Don't understand why we have lost 1/2 our flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by suesheldon55, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. suesheldon55

    suesheldon55 Hatching

    Jul 14, 2013
    We are really sad. We have just lost our 6th chicken! These are our BABIES!!! We planned for them, we studied up on how to raise them and we are so diligent in doing everything RIGHT! It is really heartbreaking!
    We got our 12 chickens from a breeder in Tacoma who specializes in Heritage birds (endangered species). We really wanted to help keep the Heritage birds living. We got a mixture of Light Sussex, Java, Dorking and Delaware.
    Two of the babies had genetic defects from the beginning that we couldn't do anything about.
    One of them died from a condition at 3 weeks old that I was ignorant about (pasty butt) - so I chalk that one up to just not knowing what to look for.
    One of them was dead after a horrible, fierce, thunder and lightening storm that shook us all to the bones. Very frightening!!! We read on your forum that chickens can actually die of fright during storms like that.
    The other two are absolute mysteries.
    Perfectly healthy, happy chickens who just died for no reason that we can see.
    We feed them 100% organic and pamper them like you won't believe! They are very well protected from predators, yet we do allow them to "pasture" every day so we know we are taking a chance that something could happen to them on their daily adventures on our property.
    We feed them treats very carefully from a list we got off of a forum here - making sure we aren't giving them things that chickens shouldn't eat.
    I am wondering if the 2 mysteries and the 2 genetic conditions are part of the "Heritage bird" issue - perhaps these birds aren't quite as "hardy" as your everyday typical chicken. Maybe they are more fragile. I just don't know.
    I honestly can't see that we're doing anything wrong but would REALLY like some advice.

  2. ChickenSaloon

    ChickenSaloon In the Brooder

    Oct 17, 2013

    Very sorry to hear about your chicks! Unfortunately, I think you're exactly correct in your analysis of the situation. From the looks of it, it doesn't appear that you did anything wrong at all! So I hope you'll take comfort in that.

    We routinely tell people to buy more chicks than you are intending on raising, because things always seem to happen. For twelve chicks to fall in number to 6-9 is very common, and yet sometimes you can buy twelve and not lose one. Some things truly are out of your control.

    From everything you've written my only advice would be to keep doing what you're doing, and keep raising your remaining six chicks just the way you are. This experience will help you be more prepared the next time around for what might happen... but don't over-buy next time in anticipation of losing half, as it is very possible to not lose a single chick!
    1 person likes this.
  3. jsmith2952

    jsmith2952 Chirping

    May 22, 2013
    Ontario, Canada
    So sorry to hear that.
  4. suesheldon55

    suesheldon55 Hatching

    Jul 14, 2013
    That is very comforting! Thank you so much!

  5. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

    May 19, 2009
    The breeder should be replacing the two chicks which died from genetic circumstances. That is just good customer service. Talk to the breeder. They will want to know there is an issue.
    Karen in -5 degree western PA, USA
    1 person likes this.

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