Yesterday I went to feed the chicks and found one laying on its side and twitching. It spasmed (stretched out, even its toes and head) when I picked it up. It seemed pretty far gone so I had hubby put it out of its misery. I assumed that it had been trampled by another chick in the feeding time rush. These guys are 15 weeks old and doing just fine in an outside coop. Fast forward to today. I went to feed the chicks and there were 2 more laying on the ground, I assumed dead. I went into the coop and found that only one was dead. It was totally stretched out just like the chick from yesterday. The chick I found alive was not spasming but was able to stand, barely. Shows no interest in food. Really, no interest in anything but standing there, eyes closed with its feathers all fluffed up. Help me out here. I don't know what is going on and am worried about the rest of my group of chicks. These were hatched from my own stock, so no vaccinations. But they were on medicated feed. They are now on scratch. I unexpectedly ran out of feed a few days ago so was forced to feed them layer pellets for 2 days. Everything else is the same. This is freaking me out. I've lost about 7 chicks from my original group of 28 chicks hatched back around Halloween. The first one was dropped at 1 day old, the second was trampled in a crowded brooder, the 3rd, and 4th I thought to exposure... I found all of them already dead. Question #1. What can I do for this chick? Should I just put it out of its misery? Question #2. As of today I'm looking at my death rate and thinking its rather high. Is there something going through my flock? Do I need to panic? My older chickens are in different coops and seem unaffected. This whole thing has me freaking out. I was hoping to sell some of these birds as young layers and use the rest for hatching eggs in the spring and then sell as young layers in the later summer months. At this rate I'm worried about taking a total loss.