How I helped support three near dead chicks when they arrived in mail


Mar 26, 2017
Western Washington State
Last month I received my order from Murray. We had below 20 degree weather and it was even colder in Ohio, where they originated. I requested a heat pack, thinking this would help ensure their safe arrival. When I opened the box, four chicks appeared dead. Laying out, eyes looked fixed, legs stretched out, etc. A fifth was alive but was thrashing around, I suspected wry neck. Another of the five showed a little life but was pretty limp. The other three I was sure were probably dead. After I dipped the beaks of the other 25 chicks and put them in their brooder, I went ahead and used a syringe to get electrolyte water into the five chicks, even those I was pretty sure were dead. I also gave selenium and vitamins to the one that appeared to have wry neck. Then I made a tent out of a hot pad, put them along the inside sides, set it on medium, and had to leave to go to work all day. When I got home about six hours later, three of the four had revived and were up on their feet, making noises. The one that I thought had wry neck and was sure would survive, was dead. Two of the ones I thought were dead for sure, plus the one that was barely alive and limp survived. I stupidly sent them on to their new home shortly after that since they were part of a group order and belonged to somebody else. They did end up dying but I feel if I had kept them in the tent and kept their stress level down overnight, they probably would have been ok. Something to try for those of you who might receive a few near dead, or maybe even appearing dead, chicks in the mail.


Spring Dreaming
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Jul 16, 2015
I always put some brown sugar in my chicks water for the first few days for some quick energy which many chicks need after days in a box. I also use a heat lamp for heat because I can control what temperature they are at. The one probably didn't have wry neck. Many chicks that die from chilling will have a bent back head. I have revived chicks too I though were dead, never count them out without a good going over.

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