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Newbie, just lost a chick (long with questions)

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Anniegirl, Apr 16, 2009.

  1. Anniegirl

    Anniegirl Hatching

    Apr 16, 2009
    Hi Folks,
    Over the weekend we went to a nearby farm and picked up a Black Australorp, Light Brahma, Ameuracana (how DO you spell that?) and a Buff Orpington. 4 chicks in all about 5 days old. They were very well cared for at the farm, the owner is a total chicken-lover, does it all organic, etc.

    Last night, our little Buff Orpington died. All day long, they sit next to me while I work. (I'm lucky enough to be able to work from home.) They seemed fine. Just before I went to bed I heard loud, panicky cheeping and came in to find our little one had died.

    We have them under a heat lamp in a cage with pine shavings with plenty of food, plenty of water. I live in Northern CA, so it's pretty warm here, a bit chilly in the mornings and at night, but warm during the day. There is a back door in my home office, so there is a draft when it is opened, but no more of a draft than in the barn they were living in. They seem happy with the temperature, often sleeping and hanging out on the side of the cage without a heat lamp.

    Yesterday I brought Shirley (the Buff Orpington who died) outside for a few minutes in the afternoon. It was pretty warm outside, in the 70s, so I thought it would be safe to do a 5 minute photo-shoot. Did I kill her? She seemed fine afterwards. When I found her she looked kind of squished, like she had been under another chick when she died.

    Feeling very guilty and a little worried about the other chicks. Anyone have any thoughts about this?


  2. Brelansmama

    Brelansmama Songster

    Jan 24, 2009
    McMinnville, Oregon
    I am surely no expert, but it does NOT sound like you did anything to kill her. These little fuzzies just have a high mortality rate sometimes. [​IMG]
    I'm so sorry you lost one, that is SO traumatic!
    Hopefully your other chicks will grow and thrive. [​IMG]
    Oh, and [​IMG] from NW Oregon!
  3. babymakes6

    babymakes6 Gifted

    Feb 24, 2009
    far west Ohio
    Sorry I can't help with your question, but you've come to the right place for an answer!
  4. ZooMummzy

    ZooMummzy Queen of the Zoo

    Mar 31, 2008
    Philomath, Oregon
    I just lost my first chick yesterday after trying to revive her for 30 minutes. I don't know what wrong; sometimes these things just happen. It sounds like maybe she was trying to get warm though under the other chicks? Please don't think you did anything wrong. [​IMG]
  5. Anniegirl

    Anniegirl Hatching

    Apr 16, 2009
    Thanks for the kind words. I'm pretty sad about the little one. The more I look into it, the more I think that maybe she suffocated.
  6. ZooMummzy

    ZooMummzy Queen of the Zoo

    Mar 31, 2008
    Philomath, Oregon
    I feel your loss. I am losing another one right now that I got this morning. [​IMG]
  7. Anniegirl, first off a very Welcome to you. This forum is a wealth of knowledge and fun. Enjoy being part of it.
    Second, I am so sorry to hear about your loss. We lost one of our babies a few weeks ago, when it was two weeks old, out of no where. It as fine when we went to bed, but in the a.m. it was dead, the wing was laying stretched out so I believe she died in her sleep, suffocated by the others. Either way it is very sad and I am sorry.


  8. addicted2chicks

    addicted2chicks Songster

    Mar 19, 2009
    The first chick I lost was a Buff Orpington. Had no idea anything was wrong, just went out to the chicks in the morning and she was dead, kind of like yours, she was in the corner and looked like she had been squished. I am sure you didn't do anything wrong. Just happens.
  9. lisahaschickens

    lisahaschickens Songster

    Feb 25, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    My two cents is that sometimes chicks just die. It's not your fault. It's just nature. They're not all slated to make it to adulthood. Sometimes their little immune systems don't kick in properly and their systems are quickly overwhelmed by bacteria or disease that wouldn't normally do much harm. In all my chicken books, it tells you to expect a 20-50% mortality rate of chicks (depending on the book). After all my reading, I was prepared for that. Out of my 17, I lost 1 the first night they were at my home and one the next day (the second one was a Buff Orp). My other 15 are now 9.5 weeks old and thriving (one has even survived a hawk attack).

    The first one that died was a Cuckoo Marans and it too looked a bit squished, but I assumed it was because after it died or while it lay dying, the others hopped all over it. They were standing on it when I found it in the morning. I think it died of natural causes and then got squished afterward.

    Don't be too hard on yourself! Some of them just won't make it! Your photo session was no big deal. It sounds like your set up is just fine and you're doing your best!
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2009
  10. frankenchick

    frankenchick Songster

    Apr 20, 2007
    Benton Twp., Michigan
    So sorry about your loss! I have to agree with what's been said: some chicks do die, no matter what we do. We just have to accept that as part of loving the little fuzzy butts.

    I lost 2 BOs to the neighbor's dog and my fave NH to a hawk; it never gets easier, one just becomes more philosophical.

    Hugs [​IMG]

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