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Chicks with Dry Stiff Matted Down Feathers??!! Help Please

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

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!

post #2 of 5

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
I'm a twenty-something chicken nerd, collector, and hobby-hatcher stuck in Suburbia. I have a variety of favored breeds (including a bantam flock), two hutches of quail, three large gardens, two wonderful cats, and a supportive significant other.
Reply
I'm a twenty-something chicken nerd, collector, and hobby-hatcher stuck in Suburbia. I have a variety of favored breeds (including a bantam flock), two hutches of quail, three large gardens, two wonderful cats, and a supportive significant other.
Reply
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Ok thanks, I will try that : )

post #4 of 5
I Am having the same issue. One of my chick's got shrink wrapped. I had to bathe it in warm water to get the shell and membrane off. I gave him her 24 hours to self hatch first. Then I dried her and she was still matted. I dried her some then put her back in the Bator to warm up. I bathed her again after she dried, and she's fluffier, but still has some stiff feathers. Is that ok, or should I bathe her again in a few hours? She lost quite a few feathers so I don't want to do too much and cause her to lose more. She a frizzle sarama.
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hi, this was a post from last year, but I did end up washing the chicks in warm water with a wash rag. I washed them once just to get the feathers unstuck from their skin. They never really looked exactly like cute fluffy chicks but they were healthy, and their feathers grew in fine. I think this happened due to my humidity being too high in the incubator. I had it at 50-55% last year, and 40-45% this year with much better results. I would personally leave the chicks alone now,unless the stickiness means they can't move well, or open those eyes.
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