Dead month old chick. help?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by braray, Apr 15, 2016.

  1. braray

    braray In the Brooder

    Jan 26, 2015
    Any thoughts? i have a month old lavender orpington that became ill and died. First time I had a sick chick. She became lethargic and was huntched over with her feathers fluffed out and her wing feathers hanging. she was very very thin and her legs looked dry and thin as well. almost like she was dehydrated. Thanks!

  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    I’m sorry, it’s impossible to make any kind of diagnosis from here. There are just so many different things it could have been. How are your other chicks doing? Keep an eye on them, which I’m sure you are doing. If you are in the US you might call your county extension agent and see what it would take to get a necropsy. Different states have different programs, costs, and methods but most have a way you can get someone to autopsy a dead chicken to try to determine what killed it. It’s important you know how to handle the body, such as refrigeration and where to take it, so they can get valid results. In some states that’s not expensive at all. If it happens again it might be worth doing to you.

    When I have a problem like that I try to determine if it is an individual chicken problem or a flock-wide problem. So far it sounds like an individual problem, I hope so.

    Some chicks are just not meant to make it, think of it as a birth defect. Perhaps there was something wrong where it could not properly digest food or something like that. It happens.

    How long was it acting sick?

    It could be a disease, one of many. Some chicks are less resistant to certain diseases than others. If that one had a weak immune system it could get fatally sick while the others can handle it fine. Are those chicks inside your house or outside? How much exposure have they had to outside? Where did you get these chicks, a hatchery, a feed store, a breeder, or did you hatch them yourself? Are they in a brooder in your house, outside in a brooder, or being raised by a broody hen? You don’t need to answer all this to me, it’s more of how much exposure to possible diseases have they had?

    Is their environment pretty dry or is it wet? A wet environment can be a dangerous environment.

    How have you been feeding them? Are they eating nothing but chick feed, are they getting grit, are they getting treats? If they eat nothing but chick feed they don’t need grit but if they are eating anything else with any texture they probably should be getting grit. It’s possible it could have eaten something that blocked the exit from the gizzard so it slowly starved to death. Grit may have helped. It’s possible it could have eaten a small nail or screw that punctured the gizzard when the gizzard tried to grind it up. A pure freak accident.

    There are just so many things it could have been, many of them either freak accidents you really can’t prevent or something associated with that specific chick. If it doesn’t happen again I suggest you put it down to something like this, just something that happens when you keep animals, not just chickens but any animal. Keep an eye on the others and look for similar symptoms, of course. If it happens again I suggest you have the information handy about a necropsy to decide if that is worth it for you. And come back on here with a much more detailed description of how you are keeping them and what happened.

    I wish you luck.

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