Day Old Chicks Dying...Help!


8 Years
Apr 15, 2011
Northern Idaho
Hello, am hoping to get some help from someone who has experienced this before.
1) What type of bird , age and weight (does the chicken seem or feel lighter or thinner than the others.)BBS bantam Ameraucaunas, almost 2 oz.
2) What is the behavior, exactly. They looked fine this morning, very chatty. When I just looked at them, there are about 8 dead, 4 almost dead, only 2 still up and seem fine.

3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms? See above.
4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms? Yes, death. Some are laying on their backs, some on sprawled out on their tummys.
5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma. NO.
6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation. I have no idea, that's why I'm posting. Everything was great until just now.
7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all. I provided them water with electrolytes (Chick Saver) and Chick Starter feed. I dipped each of their beaks in the water
8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc. I have them on paper towels over shavings, some poop looks normal, but some is watery.
9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far? Gave water with a dropper to the healthy ones
10 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet? Treat it my self.
11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.
12) Describe the housing/bedding in use: I have them on paper towels over shavings.

What can this be? The waterer was brand new and washed and dried it with DAWN. The brooder is also new washed and dried it as well. Heat has been constant at 95 degrees. I bought these chicks on a BYC auction from a reputable breeder. Another person bought the same eggs and recieved them the same day as I did, so I will contact them to see how their chicks are doing!


8 Years
May 28, 2011
Foothills of NC
Very odd. The only thing I can think of is stress during shipping. One never knows how the package is handled at the USPS and I certainly have nothing good to say about them. It could have been really cold, or maybe dehydration/starvation, or rough handling during transport. I'm so sorry this is happening to you and your chicks.


8 Years
Nov 28, 2011
NE Alabama
Where did you get the chicks? hatchery or eggs you hatched? If its from hatchery give them a call asap and let them know what happened. They will replace them. Just a thought and I know you were well meaning is it possible that they aspirated from you using the dropper to give them water? Chicks can go a couple of days with no food or water they have the egg sac that they absorb to take care of them for a while. I think that touching their beaks to the water to let them know where it is fine. None of my post is meant to make you feel bad or hurt you sometimes us well meaning human interfer sometimes when it may not be necessary because we dont know any better. Sorry for your loss.


In the Brooder
8 Years
Dec 26, 2011
Sheridan, AR
My Coop
My Coop
I had one die like that. I got mine from Ideal hatchery and one of my California White's had pale looking legs and was just a bit more quiet than the others with watery poop, but still ate and drank. She was dead later that day. Thankfully I didn't lose any more.

I'm sorry to hear about your baby chicks. I hope the last two make it.


Staff PhD
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
13 Years
Jan 25, 2007
Everett WA/Corvallis OR
Take it you hatched these chicks out? If so, they really do not need anything but pure clean water. It can be pretty easy to overdose them on electrolytes which is basically a mix of salts and sugars. But if they were fine in the morning, sounds like something happened in the middle of the day... not sure what either.

Afterbirth in a humid incubator does reek in it's own "special" way. First poops will be green, watery and slimy as it's digested egg yolk stuff. It will firm up when the food they are eating makes it through the digestive tract.


Flock Mistress
Premium Feather Member
14 Years
Sep 6, 2007
Corydon, Indiana
JacRat has a good point. In a brooder, it should be 90 or so at one end and cooler at the other so they can move themselves away from the heat. Also, make sure you grind up the chick crumbles so they are small enough for the chicks.


9 Years
Feb 12, 2010
Good question... Chicks are way easier to fry then freeze. They need a place to get out from under the heat. I like to have a hot place 95 degrees and a cool place 80s or less for them to get to. My first batch of chicks that I had I fried a few from to high of heat. And they flipped over in their backs like your describing.


10 Years
Apr 22, 2009
I asked because I have heard this happen quite often. We get so worried about them that we sometimes over compensate... we are all guilty of that!

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