotterWatch My Patronus is a Chicken

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    Apr 22, 2008
    Virginia
    Meat birds seem to be more affected by shipping stress in my experience. If your birds arrived on a Monday, they were probably in route for several days. It sounds like you are doing all you can. What was their hatch date?
     
  6. dltc96

    dltc96 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 26, 2010
    Colorado
    KatyTheChickenLady - I was afraid that might be the case this morning. We had turned one lamp off because we thought we might have been overheating them. We may need to keep both lamps on at night and only one during the day.

    PotterWatch - I think the hatch day was the 8th. That would have put them at 3 days on Monday and 6 days today.
     
  7. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 1, 2008
    Yorkshire, Ohio
    I think they are dying from dehydration. It sounds to me it's too hot under the lamp and too cold outside it. Are they sitting right at the edge of the circle the heat lamp creates on the floor? Put the thermoneter a few inches outside the heat lamp ring and see what the temp is. I'm guessing it's cooler than you think. If it's too cold outside that ring, they won't be comfortable so don't move. Then, if at the same time it's too hot under the lamp, they end up dying from dehydration because it's too hot. I had this same thing happen to me this year. I solved it be corraling them in a smaller area where the temp was a consistant 90-95 degrees, and didn't lose any after that. And no, it is not normal to lose many after the first day or 2.
     
  8. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    well there you have it. give them plenty of room to get away from the heat, but also keep it warm enough under the lights that they don't want to pile.
     
  9. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yorkshire, Ohio
    Quote:Until recently, I always gave them plenty of room away from the lamps, but have now discovered if it isn't warm enough in that space, you're just as bad off.
     
  10. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    Add another waterer.
     

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