I did 10 broilers (as a "test" to see if it was something I could do) in the Spring. It went swimmingly. I brooded them in the coop until they were 3 weeks old, then moved them out to a tractor with no heat. I had 0 loss, which I know is not the norm. So I decided to do a bigger batch this fall once the majority of the heat had passed. I ordered 50 chicks from Hoover's Hatchery in Iowa, as that's where I got my original 10 (in addition to 10 of my layers) and all were super healthy. There was some initial stress on that first batch- the hatchery put the wrong phone number on the box, so the post office couldn't get ahold of me for 2 hours. Out of that batch I lost 6 chicks in the first WEEK. I had posted an add to sell the extras on Craigslist, and had sold 35 within 2 days. So, mostly on a whim, I decided to order another 50. I know. I moved that batch out into a small tractor (the one I had my first 10 in) when they were 8 days old- they had a dog house with bedding and a lamp, but a lot more space than in my brooder. They did really well- one day that was really warm I lost one to an unknown cause, and another died last week, it just hunkered down and seemed to have problems with one leg, it wouldn't eat/drink/move, then died within a day. But the way things have been going I consider those 2 deaths in 2 weeks a victory. At 2.5 weeks I moved them to a bigger PVC tractor. Then the second batch- I got them in time, was sure to put vitamins (I use molasses and raw ACV instead of commercial vitamins, as they provide the same nutrients and are much easier for me to mix on a small scale that those mondo packs of vites) in their water from day one (which I didn't do for the first batch until like day 4 out of pure dinginess, and it's the first batch of chicks I ever NOT given it to...). One was DOA in the box, and one had obvious leg issues from the start and died the second day, but from then on they did great. But then I jumped the gun. Thinking a day or two wasn't going to make a big deal (and because their brooders were SUPER gross) I moved them out to the small tractor (after cleaning it REALLY well and sanitizing from the first batch...) on day 6. Big mistake. I lost two the first night, found one outside the second night chilled and barely alive, and the next night that one and one additional chick died. But after that they seemed to be okay (this was last Wed, I believe) and things have been fine since. UNTIL yesterday. I have one completely down in the legs- they started out all curled under, but he could kind of scoot, but now his legs are all pushed behind him and he can barely scoot. He probably won't make it through the day. And another seems to be in the first stages of this. I've given them both Poly-vi-sol and made sure they're eating, drinking, and that they get moved inside to the heat each night (there's a small step that they can't make it up) but it doesn't seem to be making a difference. I'm just so frustrated right now! All total I've lost 11 birds, and if I loose many more I won't have very many for myself and my family to eat over the winter, as 72 are spoken for... of course, I am giving 15 to my mom since they give us (we pay the cost of processing) a half of a beef each year, and I'm sure she won't mind taking only 10... But still, I'm super frustrated right now. I've only ever lost 3 chicks before out of the 65 previous chickens I've had, now 11 with 2 more on the way out? This is the worst part of this "job."