Please the number of my dead baby chicks are increasing

What could be the cause

  • The probable cause

    Votes: 4 100.0%
  • Remedy for the problem

    Votes: 1 25.0%

  • Total voters


In the Brooder
Nov 13, 2018
I gothink delI've red 100 baby chicks and when they arrived 2 were dead. A couple of hours later I lost 6 and about 3 are looking weak and less responsive.
The bedding of chick house is of sawdust gotten from a sawmil and the chicks were eating it, could is be the cause?
My babychicks.jpg
Can't really tell by the pic but how big is your brooder? They look to be huddling up to stay warm? Are they getting chilled? What's the temp of the brooder at the level of the chicks? Should be around 98 to 95°F the first week and then lowered each week by 5°F until fully feathered, or the ambient temp is such that supplemental heat is no longer need.
Sawdust isn't the best type of bedding to use. It can get "waterlogged" and contribute to rapid growth of bacteria. Pine shavings or hardwood shavings would be better or cupboard shelving lining.
Best wishes to you and your new flock.
Chicks do die from shipping stress so since you just got them that might be why some died. Very hard to tell from the picture, but how big/small is the area you have them in, and is that the only heat lamp? They might be too cold (which is why they're standing so close, and might be trampling weaker ones) or there might not be enough room. With 100 chicks I think you should have multiple food, water and heat sources plus a lot more space than what we see in that photo.

I wouldn't use sawdust because it's not really good for breathing in. It's ok if they eat some of it but if they're eating a lot of sawdust I would definitely remove it and try a different material, like larger wood shavings.
2x 007Sean (post 4)
The heat light needs to be moved off to one side of your brooder so the chicks can move away from the heat if they get too warm. In your case it looks like you have the light over the feed dish & they are all in it, meaning they must be cold.

I'm trying to figure out what I'm seeing, the dish with the cotton swab, are those dead chicks? Is that blood clots/clumps or poo?

Some death are expected, but your goal is to minimize the loss. I would personally be very sad if I lost even 1 chick.

New born chicks need heat. UV heat bulbs (250 Watts) will put out a lot more heat than a regular incandescent bulbs. IF you have access to it, use it. Consider having more than 1 heat lamp. Observe the chicks' behavior. Do they look cold? They need heat. Do be careful. Don't burn them or the chicken house or your house.

They need to drink water. IF possible, consider filling up water container with very warm water instead of cold water. Warm water will help to keep them warmer. IF some chicks are not drinking water, dip their beak in the water so that they know that is water. Never run out of water.

They need to eat. IF possible, feed them Starter food. They are designed for new born chicks. Never run out of food. They need to eat for survival and growth.

IF the chicks are eating sawdust, that is not good. It will swell inside their body and that can't be good. They will eat less food if they are eating significant amount of sawdust. IF possible, consider changing to other better bedding material such as wood shaving.

There is a very good guide for chicks. I have attached a pdf file. I hope this upload works. Check it out. It has excellent info that we can't cover fully in a single reply.

Danny Kim


  • The_Care_of_Baby_Chicks.pdf
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