unusual chick loss?

NewChixMom

In the Brooder
11 Years
Mar 12, 2008
37
2
24
Mississippi
I am getting my girls first week of April (Soooooo excited). I ordered from Ideal and have 9 Ameraucanas and 2 black Australorps coming. Anyway I called and told one of my friends who is kind of country, raises horses and breeds dogs, and she said I would be lucky if I have 6 make it and that she gave up on chicks because they all die. I told her that I understand that I may loose a few but that sounds like an awful lot. I asked her what she did with her chicks and she brooded them in the barn and let them free-range in the horse pasture at a few weeks old unsupervised. She said a hawk got a lot of them. To me this sounds like she wasn't taking the best care of them, but this is my first chick adventure. So what is a normal amount of loss? I am brooding them in my home, ordered the gel chick starter to help with dehydration, bought the chick feed, pine bedding, heat lamp, feeder, and waterer. Am I missing anything important? I don't want to kill my girls out of ignorance.
 

silkiechicken

Staff PhD
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
13 Years
Jan 25, 2007
21,494
965
393
Everett WA/Corvallis OR
Yeah, sounds like your friend was a bit too free with the babies as they do really need a lot of protection when little, and are natures snack so to say.

From my own hatches, I maybe lose 1/25 that make it out of the shell. I don't assist hatches personally.

From shipped birds, I am getting my first this week, I am not sure. However, cold weather in the state the chickens are coming from, the state that they get sent to during transit, and the state you are in, how many days it takes to reach you, are all BIG factors in how many make it. A loss of a few is normal, and there really isn't a "standard" for loss as there are too many variables.

My guess is you'll get a few extras, lose a few, and have at least 10 chicks!
 

GwenFarms

Songster
11 Years
Feb 26, 2008
827
2
151
I rarely lose a chick. I lose more adults to predators, then chicks. I recieved 52 a week ago from Cackle. I have 52 alive and well a week later. Read up and learn how to best take care of them and you'll do fine with them. Don't cut corners, use proper waterers and make sure they stay warm and dry, with food at all times. Your chicks will do great, keep putting the effort in to learn as much as you can before you get them.
 

NewChixMom

In the Brooder
11 Years
Mar 12, 2008
37
2
24
Mississippi
They are coming from Texas and I am in Mississippi so I am hoping the weather will be mild enough that I don't lose too many in shipping.
 

silkiechicken

Staff PhD
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
13 Years
Jan 25, 2007
21,494
965
393
Everett WA/Corvallis OR
Oh, that's not far from TX and probably only over night! In that case, I you might not lose any! My poor babies might end up sitting over night or two in a box when night temps are in the 30-40's.
 

dacasodivine

Songster
11 Years
Feb 19, 2008
207
0
131
Don't listen to your friend.
I got 15 babies last Thursday from Ideal. I still have 15 babies. They get fresh water and chick starter. I never used sugar in the water or anything else. They are fine. I have a tractor for them to be able to go outside once it's warm enough. It's fully covered so no preditors can get them. I don't have a thermometer either.


What part of MS are you in? I was born in Lucedale but moved to TX when I was 15. I still consider MS home though.
 

tberggren

Songster
12 Years
Jan 20, 2008
450
0
149
Ithaca NY
I just order 50 and loss 20,
my first experience with day old shipped chicks. I had them inside under lamp with sugar water too. No crusty butts, most were dead or died in the first hour. But it took two days to get here,

Loss another one in the afternoon and three more in the night. I hope that's the last. They all look good, but then so did the last three.

How long do they need to be on the sugar water? They are eating good.

Thanks
 

Cetawin

Chicken Beader
11 Years
Mar 20, 2008
13,752
127
333
NW Kentucky
Do not worry so...they will be fine. If you lose a couple from shipping do not think ti is anything you have done. it sounds like your friend was careless with hers.

Just make sure they have a safe warm place to live, fresh water and chick starter and are in a draft-free location.
 

Penske

Songster
12 Years
Dec 28, 2007
220
0
129
Massachusetts
You know when you have a baby, everyone wants to give advice. You just pick one or two to listen to and say "thanks" to the rest...I'd not listen to your friend on this issue.

I am brand new...I ordered 14, lost one on day 5 to RSS, the rest are THRIVING! I have found that this site and the folks here are invaluable (and caring, too!). I'd also recommend reading a few chicken books getting different opinions and then decide what feels best to you. That's what I did. I read Storey's Guide for chickens and Living with Chickens (and three others!), but used those two for reference alot since!)

For your brooder, if the plan is to keep them in it till 4 wks or so, make it big enough. At least 1 sq ft per chick. YOU'LL NEED IT!!!! Ours was big enough for two weeks, then made a bigger one in the coop.

Good Luck and Have fun!!! They are SOOOOOOOO fun to watch!

Lisa
 

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