New to the site and to having chickens - need help with my chicks


May 8, 2017
Hi all, I'm new here and new to raising chickens. I recently bought my first chickens and have already lost two. I'm super bummed but mostly concerned that I'm not doing something right.

I bought the medicated feed that was recommended and replace their water daily. A friend recommended that I get apple cider vinegar with the mother in it and I will be doing that tomorrow. However, I'm using a small feeder with a quart-sized mason jar - would it be best to use one teaspoon of the vinegar? (I have read on other threads it's one tablespoon per one gallon of water.)

Also, anything else I may be doing wrong? The other six seem to be doing great - eating and drinking. No pasty butts either (I check regularly). I'm cleaning their brooding pen every couple of days as well. They are located in my garage - could it be getting too hot during the day?

Also, I'm handling them about twice per day (obviously gently) to get them used to me and being handled. Could I be handling them too much? The neighbor kids have come to see them and hold them, but have been extremely gentle (I'm very paranoid about it!).

Thanks in advance!


Pork Pie

Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Jan 30, 2015
Hi and welcome to BYC - thanks for joining us. Here's a link of a search on ACV that may help -

Since we don't know where you are located or the age of the chicks, its difficult to comment on temperatures.

These links may be informative:

Any questions that you may have regarding your chicks will be best posted here -

You'll find lots of info in the Learning Centre - and if you have a specific topic in mind, just type it in the search box - there's a wealth of information on past and present threads.

You may wish to consider joining your state thread as it will put you in touch with other BYC members in your area -

All the best

drumstick diva

Still crazy after all these years.
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Aug 26, 2009
Out to pasture

Then I Will

8 Years
Jan 13, 2012
Annville, Pennsylvania
Hi NewChickMN,

I'm guessing you're from Minnesota where the weather is likely still somewhat frigid this time of year. (I'm from lower Alabama and appalled at these May temps here in PA!!
I don't know how young your chicks are, but if they came from a hatchery- and made it through the postal system, they could be dropping dead just because in the few days following the traumatizing journey. Even if your hatchery shipment didn't have any dead upon arrival, some could be so weak that they are just failing within a day or three after receiving.

Again, if they're very young chicks, you will want to make sure the area under your (I'm guessing you have a heat lamp) is not too hot, not too cold.

Maybe these youngsters were not eating? Getting pushed away from the food, not finding the water? Even just one day without could be a death sentence to a young chick.

The ACV in the water is usually to prevent algae and bacteria bloom in the water and if you put too much it's likely the birds will just refuse to drink the water because they can smell it.

I would say Temp is the first thing to be sure of throughout the day, and making sure all have found or are finding the food and water is next.
Good luck to your remaining six!!

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