Mysterious chick loses

Chic Rustler

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To date i have hatched out and raised around 400 chicks and have never had this issue. In the past couple weeks i have lost around 30.

It all started when my daughter insisted i take a hatch of chicks from a friend of hers. The family was getting rid of all their chicks because of tickets from the city as the story goes. Beings we only have 3 hens atm i said what the heck and took them against my better judgement.

Our brooder has always been the same. A 5x3 ish wooden box i built from scrap some years ago with a 1x2 mesh top and a heat lamp hanging from the roof of the shed. As always i added 4 inches of pine chips and set it all up for the chicks. The next day we got 10 from the family.


The chicks started dying off 1 by 1. Because the nights are still cold i went and bought 15 more from TSC in hopes that they will all stay warm. i also loaded my incubator with 40ish eggs and got it going. About the same time i ordered 30 pullets and 25 meat birds online due to arrive in april.


Well the chicks kept dying. All of the 10 we got from that family and 7 of the ones we gor from tsc died. Then i had a great hatch. All of the fertile egga hatched which came out to around 30. I cleaned out the brooder, washed the waterer and feeder and put my chicks in the brooder along with the surviving tsc chicks that were much bigger by now. In a week all of my hatch died except 8. The larger tcs chicks are doing well.


ive done everything as i usually do. im worried those original 10 brought something with them. And in other news the chicks i ordered will arrive tomorrow or the next day.


so i moved the larger chicks out to the grow out pen. i made a makeshift brooder for the 8 others from a rabbit cage. Then i carried my brooder outside and sprayed it down with 20% bleach solution, let that sit a while and then scrubbed it out with hot water and soap. then i sprayed it out with a hose and then aprayed it down with bleach solution again and left out to dry in the sun until the chicks arrive. The only other thing i know to do is switch to medicated chick starter.


you guys wish me luck. pics to follow for reference
 

Chic Rustler

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makeshift rabbit cage
20240331_195938.jpg
brooder
 

Chic Rustler

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my old brooder after cleaning. its been a good one and i stand it up on one end when not in use so it can double as a work bench
 

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Chic Rustler

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Agree..sounds like something others brought in. The scrub & bleach is what I'd do. Hope it's over 🤞
me2. i got $200 tied up in the shipment of chicks. wood is just so porus. im thinking on building another, but it would be cost i dont need (lumber has gotten rediculous) and it would be tough to get done in time along with my regular obligations.

looks like tomorrow is gonna be a rainy day so i may not hace a sunny day to do the job. . i took the torch to it for a while and got it somewhat dry. i might do that again to try and burn any pathogens out of the wood.

obviously ill keep the old and new chicks seperated and im picking up some medicated feed and new bedding tomorrow but im still not sure thats enough
 

farmerjan

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The only other suggestion I would have is to paint the whole inside of the brooder with a good enamel paint to seal it .... but obviously you cannot do it with having just washed it and needing it to use again.
Agree something came in with the other chicks...
I also would go with the medicated feed... and make sure the chicks are warm enough and have spaces to get under the heat and also away from the heat.
On top of that, you might want to consider corrid in the water... yes I know they should not have coccidiosis that early,,,, and sometimes you do not see it soon enough... and they may not show typical signs of it either... and salmonella can hit them...
Were there any signs of sickness??? Trouble breathing, holding their heads out like their throats were not clear, runny manure, bloody... anything...???

My biggest concern would be Mareks disease... if their chicks had been vaccinated and put with your that were not... Read up on it... don't know if it would affect them as baby chicks... but some hatcheries will vaccinate for it... and I have heard that they should not be housed with non-vaccinated chicks... but I am no expert on it...
 

farmerjan

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Also, to get it drier, use a cheap utility type heater (milk house heaters we called them) ... stand the brooder on one end, face the inside and let the heater blow into it to dry it more... and I would do one more spray down with bleach water.... to get it a little damp but not really wet... and dry again.... if possible...
 

Chic Rustler

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ive not noticed much sign of anything. they seem fine until they dont. ive found 2 in the process of dying. low temps the last week have been really mild and highs are 70s and 80s. i dont think they are getting too cold.


painting it crossed my mind as well. wish i had more time.
 

flowerbug

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sunlight works well, but a UV light will work faster.

if it is viral the medicated feed likely won't make much of a difference.
 
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