Chick died suddenly...


Jun 18, 2017
Good evening all, I pray everyone is doing well.

As the title suggests my wife and I had a chick die recently and we are just looking for some answers of why it may have happened.

Here is the back story, my wife's parents found a lone baby chick wondering around our neighborhood while on their walk. Despite our efforts of looking for the mother hen we could not locate her. So my wife and I opted to be its adoptive parents.

We got it some small seeds that it pecked at, water in a dish and a cardboard box to house it. It was pretty late at that time so we weren't able to get it a brooding light and since we were worried about the cats in the neighborhood we brought it inside when night fell.

The next morning we checked and it seemed weak but once we took it outside to the morning sun and held it to give it warmth it was fine. That same day we bought it starter feed, a water dispenser, and a brooding light to keep it warm. I did a whole bunch of research on brooding chicks and how to care for them and things to be concerned about when caring for them. It took to the feed and drank water on its own. When night came we brought it inside again but this time with the brooding light. I forgot to get a thermometer so I had to gauge the heat through feeling and distance from the chick.

On the the next morning, my grandmother said that the chick was peeping all night so we checked it and it seemed fine. Was sleeping where I had the light set up and with a regular thermometer I found to use it read 104 degrees. I pulled the light away and kept monitoring the chick throughout the day.

The chick stayed sleeping for a REALLY long time through out the morning and afternoon. It didn't get up or go or drink. I was able to make the chick drink by putting its beak in the water and it would scoop up and swallow. The chick was still pooping and breathing and after reading some forums here that said it's ok for chicks to sleep for extended periods of time my wife and I thought the chick was ok. We left to get some bedding and a digital thermometer so I can finally tell what the temperature is and not have to worry but sadly on our arrival we find the little chick away from where the brooding bulb was heating. I found it in the back of the box, on it's side legs laid out, almost like it had fallen over. I checked it and there was no mistaking if it was dead. There was no breathing movement, and when I picked it up it felt rigged like rigor mortis had set in.

Both my wife and I are sad and angry at ourselves because we tried so hard to nurture the chick and we felt we had missed something. As I said before, we are looking for some answers, advice, and honestly some closure.

Thank you and God bless you all.


Suffering Succotash
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jul 16, 2015
Sorry you lost it. My thoughts would be it got too hot and died of heat exhaustion. I generally start brooding at 85-90 than drop the temperature weekly from that. It pays to use a thermometer to set up the initial temperature. The chick would have peeped constantly if it was uncomfortable like it did, sorry.

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