On Oct first I bought four chicks: RIR, Ameraucana, Plymouth Rock Barred, and Brahma. The first 3 were a week old, but the Brahma was 2-3 days old at most. The Brahma seemed weak.... and died on Sat, Oct 10. The older chicks grew SO quickly! (Rhoda, Hillary and Rebecca are their names; because I was worried about the Brahma, she stayed "FuzzButt. She was just darling, but it was obvious she was in some trouble. She had pasty-butt and I cleaned her up 3 times.) Friday - the day before I lost the Brahma, I bought 4 more chicks: An Australorp about a week old, and "baby-er" chicks of Buff Orpington, a Black Sex Link, and a Silver Laced Wyandotte. The BSL died - surprisingly - 2 days later. The SLW also appeared to be "in trouble" for no particular reason. So, now I've added Matilda, the Australorp, who looks like a big blackbird or a small crow right now, Buffy the BO who is lively and fearless, despite her size, but she's bigger than Lacy, the SLW. Three 3.5-wk old chicks, one 2.5-wk old, and two 1.5 chicks. Lacy is the teensiest. What am I doing wrong??? Is it ME or just the luck of the draw from feed store chicks? I am careful about the brooder heat, I clean their waterer about every 45 frickin' minutes (okay, every couple of hours), I make sure they have clean feed, and once a day I make "mash" for them by just mixing water with some feed in a dish and they love it. I've put a small amount of sugar in the water and Lacey perked up a bit, and she maneuvered to get some of the chopped, hard-boiled egg I gave 'em all. (They know the "treat dish!") I also gave them some shredded mozarella cheese and that was a riot. The special treats are once a day, one kind each. I don't want to overload them, but I thought the extra protein and calories might be good for Lacey. She actually got some! Lacey is actually putting on weight - maybe an ounce, I dunno, but she's heavier than she was before AND her wing tips are growing. By comparison, Buffy seems almost porky 2 days ago I put the 3 "bigger" girls out in the pen under their coop/tractor and they had a great time for a couple of hours during the warmest part of the day (83 degrees). A couple of times I'll open the "nursery" (bathroom) door and find Hillary and/or Rebecca on the edge of the Rubbermaid bin brooder. Sometimes Hillary will flap her way up onto it after I've come into the room; she seems to be checking me out. (She is at the top of the pecking order, btw.) Rhoda doesn't appear to be growing the tail feathers like the others. Her - gosh I hope she's a hen! - wing feathers are long enough to cover the place where the others have grown tail feathers. She's got a comb, too, but after I checked the forum here, I learned that hens do grow combs. I will continue to hope it's a hen comb! Anyway, BYC has been invaluable in my education in Things Chicken. I've got the coop done, but I'll have to post pictures later. (They're on my cell phone right now...) Thanks, everybody! Please reassure me that it's not MY fault a couple of chicks died, and I'm a good Mother Hen sort.