All my Brahma chicks have died!greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
I have one mating pair of Light Brahmas, they came from McMurray hatchery as day-old chicks around July last year. I've kept them cooped together for several months now and collected their eggs. The first batch I incubated I had 1 hatch. It seemed perfectly fine, but died with no warning at 10 days old.
This second batch I hatched 6 Brahma chicks. They were all very vigorous and seemed healthy. I lost 1 in the first few days. I placed the rest outside in the brooder house at about 8 days old. This "house" is wrapped in plastic for insulation, is heated by a 250 watt red bulb (the type of heat bulb used in bathrooms) suspended directly over the brooder cage. The lows that night got down to about 40 (we live in N Texas), I lost all 5 of my Brahmas while all of the Buff Orpington chicks did fine.
I am using 2 Little Giant styrofoam incubators. The first where the eggs stay from day 1-17 has an auto-turner and fan and is kept at a constant 99.5 degrees with all resavoirs full of water. This keeps the humidity around 65%. About 4 days before hatch is due I place them in the 2nd incubator which does not have a turner or fan and is kept at 100 degrees. I add a wet sponge and bowl of water in addition to spraying the eggs with water about every other day. This keeps the humidity at about 75%.
Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions? Hubby thinks that Brahmas must just be sensitive birds. Does anyone here raise Brahmas, do you know of any special needs they have?
An additional note: a few months ago my Brahma Rooster went from crowing normally to crowing like he had larengitus. I thought perhaps he had a cold, but he hasn't gotten over it. He still sounds horrible when he crows. Could he be sick, and perhaps this has something to do with the dying chicks?
As usual, thanks in advance for your help!
-- Devera Morgan (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 13, 2002
Devera, did you contact Murray McMurray hatchery to see if other customers had this trouble? Perhaps they could help you.
-- Charleen in WNY (email@example.com), March 13, 2002.
According to Ohio State Univ. Extension , http://ohioline.osu.edu/b633/b633_4.html, Four factors of major importance are temperature, humidity, ventilation, and turning. Sounds as if you did all of these correctly. Then I would look at the eggs that did not hatch, “A good hatch from a small incubator is indicated when 70 percent or more of the eggs hatch, and the chicks are active and fluffy.”
Might look at: Univ. Calif Davis, COMMON INCUBATION PROBLEMS: CAUSES AND REMEDIES, http://animalscience.ucdavis.edu/Avian/pfs33.htm
-- BC (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 13, 2002.
I'd guess that they got too cold in the brooder house. If they hatch healthy and run around and grow well until you put them out, it just seems like a temperature problem to me. I'm no expert, though.
-- Jennifer L. (Northern NYS) (email@example.com), March 13, 2002.
Doubt the roo's hoarse crow is linked to this. Temp is extremely important when hatching out your own chicks. make sure they're in a brooder where the temp is 95* at one wk old, decrease to 90* at 2 wks old, decrease by 5* every week. chicks that aren't hen-raised tend to get pasty vent, which can be fatal if not caught within a few hrs. you might check their bottoms to make sure all's clear for them to relieve themselves.
Why don't you just let that hen hatch those chicks? it would make life much easier on you and would make her a happy camper. go ahead and gather her eggs, keep them in the fridge until you see that she or any other of your hens are broody(which could be soon since it's spring). when you see one go broody, let her fridge eggs come to room temp, then slip them under her. Really, watching a mother hen with her babies is the most absolute precious thing. and more importantly you have nothing to worry about, momma hen takes care of everything and the chicks really seem to be more healthy.
-- Buk (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 13, 2002.
If all of the chicks cluster at one end of the brooding area, it means there is a draft from the area directly across from the huddle. If they huddle under the light, they are to cold. If they huddle away from the light, they are too hot.
-- Terri (email@example.com), March 14, 2002.
It is essential that the chicks not catch a chill at that young age. I always keep chicks in the house until they have their own feathers. Keep them in a room that can be easily dusted, chick dust gets everywhere. I have lost chicks in the past to internal disorders. They usually show signs of listlesness, tired, breathing diffuculty etc. It is so difficult to dispatch them, but they do not ever get better, and may pick up a bug to give to the others in their weakened state.
I think your problem is drafts or chills. Keep the babies warm!
-- Chenoa (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 15, 2002.
I also raise Light Brahmas as a hobby. I have found them very hardy and not at all sensitive. Pre incubation: the eggs should be between 40 - 60 degrees until ready and no more then 2 weeks old will improve the odds.
Incubation: try natural.
Brooder temps: temps must be followed, with 5 degree drops; and no draft from opening that allows convection. Too hot is bad; brood temps are a key. I am very orthodox with temps. All the basics clean water and medicated feed have worked for me. I get real picky during first few weeks. I have a bunch of six week old Brahmas outside today . I let everyone out after 3 months; free range during the day and they roost only at night secure. Free range is the way to go; dust baths and health; ect. Crowing I know what you mean. I have had young roosters over doing it. too. No he is not sick. Feel free to email me. Enjoy the Brahmas. Good Luck JJ
-- Joseph J (email@example.com), April 18, 2002.