Chick mortality rate

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Chickerdeedoo, Aug 11, 2011.

  1. Chickerdeedoo

    Chickerdeedoo Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 30, 2009
    Last Friday we got our first batch of mail order chicks. Since then we've lost a
    few (six, and maybe today one more, out of 17) and we were wondering what
    the usual mortality rate for chicks is (if there is one)?
    Thank you!
  2. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    Never know what sort of ride the chicks are going to get when they come through the mail.

    Most orders I may lose one, two at most, on mail ordered chicks. That's either dead in the box or died within the first forty eight hours. But I've had orders where I've lost as many as eight. Some folks have lost all of them. It's all a matter of how hard their trip through the mail was.

    I don't do it for chicks that I hatch myself, but for mail order chicks I always dissolve a cup of sugar to a gallon of warm water and add poultry vitamins/electrolytes. It can sometimes mean the difference between saving or losing them if they've had a rough ride. After the first six hours or so I dump the sugar water and refill with just plain water with vitamins/electrolytes mixed in which is what they get right on for the first two weeks.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2011
  3. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2009
    I don't think there can be any "usual" mortality rate because there are so many factors that can impact it. I got our initial 5 chicks as day olds from a neighbor who hatched them out under his broodies. All five survived. Then I hatched out my own chicks the next spring. Out of 15 eggs set, 14 hatched, and all 14 survived to adulthood, raised by their moms.

    Shipping is stressful on a chick, and it's even more stressful at times of year with weather extremes (cold or heat). Then there is the brooding situation to consider. When you use an artificial brooder, there can be issues with keeping the chicks too hot or too cold, etc.

    If you're still losing chicks nearly a week after they've arrived, I'd take a look at the brooding setup to make sure there isn't something there that's causing the deaths.
  4. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 16, 2009
    I'm sure that the shipping is the main problem.

    I have only ever lost two chicks out of hundreds that I have hatched.
  5. Chickerdeedoo

    Chickerdeedoo Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 30, 2009
    Okay, we lost the seventh one today.
    One possible symptom, the chicks have rather large accumulations of poops on
    their rear ends. The accumulations (actually about the size of a small marble)
    are rather hard, but where they're exiting the chicks they are soft.
  6. BarredRock971

    BarredRock971 Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 20, 2011
    I'm sorry you lost your chicks. [​IMG] With the poop, that's pasting up. It hardens on their vent, and eventually they can't poop. They can die from that. If you ever see that on the other chicks, clean it off with a damp paper towel.
    Good luck! [​IMG]
  7. Elphaba2140

    Elphaba2140 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 20, 2010
    Northern Illinois
    I have ordered from a hatchery two years in a row. Lost 6 of 25 the first year. Lost 8 of 25 the second time. All had poopy butts that needed cleaning daily. I ordered in April the first time and in February this year. I also hatched out chicks on my own from eggs in incubator and under hens. I have never lost one of my chicks that were hatched here. Never had pasty butt with them either. The only difference is the travel/shipping. Just the nature of the beast.
  8. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    The treatment, besides cleaning and then greasing up the butt, is a little molasses in the water, so it looks like weak tea.
  9. danielle82

    danielle82 A Good Egg

    Apr 27, 2009
    Tonasket Wa
    check them daily for pasty butt, you only have to worry about it when they are real little, the older they get the less of a problem it is. Clean it off with warm water, you may have to kinda soak it to get it to come off (its a sensitive area, so be very careful) Keep in mind that the chicks can get cold pretty easy. you can put some mineral oil on after to keep the poop from sticking.
  10. Chickerdeedoo

    Chickerdeedoo Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 30, 2009
    Okay, I just went down and cleaned their little butts. I'm pretty sure that I got everybody.
    @ Flockwatcher -- you mean molasses in their drinking water? Would sorghum be
    a suitable substitute?
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2011

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