Sad news. Over the weekend all of my chicks died. I didn’t expect the sick little chick to make it, but the other two seemed perfectly healthy! I’m not sure what happened.
When I found the second dead chick, the remaining one was sitting up against its head. Had it accidentally suffocated its sibling? I’ve been told that this happens often. I just couldn’t tell.
But then I noticed the temperature in the brooder (the box they were in). It was only 83*, when it was supposed to be 90*. I realized that the bulb I had in the heat lamp was only a 40 watt bulb, when it should have been 75-100 watts! I quickly changed it out, and brought the temp up to where it should have been.
The poor little things! I was freezing them to death! Goodness. Messing up with gardening and stuff is one thing, but when you are dealing with a little spirited life, it’s not fun at all. I felt really bad. I should have done more research. I should have been smarter.
I really hate learning the hard way.
On Sunday I could see that our last chick was just not going to make it. She just laid around, and looked as if she were already dead most of the day. Every so often I would pick her up and put her beak into the water to drink. She would drink a little, and then I’d lay her back down. She was weak, and stumbled around when she did try to walk. She died later that afternoon.
Sad. Poor little things.
I just wish I knew for sure what went wrong. Our egg turner had stopped turning at some point during the incubation process. I’m sure that’s why we had such a poor hatch rate. Only three out of the 15 eggs hatched. Were my chicks improperly developed? Did the sick chick spread some form of bad bacteria to the healthy chicks? Did that one get suffocated because I had the temps too low which caused them to huddle so closely together?
Next time, we will do better.
Many of you on Facebook gave me lots of good advice that I wanted to share here:
- Bacteria is the number one killer of baby chicks.
- Make sure the brooder is the correct temperature.
- Check the chicks bottoms to make sure that the droppings aren’t getting stuck there and clogging them up.
- If they get too cold, they will pile up together to keep warm, and the chicks on the bottom could be suffocated.
- It is helpful to add antibiotic drops to the chicks water. One friend even suggested adding one drop of Colloidal Silver to the water.
- Medicated food is an option.
- Add electrolyte and vitamin powder to the water for the first week, and then 4-6 Tbsp sugar per gallon of water. (We did add a little sugar to the water, but not sure it was that much.)
We’ll be saving our money for an egg turner, if we can’t fix the old one we have. Once we have that settled, we’ll try hatching another batch.
A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country. Wife and homeschooling mother of four. Enjoying life, and everything that has to do with self sufficient living.