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Date Posted: 13:01:49 07/10/08 Thu
Author: Dave H
Author Host/IP:
Subject: First hatch - reply to Rhonda


Thanks for replying on my other thread about my first chick dying. I was feeding my chick gamebird starter crumble from our local feed store. I ground it down further in a food processor but it was pretty fine to begin with. I never saw the chick eat it until I dipped a slice of cucmber in it and laid it in his favorite corner, then he ate all the crumbs off the slice as well as a good deal of the slice itself. I saw him drink water several times so I don't think he was thirsty.

My brooder is a large polyethylene storage tote. I have a layer of rubber shelf liner in the bottom, and two plastic container lids for food and water. The water conainer has flattened marbles in it to keep the chick from getting wet. Besides putting food in the dish, I also scattered some around the floor of the brooder. One thing I forgot to do until the chick was a couple days old was to put some grit in with the food.

For heat I have a 65 watt floodlamp in a clamp-on reflector about 10 inches from the floor of the brooder at one end. There's a brick on each side of the light to hold the heat in. The lamp is on a dimmer so I could try to regulate the temperature somewhat. It didn't help much - the temeprature could go as low as 80 overnight and up to 100 on a hot day. I never saw the chick act like it was cold, though. It would roam around investigating, then settle in next to a brick so its head was in the shadow to sleep.

I wonder if the temperature extremes might have been the problem, or the lack of grit for the first couple of days. Also, the day before it died I gave the chick a piece of grape. Could that have been a mistake?


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