Hi, I just hatched my first chicks yesterday, and they seem to be doing well except that their feathers are all stiff and stuck to their bodies. They are completely dry, but they are not fluffy at all. Its like their feathers have turned into a hard shell. What do I do?! I tried to wipe them off gently with a damp cloth, but it didn't work very well, and when they dried again their feathers were hard and stuck again. I don't want to stress them out/chill them. what should I do? They are in a brooder with a heat lamp on paper towels. Thank you so much for the help!
Chicks with Dry Stiff Matted Down Feathers??!! Help Please
Featured Stories on BackYard Chickens
Warm water, and a soft toothbrush with the heat lamp set up nearby... Make sure to thoroughly dry and warm the chicks afterwards, too.
It sounds like your humidity might have been a little low at hatch. I've seen this before, and I had to give each little one a "bath".
I set the heat lamp up over the sink, pulled up a stool, and got to work: softly brushing each baby out with warm water near the heat lamp. I don't know what the more experienced chicken-keepers would reccommend, but that's what I did, and it worked for me. I just took it slow, and made sure that the bathroom stayed very warm. If a chick seemed to get extremely distressed, I'd put it back into the warm brooder and start with a different one until coming back to it...
Edited by MisfitMarie - 4/25/15 at 9:40am