Do I have bad luck losing chickens or is this typical?


8 Years
May 7, 2011
I have had 4 chickens in 3 years and have lost 3 out of the 4.

I take great care of them, built a great coop for them, make it impossible for predators to get them and give them tons of love. Its all I can do but its super frustrating losing them to things beyond my control.

1st one died at about 1 years old because of either egg bound or some weird internal infection

2nd one died at about 1 or 1.5 years old to some weird respiratory/neurological issues (not mareks) I think she had a bad respiratory issue going on and always was special and just became more evident she was a little slow as it progressed.

3rd one, 1 year old, is getting put down on tuesday because I found a mass under her wing a month ago and it has easily tripled in size. Most likely cancerous.

AND the 4th one was brought to the vet for limping/leg infection that was progressing and spent $300 dollars on that she probably would have died if it wasn't for the vet

I have lost 75% percent of my babies in 3 years. Do I have bad luck? Is it common to lose chickens this often? I love having them but I get a little too attached to them to lose them this often!

Any, any, any advice?

#2 and #3 came from the same person. Kind of wondering if their was some inbreeding that happened? Or maybe thats typical with chickens anyways. Who knows… just frustrating and trying to make sense of it all.
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6 Years
Jun 9, 2013
Northern Virginia
Your not bad luck at all. Out of 40+ chickens (spread out between 2 years) we only have 20 left.
10 of which we just got recently (they are now 9wks).

Now the death toll has dropped ALOT.
we have many predators so we have to make sure our chickies are safe 24/7.

Your not bad luck, nature is just taking its course. so hang in there!
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8 Years
May 7, 2011
Thanks for sharing your experiences! Makes me feel better that I am not alone losing all these chickens but at the same time, I was hoping things would be looking up soon!

I got 2 new girls tonight for my hen so I just need to get a tough skin through all this and start accepting. Why do I have to get so attached to these dang chickens!? My poor little SLW has to deal with losing her only flock mate she's had in a loooong time to accepting these "stupid" new ones who are funny looking. She is terrifying her new polish and americauna (sp?) additions.


5 Years
Feb 22, 2014
Lake Wylie, SC
I feel your pain. I started with 10 last year and am down to 4. I have since started incubating and hatching eggs so I am up to 33 now :). My husband thinks I am crazy but with a 60 percent mortality rate I think volume is the way to go. It is sad to lose them though. You are definitely not alone.


6 Years
Sep 4, 2013
Lower Alabama
Last year was a bad year. First several hatches a cat ate 15/45. Killed the cat then the next hatches had about 10 drowned in half filled buckets of water or sudden heavy rainstorms. Then the ones that got sick & died and the ones that just dropped dead for no apparent reason. Then ate all the roosters which ALWAYS have a high survival rate. I think out of 80 chicks I ended up with about 15 that actually laid any eggs.
I've improved my management this year and my flock is doing much better.

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
12 Years
Nov 12, 2009
western South Dakota
Chickens are not terribly hardy, and while some on here have had some live for a long long time, it is not my experience.

Try to enjoy having the flock, and having a flock means that hens will circle in and out of the flock..... but hey, then you can get new chicks.

Cindy in PA

13 Years
Jul 8, 2008
Fleetwood, PA
I have had 10 + flocks of chickens over 21 years & never had a large death problem. If I lost 1 chicken a year after the chick stage that would have been a lot. Never lost more than 1 chick in a batch except for one time. I have not found chickens to be fragile. Sorry for your bad luck.


5 Years
Mar 21, 2014
Jefferson, TX
I expect to lose chickens. its just a fact of life. out of 100 or so, I've only had a few make it past 2 yrs. After shedding gallons of tears I realized I had to toughen up. Now, I make sure they have the best life they can while they are with me. At least I know I did my best and they were happy to the end. BTW, I also learned the more money you spend on a chicken puts a bigger bullseye on them. Best of luck and don't be discouraged


11 Years
Mar 7, 2011
Finger Lakes, NY
Agree with the numbers! I recently ordered 15 'mail order' chicks - 14 DOA
I bought 6 more from a local farm and 2 have already shuffled off the mortal based on previous years experience, I expect about 33% mortality. The shipped chicks was a disasterous aberration of the postal service...not to be repeated.

Mtn Laurel

9 Years
May 18, 2012
Northern Virginia
My Coop
My Coop
I've had a total of 10 chickens over the past two years and 2 have died from medical issues. I think the first one died of botulism and the second one from a fast-moving cocci strain but I have no proof of either. The first one was a red sex link a little under a year old, the second one was a buff orpington pullet about ready to lay.

Those deaths from shipping or from predators are a bit different as there were outside forces that caused the deaths. I have to wonder if there are some breeds that are hardier than others and are less likely to mysteriously die.

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