5 dead chicks why?


In the Brooder
Jun 22, 2016
I have two hens that go broody at the same time together. They tag team I suppose. I have had five dead (one almost dead) and so far only one live chick. I don't understand why. Are we doing something wrong letting them do it together or is there something wrong with them? We've been letting them do it naturally. We do separate them but that's it. We don't incubate. We are new to having chickens so any insight or advice is much appreciated. They went broody in the spring and we only got one chick out of that clutch as well. It's been well over 21 days. She is still sitting on eggs while the other takes care of the chick. Please help! Thank you so much.
It's hard to say, honestly. Possibly weak babies, bad bacteria making its way into the eggs, and sometimes the hens themselves will get startled by a hatching chick and will try to kill it in defense of her nest. I'm sorry for your losses! Is there any other details you may have left out?
If these eggs that the broodies are sitting on are from your own flock, you could have a virus that is being passed to these chicks through the eggs from the hens that laid them. This has happened to me.

The only way to be certain what is making your chicks sick and killing them is to have a necropsy done on the dead chicks. Call your local agricultural extension office and they can tell you a lab where you can have it done. Meanwhile refrigerate the dead chicks until you can get them to a lab.
Not really. We had two sick chickens one we had to put down and never new what was wrong. The other is doing ok just wheezing and can't bawk. They were separated at first sign of anything and all the others seem fine. The non bawking one is still separated because I don't know if she's still sick. Three rounds of antibiotics and dewormed. They all had worms. She layed her clutch before we noticed the sickness.
You should move the whole family out of the nest that they hatch in. In Nature mother hen does this right after hatching because preditors will smell the odour from hatching eggs so mum takes off with the chicks in tow, if she can't do this she gets very frustrated and excited and will trample all the chicks in her quest to get away. I move them into a small coop on grass and they are as happy as sand boys.Bill
Ok. Well do that. Thank you Bill:) We have another little one now but seems wobbly and can't walk very well. What should I do?
She may have just been hatched. She wasn't there yesterday.
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