Mystery Death and the What Ifs

Jess ChickCrazy

In the Brooder
May 20, 2015
Hey y'all! So, a week ago our chicks arrived from My Pet Chicken. We got 7 total. They were all fine, eating, running around, chirping, drinking etc. No pasty butt, no "warning signs" etc. Then yesterday -day 6, one of our gals would not get up. The hubby gently picked her up and she cried out loudly. I went upstairs to check on breakfast (food on the stove) and by the time I walked back down, she'd passed. It was so random!

So, then of course I freaked out. Ran to the pet store, bought a probiotic solution and made up some chick "gatorade", bought a medicated feed, different type of waterer-we'd been using a nipple waterer from the Chicken Fountain etc. Came home, gave them the "gatorade" in their regular fountain, added the gravity waterer (with marbles so they don't drown), mixed the medicated feed with the regular feed etc and then obsessively checked on them all day, all evening and all night. lol

The others seem to be fine. Acting fine, eatin fine, no pasty butt etc. BUT the one that died, Isabel, was just fine too, till she suddenly croaked. I am assuming it was a fluke. :( So, what do you do to get over the what ifs? What if the brooder lamp was too high? What if they weren't getting enough to drink? What if they weren't eating as well as you thought? What if she got smothered under the brooder lamp somehow? etc. I have Googled and drove myself bananas with the possibilities.
Sometimes they just don't make it. Usually, if they can get past a week old then the odds are in their favor. I had one pass at 3 days old, but the rest have been fine so far (they are 5 weeks now). The cool thing about young chicks is that they will let you know if they are too cold (they peep repeatedly). They will let you know if they are too hot (they keep their mouths open and pant or they lay down as far away from the heat source as possible.

Other than what they can tell you - the only thing we really can do is keep stressors to a minimum (i.e., no loud music or grabby kids who squeeze them too hard or are too loud), keep a constant supply of food and CLEAN water available at all times and wait for them to grow.
Sorry this happened to you and for the sudden loss of a little chick. Sadly this happens randomly sometimes. Could be something genetic or something went wrong during incubation causing an issue with this one chick. I understand the second guessing and worry. I've lost two 7 week old chicks suddenly from the same breeder, same breed but half a year apart. They both went from perfectly healthy chicks to just failing. I even took both of them to the vet. I was told it could be a genetic issue or an incubation issue. I was filled with worry and paranoid I would lose my whole flock to some weird mysterious illness the vet missed. But that did not happen. You just have to do the best you can. Feed them well, keep them warm, fresh could add ACV to the water. Some swear by it others do not. I add it on every third water change. You will know if they are cold if they huddle a lot. Try not to worry too much.
Thanks, you guys! So far, everyone is fine. The remaining 6 I mean. Flapping, trying to fly and eating, drinking and pooping up a storm. I added the probiotic and electrolyte to their water. I also added a gravity waterer in addition to the fountain we are using. Hoping they'll be fine. Me and the hubby keep obsessively checking them though. lol I'm gonna be a wreck when it's time to move them outside.

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