dead chick

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by strawbie4, Oct 22, 2008.

  1. strawbie4

    strawbie4 Hatching

    Aug 10, 2008
    I just found our newest chick dead this morning, and am not completely sure why. Due to some unexpected roosters in our bunch, we have 3 different ages in our 4 chickens...two are 5 mos. (black sex linked, production red), 1 is 3 mos. (barred rock), and the newest one was 9 wks., and a leghorn. So the little one has wanted to get in with the big ones, and has tried a few times, but kept getting pecked and scared. So we've been keeping her in a cat carrier inside the coop so that everyone can see each other but not hurt her.

    Yesterday we opened her door, and she went out in the run with the others, but quickly got pecked and scared. She also got wet, because it was rainy and cold (she has all her feathers). I put her back in her carrier. Last night, I went out to close up the coop, and she was really talking, so I held her for a bit (I have developed a soft spot for her). She immediately settled right in next to me and started trilling, and then fell asleep. I did notice that she was kind of wet still.

    I had read on BYC somewhere that a good way to integrate new chickens was to let them roost together, so that's what I had in mind last night. I put her in her carrier, but with the door open, so that she could roost with the others if she wanted. Well, she did come out, and I found her in the corner under the perch this morning. I can't see any injuries on her, but she is definitely dead and already cold.

    Sooo, now we are really sad (my oldest DD is very, very upset), and not sure whether she got pecked to death or something else happened. I feel like I need to understand what happened, so that we can decide whether to try and introduce another chick or just keep our three. And is there something different we should do next time if we do try again?

    Also, any tips on burying this chick? I'm realizing I'm not prepared for this phase of animals (have never had a pet die, or anything!), but am needing to figure it out, particularly for the kiddos. Do people bury chickens? Dispose of them some other way? Help!

    I'm pretty new to BYC and this is my best guess for which forum to post this message in; please let me know if it should be elsewhere (e.g., chicken behavior?) Many thanks in advance.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2008

  2. swtangel321

    swtangel321 ~Crazy Egg Lady~

    Jul 11, 2008
    awwww, so sorry for your loss [​IMG]

    I really cant tell you what happend, It could be a few different reasons, like you said !!!!! Any of your reasons seem likely !!!!

    When we have a dead chick we put it in a few bags and bring it to the dump, I guess you could bury it. The only reason we wouldnt do that is b/c we have 2 dog that would be right out there digging it back up !!!! I always feel bad about bringing them to the dump but also dont want to find them dug up !!!! Hubby give me a choice dump or bond fire, I like dump better !!!!

    Again sorry for your loss and dont be to upset over it, things happen !!!! :aww
  3. swtangel321

    swtangel321 ~Crazy Egg Lady~

    Jul 11, 2008
    Oppps almost forgot...... [​IMG]
  4. BantamMom13720

    BantamMom13720 In the Brooder

    Jul 17, 2007
    Spotsylvania , VA
    So sorry you lost your baby. It is hard to get them to accept "newbies" into the already established bunch. For my first two years, I had to keep mine in separate runs, and to this day, the bulk of my flock won't accept the first two chickens I ever had! They are SO like people sometimes...

    I read recently that they recognize the facial features of their own flock thus making it difficult to introduce "new" faces. I'm sure you did the right thing with the carrier, but perhaps the disparity in ages was the problem. They can be really funny about it.

    As far as making your kids feel better, I understand that they're sad, but this IS a valid part (although hopefully not often happening) part of having pets. Depending on their ages, you could have a little funeral- wrap her up in paper and put her in a shoebox. Then I'd double bag that box (out of their sight) and take her to the dump. You don't want your kids seeing parts of her dug up or anything like that.

    Don't give up on chickens, they're wonderful pets. If you have auctions in your area, go and perhaps add to your flock a couple at a time. If your little ones have each other they'll probably do a little better.

    Chin up!

  5. strawbie4

    strawbie4 Hatching

    Aug 10, 2008
    Thanks for the responses and encouragement. I talked to our local farmer that we got the chickens from, and based on everything, he concluded that she got hypothermia [​IMG] So, the bad news is I have mother guilt over not knowing enough about chicken care (as if I don't have enough mother guilt to fend off from my human kiddos, LOL) The good news is, it wasn't a problem with my big chickens, thank goodness. Evidently, even though she was all feathered, she was too little to withstand the cold/wet weather we had, at least without other chicks to snuggle up with.

  6. birdlover

    birdlover Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    Northern Va.
    I'm so sorry about your little chick. I hate it when that happens! I agree with the person who suggested getting two next time. (And I hope there WILL be a next time!)

    As far as the body, I either bury them wrapped in cloth and then plastic and I put kitty litter in the plastic bag before the chick(en) to absorb the smell as it decomposes. That was suggested here a long time ago by someone "in the know" and has worked for me. But the other thing I sometimes do, as opposed to burying it, is carry the poor little thing out into the woods and find a nice soft spot to lay it on. I know a fox or something will get it but, somehow, for me, it beats putting it in the garbage. (I got the idea from a book written by a nun who lived in a nature type setting and was big into wild birds).

    It's never ever easy but the first time is the most traumatic. [​IMG] to you and your kids.


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