Sudden, mystery chick death. ???

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ninjapoodles, May 25, 2008.

  1. ninjapoodles

    ninjapoodles Sees What You Did There

    May 24, 2008
    Central Arkansas
    One of our Buff Orp chicks has always, from day one, been a lot smaller than the others, and slower to feather out. For its first few weeks of life, it was also more sluggish, and stayed under the heat lamp a whole lot more. For a while, we kept expecting it to be dead every morning, but then there it would be, alive another day.

    Ever since I moved them outside a couple of weeks ago, the "puny" chick has been acting full of vim and vigor, perfectly normal. Still smaller than all the others, but sassy as all get-out. Today, we sat out in their yard for an hour, feeding them cooked brown rice, plain yogurt, lettuce and a few grapes. Puny was the first one to grab a treat, and led the others on many a chase around the yard with her "treasures." In other words, all was well a couple of hours ago!

    Just now, when we went to put them to bed, my husband opened the "people door" to the coop, and there lay Puny, right under the (now turned off) heat-lamp, doornail-dead! Not a mark on her, no sign of distress, no evidence of picking, NOTHING. Just dead.

    Any thoughts? Do I need to be worried about the rest of the birds? They were hatched on April 4th, so are just over 7 weeks old.
     
  2. lemurchaser

    lemurchaser Chillin' With My Peeps

    938
    2
    151
    Apr 11, 2008
    Corvallis, OR
    My first guess is she had something wrong with her heart. It can cause slow growth, and at some point their growth exceeds the hearts limited ability to pump, and the heart goes into fibrillations and they die. It would be a painless way to go, and there is nothing you could of done about it.

    I'm sorry you lost your special chick.
     
  3. ninjapoodles

    ninjapoodles Sees What You Did There

    May 24, 2008
    Central Arkansas
    It sounds horrible, but if one had to go, I'm glad it was this one.

    What you say makes sense, and my husband and I were telling each other, "It's like it had a heart attack!" Maybe all the crazy chasing around with the special treats was just too much stress on its heart, and it got tired and went and got in its favorite nesting spot and just passed away?
     
  4. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps AutumnBreezeChickens.com

    6,396
    10
    263
    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    One of my chicks did this when I first got it. Just sluggish and stayed under heat. Turned out he just had pasty butt and when I washed him down and got rid of it he was fine and running around again. She was a tiny girl too!
     
  5. lemurchaser

    lemurchaser Chillin' With My Peeps

    938
    2
    151
    Apr 11, 2008
    Corvallis, OR
    The more I think about it, the more it sounds like a congenital problem. She's had problems since birth (or hatching). If it had been a perfectly healthy chick that dropped dead, it would be more concerning that there was a disease or toxin around. Your little one just outgrew a malformed organ, the running around might have aggravated it, but it would have happened anyway.
     
  6. ninjapoodles

    ninjapoodles Sees What You Did There

    May 24, 2008
    Central Arkansas
    Thanks--that really DOES make sense, because it was literally less than half the size of all the others, which really stands out when you have twentysomething of the exact same breed born on the same day. The other weird thing, like I said, was that it seemed to "stall" in feather development several weeks ago.

    We now have exactly the number of chicks we ordered, so if we can keep any further deaths from happening, we'll be happy. My husband just now went out to re-bait the trap that caught a raccoon last night, because something tripped it and turned it over!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by