BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Raising Baby Chicks › First day with month-old Brahma chicks from hatchery, worried about 1 chick
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

First day with month-old Brahma chicks from hatchery, worried about 1 chick

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I just got my 3 Brahmas (month-old female chicks) in the mail from the hatchery today. I put them in a secure run with access to a coop and water, and scattered some chick ration for them as well as putting some in a feeder in the coop. They checked out the coop but don't seem too interested in actually spending time there during the day so far. For the most part they are happily foraging around for the feed that I scattered for them. OMG they are so much tinier, fluffier, cuter, and more fragile-looking than I had imagined month-old birds would be!

I'm worried about the littlest, most timid, flightiest one, whom I've dubbed Little Peep. But there's nothing clearly wrong with her, so I don't know that I should be. It's just that compared to the other two, she is spending more time just kind of sitting around looking kind of stressed (and maybe tired? eyes are sometimes closed or half-closed, but often open). NOT *all* of her time, mind you. Just more than the other two. And the other two are sticking together more as they wander around, she is more apt to be on her own. (But not always. Sometimes she's cuddled up with them.)

Temperature today is in the 70s, with intermittent thunder and showers.

Oh and another thing: Lows tonight are going to be in the low 50s. Will they be okay in the coop or do I need to bring them in the house?? I specifically got month-old juveniles instead of day-old chicks because I don't really have anywhere for a brooder (500 sq ft house, 2 cats)...but if I have to, I can make them a brooder in the bathroom and keep them in there at night and keep the cats out of there.

Nervous newbie, please advise! (I had no idea how anxious and protective I was going to feel about these little girls!)

post #2 of 7

They will be fine in the coop. Month-olds should have been weaned off heat before they shipped them. However, it wouldn't hurt to call the place where you bought them and express your concerns about this small, semi-lethargic one.


Find out if there's a chance she might be a week or more younger than the others, which might account for some of her behavior.


By the way, you need to teach chicks to go into the coop at night. They usually don't figure it out on their own, even if they've been cooped up for a couple days before being let out into the run. You need to make it lighter inside than outside, and it helps to get inside and coax them in.


Try to resist chasing them down and grabbing them to stuff them inside. That just stresses everyone. Wait until you see it's getting dark and the chicks are gathering together and making a trilling sound. That signals they're ready for bed.

Edited by azygous - 4/28/16 at 2:20pm
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
They went into the coop by themselves. Then I brought them inside the house LOL. (Rubbermaid tub with hardware cloth top, in bathtub, cats shut out of the bathroom.) Little Peep seems okay so far.
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
OMG. Little Peep died overnight. The other two chicks seem fine--perky and vigorous. I'm sad and puzzled and my 11yo daughter will be heartbroken. They were safe and warm in the bathroom, and all three were alive as of midnight. I was worried about Little Peep, but didn't really know why--I saw her eat, drink, and poop, and those are usually good signs, right? She just didn't seem to be as well as the others and apparently my instincts were sadly correct. I guess I need to call the hatchery as soon as they open. Any chance they will give me either a replacement or my money back?
post #5 of 7
I'm so so sorry you lost her! The hatchery absolutely should replace her!! Most. Will within a 48 hour window that your in. If the hatchery is a good reputable hatchery they will send another free of charge. Make sure you let them know the chick wasn't quite right from the start.keep us posted on what's happening ok. Again I'm very sorry about little peep.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
They don't have any more Brahmas. They did give me credit for her, as well as 1/3 of the shipping. It didn't make me feel any better, but I did appreciate it. I put it toward a couple of Delaware started pullets to arrive at the end of June.
post #7 of 7

That's very sad, and I can empathize because I lost a couple of chicks this past summer a couple days after I got them.


Your instincts were indeed right on. It's unfortunate you had to have them confirmed. But now you know for certain that a smaller, lethargic chick is almost certain to be struggling with issues, many of them unseen. Sometimes a chick hatches with genetic abnormalities and it fails to thrive. It's organs simply are incapable of allowing it to grow, and most of the time, the little one won't last beyond the first two weeks. If they do survive, they are undersized and usually always have problems from then on.


Just know that there really wasn't anything you could have done differently that would have made a difference.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Raising Baby Chicks
BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Raising Baby Chicks › First day with month-old Brahma chicks from hatchery, worried about 1 chick