What's the cause of my chick's death?


10 Years
Jan 25, 2009
Salem, OR, USA
I purchased 8 of day old chicks (4 different kinds) from the local feed store this Thursay morning. I was told they were hetched on Monday. I didn't notice anything specially wrong on Thursday, but yesterday morning, I heard some louder cry from the brooder, and found one of the Araucana was on its back and seams not able to turn over and get up. After I pick it up, I notice its tummie seam bloated. I checked and it's not pasted. After looked at some of the other chicks, I noticed this chick's vent is not opening and closing like the others do. I kept it apart for a while, and didn't see it poop at all. I put it back in the brooder so it'll be under the heat lamp, and kept an eye on it all day. It was not as active as the others, breathing was labored, but it did eat and drink a bit on its own. I can't tell if it pooped in the brood or not, but I think not. by the time we go to bed last night, it's breathing was still labered and tummie pretty hard. This morning, when my husband got up, it was sort of on it's side/back, looked worse than yesterday but still alive. But within 1/2 hour, it's dead.
Does anybody have any idea what is the problem? I'm thinking maybe it had a birth defect, and could poop?? Is that possible?What should we have done? It's too later for that little guy, but maybe useful for the future. By the way, the rest of the chicks are doing ok so far.


Staff PhD
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
13 Years
Jan 25, 2007
Everett WA/Corvallis OR
Check out the sticky on common causes for chick mortality (found at the top of the section):

Often within the first week, chicks can die for no aparent reason due to birth or internal defects in which their egg yolk stores and a bit of food can get them through. Just make sure the rest have food and water to their desire and know to eat and drink, and they should be fine. There was probably nothing you could do.

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