I Lost One Today


8 Years
Apr 19, 2011
I got 8 chicks about 4 weeks old around the middle of March. This was my first time owning chickens and I just thought that I would lose one or even two over the first week, for no reason but I just thought they were fragile. So far they had all made it and I began to relax. I think they were in horrible conditions living at night in a 100 gallon stock tank that by morning had a filthy waterer. They went out in a small run (4 x 12 wire) during the day while hubby was converting a spare horse stall. We finally finished it about a week ago and both the chickens and I were very happy.

I went out to check on them about 4 PM and I noticed that one was huddled in the corner sorta like what I think a brooding chicken will look like. I have seen several of them do this at one time or another tho. I looked at the chicken and I couldnt tell anything was really wrong. I went back out about 5:30 PM to feed and find the previously huddled up chicken dead. I have absolutely no idea why and I am now worried about the rest of my chickens.

The floor is dirt which is a mixture of sand and clay. And I sprinkled DE on this floor before they went in it. I was kinda worried about it being on the floor that I thought they were going to be pecking on but as I read on this forum it should not have hurt them. I guess time will tell in the following days whether the rest will be ok.
Im so sorry to hear you lost one of your chicks. Im new to chicken keeping too so cant offer any advice. It may be a good idea to post about your situation in the Disease/injuries and Cures forum. Good luck.
i lost one today and one drown yesterday. i know how it feels. so sorry. i only had 10 and now im down to 6..each one gets harder
SOooooo sorry.......I can't imaging how sad I would feel if I lost one, you get SO attached!
You gave it a good life!!!
I notice there are a couple of "new" posters. It would help if we knew where you are from.

That said, there are many things that can kill a chicken, not the least of all stress. Stress weakens the immune system just like in humans.

Chickens need only three things to stay healthy. 1. Fresh feed, be it grower or layer. 2. Fresh clean water. 3. A safe clean environment. Extras are nice but NOT necessary. I notice if I over do something like lettuce or bread the eggs start to look funny and the shells thin.

If you feed the extras then Grit is important too. Both "soluble" (oyster shell) and "insoluble" (stone/granite). Soluble helps with egg shell development and the insoluble helps with digesting grasses and grains.

Op there may have been something in your barn from previous occupants that infected your chickens. I can't really say. I suggest pine shavings on the floor. Hay or straw can breed mold and lord have mercy mold kills. I'm allergic and man do I suffer. Try to keep things dry.

If chickens eat a lot of scratch and junk (leftovers) they won't get a balanced diet just like us and their immune system is weakened. A little ACV , apple cider vinegar organic, in the water once a week can help with certain things so they say.

Worming on a regular basis depending on how wet things are is also helpful though young chicks probably shouldn't be. I can't say. Dry of course is better but I live where it is wet spring and fall so I worm more often.

Ventilation is important but not drafts. If your chickens are on the floor try to avoid drafts by keeping all sides surrounded by a solid wall.

If you haven't I always suggest picking up everything you can on poultry at the public library.

Take care and don't get discouraged we all lose one now and then.

Thank you rancher, that is alot of good information. I am located in N Central Texas. At this point, they are eating 15% grower feed from TSC. I moved them over to that from the starter feed about 2 weeks ago. I have tried very hard to keep their water clean. I do a good job of it except during the night when they were in that 100 gallon stock tank that they had outgrown by the time we were able to finish the permanent coop. I keep focusing on that as causing her death somehow because when I would go out to care for them first thing in the mornings, that waterer was gross filled with shavings and poop. It is the kind TSC sells with the red bottom, white top, 1 gallon size.
I have that same waterer and have been using it for a few weeks. This afternoon when I went down to check their water and food I found the boards and bricks around the waterer were wet. Mine is leaking!
I have a little playground made out of bricks and boards that the chickies have to climb up on to get to the food and water. (chicks r 6, 7, & 8 weeks old today!) It gives them something to do, they don't throw shavings into the food and water now, and they can't roost on the food and water anymore! So I wasn't sure if it was leaking or if they had been raising a ruckus and playing in the water. I took it out and left it set on the ground and it is slowing leaking. I went and got 2 of my smaller ones and put them in and a board over the top so that they can't roost or knock them over. I am going to look for a waterer with better construction.
Well, they all seem very lively this morning. I know it is too early to tell if something is going on that might be contagious but I just knew I would find more dead this morning. Yesterday, the one that died seemed fine and then a little more than an hour later was dead.

earnhardtlvr - I have found with that waterer if you are not real careful about how you lock it and dont make sure that the bottom is slid completely all the way over, even a 1/4" left to closure will cause a small leak. Hope that made sense.

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