chick mortality


9 Years
Mar 1, 2010
We are very new at this. We purchased 16 Americanus last week. They are inside, large box with shavings, water, feeder and heat lamp. One died the first day and one this morning. Is this normal?
Unfortunately,with baby chicks comes death..hopefully not many and sometimes none. I read someplace allow 25% extra chicks to cover the losses.We have never lost 25% of any hatch here but did loose half of my ordered chicks already this spring.Currently we have about 100 chicks living in my basement-lost 1 yesterday that had been doing fine
You can do everything right but you can't make them live
Hey I'm new too, but I read somewhere that baby chicks have about a 5% death rate - 1 in 20 or so, and then that rate goes down drastically after 2 weeks. I started with 16 and had 1 die the next morning when they were 3 days old. They are 8 days old now so yea, they all seem good to go. Try Storey's Gudie to Raising chickens a very good book on chicks and chickens, hope your chicks all do ok
I lost 12 out of 25 assorted bantams ordered by mail last week. Not sure what happened, but I think they came sick from the hatchery. That's way too high a loss in my opinion!
Sometimes it just happens, but you should check for pasty butt in case you have that going on. It's just what it sounds like, their little backsides get pasted over with feces and they can't poo and then they die. You can clean them up with warm water and a cloth, q-tip, baby toothbrush, etc.

ETA: What kind of shavings are you using? The fumes from cedar can be a problem.
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Have they been on shavings since the first day? Some chicks will eat the shavings, that is not good. It is normal to loose some chicks, but as Kittymomma said, check their backsides for pasty butt. Sometimes you just get a few that don't make it though. Sorry for your loss.
I think one or two is a normal loss rate even though it still sucks! any more than that and I would start looking at your flock management techniques such as feeding/watering/heat and light requirements/cleanliness/health of birds/shelter situation/etc. Make sure you get the details right and the birds should do well despite any lack of experience.

I don't know how I got lucky, but on my first attempt at raising chickens I got 30 and all are thriving, not a single loss or illness in 2 weeks

A good book like Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens or Raising Chickens for Dummies will help so it or check it out at the library ASAP.
It's important they get vitamins, electrolites, and organic apple cider vinegar in their water. Also some live culture plain yogurt. If you do all that and keep them clean and warm, you have done your best.

Their little guts are like a clean slate and you want to populate it with helpuful bacteria before the harmful stuff gets a foothold....hence the yogurt and apple cider vinegar (ACV).

My buddy was suprised I raised 30 out of 30 my first time. He said he always lost a few. I'm not sure if I was lucky, or if it was because I purchased breeders chicks. They shipped all the way from Maryland to Alaska.
I agree immensely with this...I had one DOA chick and a couple on their way out...I immediatley gave them each a small syringe full of vitamin, electrolite warm water mixture...Within 15 minutes my very limp chicks were up and running to the point I could not tell which ones they were...I keep mine on the disposable incontience pads for the first week...I keep a really close eye on anyone that seems to be getting a little weak...If I find one I do the same water mixture and they perk right up...I find the first week to be the touchiest...

Good Luck with your babies!


Edited it to add...I also ground up some oats and gave them some scrambled eggs and yogurt....I think the oats were their favorite!
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