First time chicken mama to be!

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In the Brooder
Mar 15, 2018
Hi everyone! I have been lurking on this site learning as much as I can in preparation for our family bringing home our first little chicklets. I have read a lot about sick chicks, which has me worried about what our chances are of bringing home three chicks and ending up with three healthy hens. We have a reputable hatchery, so I am not concerned about the initial health of the chicks. Can someone walk me through what kind of chick mortality rate is common? Should we expect to lose one, or is that more the exception than the rule? Ultimately, we want three hens. Do we start with three chick? Five chicks? And more importantly, how wide eyed do we need to be about the possibility of losing one (or more) on our first go-round?

I would sure appreciate the help. I should probably note that I am a suburban wife and Mom with absolutely no experience raising food source animals. Husband, also a city slicker. One 14-year old daughter. We need your help!
If you want to end up with 3, I'd start with 4 as long as that's not a problem in your area, in case they all survive (for the same reason have coop/run space adequate for more chickens than you plan on having). That way you won't be running off to get more chicks in case one dies or turns out to be male.

I started with 3. One turned out to be a boy. Got another chick and she died in an accident (chicks are prone to finding their way into trouble!) Got 2 more, with the extra "just in case." Both of those made it to adulthood... and then one was killed by a hawk. So I ended up with 3 after all that!
:welcome Answering your question is hard because so many people will have different experiences. In the 5 times we have raised chicks none have died (minus the cockerels but that was when they were older). We have bought from major feed stores, local feed stores, and this last time they were shipped from Minnesota to California during a cold snap. Your luck with getting boys will also change. The first batch of chicks we had one boy, the second batch we had one boy, when we let our hen hatch eggs we had 9 hatch and 7 were boys . This batch right now we bought a new type of sex link and it looks like we still ended up with boys.

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