why did my chick just die?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Holdav, Apr 1, 2017.

  1. Holdav

    Holdav Just Hatched

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    Apr 1, 2017
    i was out with my chicks and one was sleeping for awhile. it looked like it was sleeping normal. the other chicks kept on stepping on it so i picked it up and moved it out the way and still it was fine. it went back to sleep and a little while later we picked it up to see if it was alright because it was still sleeping and it just stopped breathing while we were holding it. Why did it die? we had 8 chicks together in a big enough box, the temp is around 95-100 they have plenty of water and food, and there bed is like cedar chips with out the cedar or something i don't know what it's called(my dad put together the bed so he knows what it's called) so are we doing something wrong? why did it die? this is our first time raising chicks
     
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC, though I am sorry it is under sad circumstances.
    I am so sorry for your loss -- the fact of the matter is, though, that losses do come with this hobby -- even when you do everything "by the book" sometimes chicks die. I did notice you said the temperature is 95-100, that is rather warm. Even in the first week you really only need 90-95 (many of us don't even measure temperature, choosing to use the behavior of the chicks to judge what is too hot, too cold or just right), at the warmest place within the brooder, and the rest of the brooder should be cooler to allow the birds to be able to self-regulate their temperature by moving into and out of the "warm spot"....the temperature should reduce as the chicks age and feather in as keeping it very high when they have more feathers leads to overheating. Over-heating can lead to death - though there is no way to say for certain that is what caused this chick to pass. How long have you had these chicks? Can you post a photo or two so we can age them by the amount of feathering -- or tell us if they have a few wing feathers, fully feathered wings, some feathers on their chest, etc....those are stages of feathering that allow us to judge their age. What are you feeding our chicks? Is fresh, clean water available at all times? Is the bedding perhaps pine shavings? Are the droppings you see in the brooder normal chicken poop or is it runny,funny colored, smelly, etc? You say the box is "big enough" - how big is it (feet long by feet wide)? Are you using a lamp or alternative heat source?
    I know this seems like a lot of questions - it goes back to there being many potential causes of loss when raising chicks and answering some of these questions helps us take things on/off the list until we are able to maybe narrow down what happened to this chick. In the end, it may just be that this chick was failing to thrive and finally got down enough that there was just no coming back. The trampling you saw is often the first indicator new folks have of something going wrong and, by that point, it is often already too late.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2017
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  3. Holdav

    Holdav Just Hatched

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    Apr 1, 2017
    we got these chicks on thursday. they only have a couple of feathers on their wings. they have clean water available all the time. we have a heat lamp. the box is about 4 feet in length and 2 1/2 feet wide. most of the chicken droppings are normal. the bedding is pine shavings. their food is Purina poultry feed and it says it flock raiser crumbles. Also the kind of chicken it was, was a red sex link.
     
  4. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Hi, welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Sorry you have lost a chick. [​IMG] It happens, unfortunately.

    You have already been given a great answer.

    I also use flock raiser crumbles.

    Even feed store chicks get shipping stress which is usually absorbed by the feed store. If you aren't looking for pasty butt, DO! It can be easy to miss but deadly very fast and very preventable. If you see any chick with poo stuck to their bottom, it needs to be taken care of right away.

    Maybe you were meant to have 7?! [​IMG]
     
  5. Holdav

    Holdav Just Hatched

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    Apr 1, 2017
    thanks for all the help!
     
  6. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    [​IMG]
    All good details - and you are certainly doing a lot of things right!
    Is the heat lamp at one end or over the middle? When you look at your chicks, are they all in one place either in a tight huddle or laying a bit apart with their little wings spread (is it nearest or farthest from the lamp) or are they scattered about the whole area of the brooder being active? In your first post it sounds like the other chicks were all showing signs of being active, happy chicks - is that what you are seeing?
    I, too, use flock raiser - I choose to feed it from the first to last day of a birds' life in my flock because it is an easy way to feed a "mixed" flock (different ages, different genders, laying and not laying due to broodiness, molt, etc ) without worrying about giving someone too much of this or not enough of that -- I do use oyster shell once the birds are laying age so that those birds who are laying can get the calcium they need.
    Really, unless you start to see signs of decline in the rest of the chicks (and I would be keeping a close eye on them for the next couple of days) I would be inclined to chalk this one up to just one of those things - whether shipping stress, failure to thrive, underlying issue, etc.
     
  7. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    And, yes, as noted by @EggSighted4Life noted above, do keep an eye out for pasty butt.

    Is your coop ready for the big day when these babies have outgrown their brooder? The box is certainly large enough for them now, but within a few weeks they'll have outgrown it and be ready for more room to "spread their wings" -- 1 1/2-2 square feet per bird is good at 2-3 weeks of age, and that doesn't include the space occupied by feed and water dispensers......and be sure to be getting a cover over the box (if not already) - something as simple as a piece of wire or netting works (if you don't have any cats or other animals that might try to get on top of it) -- the babies will be flying up to the edge of the box before you know it.
     

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