What do baby chicks need and how do i prevent death?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by gracie4857, Apr 20, 2012.

  1. gracie4857

    gracie4857 New Egg

    Mar 18, 2012
    So i have 9, week old chicks and 2 died. [​IMG] We made the broody box that was in a cage for the two mamas(they split up the eggs and both are mothers together?)and there was a narrow maybe 1 inch spot that one tried to squish itself out of. And another person in my household (my sister) thought a chick was stuck when coming out of its egg and tried to hatch it out of there herself. How do i prevent anything else like this happening? I wasnt able to put a picture on here but what commonly happens to them?

    Lastly,what do they need?ex:specific food?special cleaning and housing?
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2012
  2. sunny & the 5 egg layers

    sunny & the 5 egg layers Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 29, 2011
    Chicks can die from all sorts of things. I'm not sure how long your chick was in its egg before your sister helped it, but I don't intervene until they haven't made progress for 24 hours or more from their first pip. How exactly did your sister help the chick hatch? It's important that you stop once you spot blood when you are helping a chick hatch. If you see a good amount of blood, you should put cornstarch, blood stop powder or flour on the blood and place the egg back in the incubator/broody. Did the chick absorb its yolk sac?

    As far as raising chicks, if you are raising them and not a broody hen, then you will need to put them in a small enclosure called a brooder. A brooder can be made of all sorts of things. I use a cage as mine. A heat lamp will also need to be added to the brooder to keep the chicks warm. The chicks have different temperature requirements as they age. A general rule of thumb is to subtract 5 degrees per week of age. (ie: A one week old chick should be kept at 95 degrees, 2 week old chick- 90 degrees, 3 week old chick-85 degrees and so on.) Once they are fully feathered and the temperature they require is the same as the outside temperature, they no longer need a heat lamp. If a broody is raising the chicks, then she will take care of all that.

    Chicks should eat chick starter crumbles until they reach laying age when they should be switched to layer pellets. They can also be raised on flock raiser as well.

    Chicks should have some sort of bedding in their brooder (preferably pine shavings). Never use cedar shavings or newspaper as bedding. You should clean their brooder on a weekly basis (remove old bedding and add new bedding, clean feeder and waterer, clean or add a new roosting bar.).
  3. crazychickenwom

    crazychickenwom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 10, 2012
    Central Ohio
    If I understand you right you have 9 chicks and 2 mamas still alive? For the most part the mamas will do all the work in taking care of their babies. I would certainly block the hole that the little one was trapped in and remind your sister not to attempt to help another chick hatch...

    As far as food goes you should get chick starter and allow all of the chicks and mamas to eat it, the moms will show the babies what to do.
    Of course lots of fresh water is a must, and if you are using a waterer that the chicks could fall into add some marbles or clean rocks to it so they can't drown.

    No special cleaning or housing is necessary, just do for them as you would any of your hens. The moms will help the little ones to know what is and is not food and will be there to keep them safe and warm. If you have other chickens in you coop / run you might want to wait to put them all back together, but that would depend on how protective the mamas are. A simple setup of their own in the run, a space and shelter from the elements with food and water, will help your babies and the other hens you have get used to each other without being able to get at each other.

    If you have any more questions please ask. I am not sure if these were the answers you were looking for, but regardless CONGRATS on your new babies!!
  4. RonC

    RonC Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 28, 2012
    Just hatching they won't need food for 24-48 hours, just water. Might have to show the little ones the water by dipping their beak for a second. They can hatch by themselves, takes several hours sometimes but best left alone. Sorry you lost the two but it happens sometimes. The first week is the most critical. If a mother hen is hatching them then you shouldn't have to help much.

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