The advice hub Starve-outs

Along with yolk sac infection the other common problem with young chicks is starve-outs. A newly hatched chick has its yolk sac within it to help provide it with sustenance during its first four days of life.

Sadly these chicks fail to learn to eat and drink which maybe due to poor brooding conditions or ill health, so when their yolk sac runs out at four days of age they die.

Affected chicks appear much smaller than their counterparts, they often loudly cheep to express stress and they will have a completely empty crop.

There is no one reason for chicks not to eat and drink but there are many possible contributing factors:

  • Poor health of the parents
  • Incorrect incubator settings
  • Incorrect temperatures
  • Incorrect humidity
  • Poor lighting
  • Not enough accessible drinkers and feeders

There is no treatment for starve outs and unfortunately they will not survive.

The chick’s environment must be the correct temperature with a good source of light and they have access to feed and water.