What do you think-#1 reason for chicks dying?


Barista Queen
11 Years
Mar 5, 2008
What do you think the main reason is that chicks die after they hatch? Does it happen a lot in the bator, or is it taking them out too soon? Maybe too low of temps in the brooder? Just curious-I've never had hatchlings, and I figure they are more delicate than the chicks I have bought at the farm store.
I find my own hatchlings are much tougher than store bought chicks if you go on a chick by chick basis.

In other words, the store ones are often tough because they made it though shipping and all the weak ones, the ones who died in shipping, and the culls from the hatchery are never seen so you see the "top" of the bunch. However, they are more prone to pasty butt and some death due to residual shipping stress.

The ones I hatch at home are usually pasty butt and death free. I don't like to assist in hatches because I personally think if the chick is gong to make it, it is going to make it. Of my hatched, I have had to cull three to spraddle leg caused by a bad incubation, and that is pretty much it. The dozens of other birds have made it just fine.

I say the majority of chick death is due to shipping stress and getting chilled.
I have to agree with SilkieChick. My own hatched eggs tend not to have any problems. All the others I have ordered from whoever, some died, some were sick, or obviously just not thriving. I think shipping takes a toll on them as well when they are chicks.
Pretty much what Silkie said.

Chickens lay a lot of eggs in the hope that some will survive. We hatch and rear artificially high proportions ... some are going to die after hatching that may never have hatched at all in nature.

Breeding has produced good lines of healthy eggs tho, so we can expect most to live, and they do.
SO far the 2 ducklings where my only deaths. All my other chicks I have hatched where tuff birds. I guess they where not meant to stay alive. I have the survivng duckling in the brooder and he is doing well. Just follow what people say on here and you should be fine
Interesting replies all-thanks. I've just always been a hands off sort of person. I have never used a therm to see the temp in my brooder-I just pay close attention to chick cues and act accordingly.

I think for this hatch I will set up a tiny brooder in a room that doesn't get as drafty as where my older chicks are. The room itself is nice and warm and draft free, but we open and close the door to the outside quite a bit. I have never had any issues with hatchery chicks out there, but I may not want to put my newly hatched chicks out there for a few days or so.

What about incubation causes spradle leg?
when I first srated hatching I lost more then I had to come out I found out my Humidety was to high so I took the water out of mine and open the air vent on top and now I am have better luck I lost 7 out of 10 chicks when i started now i only lost 2 So I say your Humidety off to high or it could be to low and they r drowing when they come in to the aie cell

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