Why did the chicks die when shipped at 3 days old?


10 Years
Jun 5, 2009
I sold some chicks to a fellow who took them to their new home 3 hours away. He put them in a rubbermaid with a heat lamp and food, I don't believe they had water. The rubbermaid had a separator between it because he bought 12, 3 day old mixed breed layers and 12, 7 day old Australorps and he wanted to keep them separate. They were in the back seat of his truck. He just informed me that 11 out of the 12 mixed breed layers died before they arrived. The Australorps were fine.
The only thing I think that wasn't good was he had his dog perched up on a pillow looking down at them. Could this have anything to do with? Could the dog have scared them? Or were the mixed breed chicks to young to send? Just wondering if anyone has any suggestions?
IDK but I'm so sorry that happened to your babies!!!!!
Sounds to me like they could have overheated.

Also, dehydration is an option, at 3 days old they would be out of yolk and needing to eat, but they probably wouldn't drink anything if it was available for that 3 hours and then possibly for some time afterwards.

And the worse that I think it could be is suffication. They don't have a diaphram to breathe, they have a "flow-through" system, with too warm and too humid of air, although you may be fine, they could drown. It takes 1 breath the breathe in clean air, and a second to breathe it out, that's a long time for water to settle in the lungs, that's why poultry houses always keep a negative air pressure so the air flow is efficient, even when temp is fine. Having warm air and CO2 being heavier, they wouldn't have access to the oxygen outside of the rubbermaid.

I am so sorry this happened to your little ones. Unfortunately, it has been my experience that unless the dog "plays with" or eats the chicks, they don't kill them just by looking on.
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