I apologize in advance for being really wordy, I try to be as specific as possible. To make it easier on you, I put my questions and tags in bold and the details follow and are not in bold.
Introductions: Yesterday my family picked up three baby chicks at our local cherry flea market. We got one Rhode Island Red (about 6 days old), a Silkie (about 11 days old), and a Frizzle (about 15 days old).
First pic: From top to bottom; Ginger (RIR), Scootaloo (Frizzle), and Gilbird (Silkie). They're sleeping in this pic.
Second pic: Under the heat lamp so Gilbird's butt will dry after her butt was dunked in too much water.
Housing and care: We are keeping them in a large cardboard box inside the house with a 50 watt light bulb with a waterer, feeder, wood shavings (pine I think), and some fleece to keep warm. As I am still learning about how to care for them, today I mixed in some grit and some finely chopped cheereios and rolled oats into their chick starter feed and put 1 teaspsoon of apple cider vinegar into their 1 quart waterer (I only put 1 tsp because for some reason we don't have a 1/4 tablespoon measuring spoon). The chicks seem pretty content, they don't chirp a whole lot, they eat and drink okay as far as I can tell and they seem to get along very well.
Now that you've been introduced and informed, I have some questions. I have done some research and mostly end up here, so I made an account to get some better opinions and advice that would be more direct to my chicks. (I will be referring to then as girls because we really hope they all are girls. We live in an urban neighborhood and cannot have a rooster, the lady we bought them from said we can exchange chickens if they turn out to be boys, but we're hoping we don't have to do that.)
1. Our RIR sleeps a lot and isn't as active as the other two, is that normal for a chick that's about 6 days old? Or should I be concerned? I think she eats and drinks okay and she has no other symptoms as far as I can tell.
2. Our Silkie has had some diarrhea, should I be worried? And how can I resolve it? At first it was just watery poo, but then later, her poo looked more like diarrhea. She is eating and drinking fine and is active. The other chicks have had normal brown poo with a white cap. I will keep an eye on the silkie for the next few days to see if it gets better or worse, but what can I do in the meantime?
3. Is my box too hot? I use a meat thermometer that I lay in the bottom of the box to check the temperature and the temp can get to about 90-100 F in the box, about 100 F under the light itself. We are keeping them in my room and the room temp fluctuates between about 70-85 F throughout the day and night. The RIR likes the light at about 100 F and will fall asleep under it while the other two fall asleep off to the side, but not fully in the shaded part of the box. They also like to sprawl out almost on their bellies when the sleep. I did just get a 40 watt bulb to try, but I wanted some opinions first. Here's Ginger sprawled out near the light.
4. Do you think she might be actually be a he? My RIR and Frizzle have started to develop small combs, but not the Silkie. Do you think they will become roos? Here's a pic of my Frizzle and it's small comb.
5. What should I try to remove a clump of poo off a chicks butt to prevent it from pasting up? My Silkie has a clump of poo on her butt below her vent, it's not blocking her from pooping seeing as she's had some diarrhea, but we are struggling in the removal of said poo because it's a bit matted in its feathers. We've tried twice, once today and once yesterday as not to stress her out, with warm soapy water, both in a bowl and on a wash cloth. In fact, my sister dunked about half of the chick in the water and we had to dry her off under a desk lamp with a 50 watt bulb that was about 100 F and I brought in the other two chicks to keep her calm to warm her up more quickly. She's all dry and is doing fine now.
6. Is pecking bullying? My Frizzle sometimes pecks at the other two chicks, on the face, butt, body, and legs. It doesn't seem aggressive, more like she's trying to pick things off them or out of their feathers. I wouldn't be so concerned, but seeing as I am worried that she might be a roo, I though I might as well bring it up.
7. Am I worrying too much, too soon? Lol, I just got them and just want to make sure I'm doing this right. I've only had one other chicken before, but I found her in my urban neighborhood and she was about 5-6 months old because she didn't start laying eggs till the second week we had her. If you think I'm worrying too much, too soon, let me know so my mind will be put a bit at ease. :)
Okay, that's all the questions I have for now, hope you guys can help me out here, sorry again for being so wordy, and any help is appreciated! :)