I feel terrible--first fatality.


In the Brooder
8 Years
Apr 28, 2011
I am new at chicken raising. I have six 5 week old Tetra Tints (I think) and just got 25 in mail yesterday--10 Columbian Rock, 5 Dark Brahma, 5 Buff Orpington, and 5 Speckled Sussex. I was immediately in love with the new babies as were my kids. I found the first day a little high maintenance, but I figure that I will get better as caretaker. The new chicks were going through quite a bit of water so I put in an extra water jar last night after giving them some fresh bedding. This morning...I lifted the water jar and found a dead smashed chick
Apparently, I hadn't noticed putting the jar on the baby last night thinking it was just lumpy bedding. I cried all morning. I'm still not over it. Then, on top of that, I had a sick one from the beginning who wasn't eating. I gave her sugar water several times, which she drank, but she just wouldn't get up and do anything--I separated her from the others and she just lay limp. She was still alive when I got home from work this afternoon, only to have a seizure and die right in front of my daughter and me. Now, I also have a sore, swollen butt on one of the Columbian Rocks. It's not just pasty butt--swollen and awful looking--bare skin--and somehow looks like there is a red swollen area to the side of the vent--belly button would be underneath right?

So far being a chicken mama has me extremely emotional and I'm not an emotional person usually.

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Oh man... what a rough start! I can relate. I'd rather not relive my sadness, but I too lost chicks from human error. Hang in there, once they're over the hump, and crawling all over you to get the treat of the day, you'll find that happy place again.
It's hard not to get pretty involved with the babies..

The smashed chick: all you can do it learn from that. When I was 6 years old I sat on an Easter chick. Believe me, my family has never let me forget.
I was surprised that chicks drank so much also. They need constant clean water. they also need CHICK STARTER feed that is at least 20% protein. What is their diet?
The sick one: Tractor supply should have some chick electrolytes, Ived heard some people give them a little gatorade, I would try Pediasure.
The chick with the vent redness: all these symptoms may be due to diet.

Are they warm enough? babies need a heat lamp - tell us more about your setup.
Aww that is sad. I have raised one batch of chicks so far. I cannot tell you the sleepless nights I had just cuz one chick was trying to peck the eyes out of everyone else! It was so traumatic for us. Thankfully all survived. We are getting ready to hatch our own chicks soon and I can just imagine the drama that will entail. lol!
But it is worth it. And kids are more resilient than we think. It is part of life..death I mean. I remember when my daughter was 5 and I had to tell her that her kitty had died. It just about ripped my heart out. But she survived. It makes them stronger.

Hang in there!
The chicks are on medicated chick starter feed, but the first ration was unmedicated chick starter, because I had to run to Tractor supply to get it. They are under a heat lamp--seem happy and running around freely.

I'm checking them this morning and I have several with poopy butts, but none like the Columbian with the bare ugly butt. I'm still quite confused about that one--it is bare and sore looking, but there is a bright red bump to the right on the backside--not centered, so I'm guessing not the vent or belly button. The chick with the sore butt is lively.

Oh, I am so sorry this happened to you. Somehow, it makes a person feel better to know, you're not alone....many have made the same mistake. I've had chicks for years now, and I found one drowned in the water dish this season. I should have known that chick was weaker, but I just didn't think about it.....(My first time raising bantams.)

So, now you must forgive yourself!

As for the poopy bottoms, that is often called "pasty butt", and I believe it is often caused by stress, and some say it's caused when a chick gets chilly. (I personally think it's the stress.) Shipped chicks go through alot of stress.

So if you can just clean off those bottoms with some warm, soapy water and a paper towel, they should be just fine. A friend told me this trick, and I've tried it myself so I know it works. If you take a clump of nice grass, with the dirt and roots attached, and place that in your chick brooder, the chicks will just go nuts and they'll really peck at it, even eating the dirt. This is what they would do naturally with mama--peck around in the grass and dirt. It works very well. I've tried it and NO PASTY BUTT. One word of caution, get your clump from an area where other animals haven't poo'd or peed on it, and don't pick a grass clump that has been heavily fertilized....

Good luck and relax! All will be well,


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