Thursday, April 12, 2012


This is our fifth spring buying new chicks.  This time we have not done such a very good job - this time, though, we learned something new which should have seemed so very obvious.

 We brought them home yesterday evening and we set up their box with food and water and showed them all where the food and water was by dipping their little beaks into both.  We worried, though, that two of the six were sluggish, quiet, and not walking around much.

This morning with one chick hardly moving, I worked on giving it water and it seemed to gain a little energy for a moment but died shortly after.  Another little chick followed much the same course within the next hour.

After reading online about chicks, the very simple advice is to be sure to hand feed any slow chicks as most chicks that die a few days after hatching, die from not getting enough food or water.

Now we know this - we know that we need to give lots of extra care to the sluggish ones - to the ones that cannot figure it for themselves right away.    This is the first time in five springs of raising chicks that this has happened.  Why do such simple lessons have to be learned the hard way sometimes?


  1. Electrolytes may also help perk them up. Good luck :)

  2. I would consider your source first, I've purchased chicks for three years that have flown in to Alaska from an outside hatchery. None, and I repeat, none of my chicks have died. I never showed them where the food or water was either. God bless your new chicks!

  3. I'm so sorry for your loss. I hope your children were not too overly upset by their deaths. I wish good health for your remaining chicks. Take care.

  4. Sorry to hear about your poor chicks. It could be that they got too chilled during delivery, though you may be right about the food and water. Best wishes for the rest of the chicks, who I'm sure will grow healthy & strong!

  5. I'm sorry about your chicks! It's always hard to lose them.

  6. We've had great luck with chicks from McMurrays Hatchery (not sure where you've ordered them from...) Sorry for your loss. We've experienced a lot of loss this month on the farm, also.

    And I'm glad the syrup arrived safely!

    Yes, we do a couple of small farmers' markets and have a farmstand. :)

  7. Because it is the way we will remember them always. I know that it might have been rough for you for this to happen, but I know that you will not forget this next year.

    Are the others chicks doing well?

  8. sorry about the little peeps. Hope the kiddos were ok with it all.

  9. Just starting to think about having some laying hens here for the guest at my B&B. My mom raised chickens years ago on the farm I was raised on here in the Finger Lakes, upstate NY.
    Good luck with the rest of them.
    I love reading your posts. Thank you for your inspiration.

  10. We are going on our second year of growing/hatching our own chicks on our farm. Last year, out of 12 eggs only 7 lived to adulthood. The Kiddos did get to see the process of life and death. I was concerned they would be distraught about the death of the chicks. Then one day my Little Fairy Bug told her Daddy that, "The chick dropped their body so the others could live." Okay, an innocent philosophical observation from 4 year old. We can also learn from our children.
    Do check your sources since some of the hatcheries are having trouble with in-breeding.