dead chicks


In the Brooder
5 Years
Feb 28, 2014
NW Florida
Today I found all the chicks in the outside brooder dead. They were 3-4 weeks old. An easter egger had managed to push down the wire and slide into the box yesterday. Knowing they had plenty of food and water, I didn't check on them last night. Well, I found her in there and all nine babies dead this afternoon. She had knocked over ther water, eatten the food, laid two eggs (probably the reason she was investigating the box), nd pecked at them. The bodies were all in a corner. The pecking was mostly on the scalp. Did she kill them or did they dehydrate in 24hrs? The bodies were already smelling.
Very bummed. My son's two were in there. He worked really hard to earn them. Thankfully he is taking it really well. I asked him if we should replace them now or wait until next year and he said next year so we can redesign the brooder. He is only nine years old.
She killed them. Either the impact from pecking on their heads, or the terror of being crowded in a corner and beaten up, combined with dehydration is plenty to kill even a grown bird.

Yes, a better brooder design is in order. And when the chicks are important to you, see if you can find a free/cheap baby monitor and set it up in the coop. I guarantee you that if you had one, you would have known about it. I routinely use a baby monitor when I put broilers in the coop because they are so dumb they get into trouble. Like the one the other day who tried to fit between a 2 x 4 roost support and the outside got wedged in but could not back out. It let out a good yell and I was able to rescue it from its own foolishness.
This is normal she killed them because they were not part of the flock. They will attack any new birds large or small. The best way to introduce any new birds is to keep them separate but where they can see each other. After a few weeks let them together. After that they still have to find their place in the pecking order.

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