After three and a half weeks of tender loving care in the brooder, our remaining broiler chicks are on pasture! Of the 155 we started with, we have 136 left, plus 10 of the 26 turkeys. ( the hatchery is replacing a number of the lost turkeys because the loss was in the first 72 hours) It’s normal to lose a few and I’m guessing since this is our first time with broilers, our loss rate would be a bit higher than normal. But “The Tragedy” that ensued Thursday resulted in the loss of 10 babies and a sleepless night for us.
Everything was fine Thursday morning. But when went went to check on them Thursday night, we found the dead babies. The bell waterers were too low to the ground and the chicks had kicked bedding up in the trays which weighed them down. This caused them to shut off so no water was flowing in. With a daytime high temp of 85 degrees, the chicks became over heated and some unfortunately perished. We took the ones that were lethargic, which was many of them, and helped them get to water. We propped both brooder doors up to get more air flowing. Within a couple of hours, they were better. We stapled chicken wire across the opening and left the door propped all night. They went on grass Friday and today they look wonderful!
We definitely will need to go back to the drawing board with our brooder and tweak it a bit more. The bedding got too hot even without the light bulb. And moisture seemed to come from the ground which made it too humid in there. We’ll have about a month to work on it before our next batch of babies arrive.