3 day old Cornish X chicks aren't thriving

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by gwenakinyi, Mar 6, 2015.

  1. gwenakinyi

    gwenakinyi Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 24, 2010
    Bellingham, WA
    I tried posting in the meat chicken forum without any responses, so trying again here:

    I've successfully raised laying chicks in the past, but this is my first round of meat chicks. I picked up 15 Cornish X yesterday, and they've been in their brooder in our house for 24 hours. It's an appropriate temperature, they have water with probiotics, and chick starter feed. They just don't seem to be thriving. They spend more time sleeping than eating, and they tend to sleep like dogs, with feet stretched back, laying on their faces. Weird. I remember my laying chicks being more lively. Is this a breed difference, or is there something wrong? Is there anything I can do to get them more interested in eating? They've pecked at the feed a little, but keep falling asleep with their heads in the feed holes. Here's a grainy pic of my setup. Tips or suggestions appreciated.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Tn
    One thing I notice right off the bat, is that looks like a lot of heat lamp in a small space. If I were you, I'd step down to a smaller bulb and point the lamp into one corner, so the rest of the space is cool. With your set up, they don't have much room to escape the heat, and meaties grow quick and tend to overheat easily.

    Something else to consider, if they were shipped to you, is they're still going to be recovering from all the stress involved with being shoved into a shipping box and passed around by the PO. They might benefit from some electrolytes in their drinker or some sugar water to give them a bit of a boost.
    The sleeping behavior you're describing doesn't seem all that strange to me though. Even my layers will just fall down face first in the shavings for a random nap, or with their little heads in the feeder and beaks in the crumbles. New baby chicks do sleep a lot, just like most other babies. Good luck with them :)
     
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  3. gwenakinyi

    gwenakinyi Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 24, 2010
    Bellingham, WA
    Thanks for the feedback. The brooder is in an attic room that is pretty cool--upper 50s--and the thermometer read 90 degrees. The chicks were laying in a heap under the light, so I thought they were likely cold. I'll reassess.

    They weren't shipped directly to me, but they were shipped to the farm store where I bought them, and they had only arrived hours before, so they are definitely stressed from all the relocation. I'll try adding electrolytes to their water. Thanks for the reassurances. Since these are meat chicks I think I expected them to spend 20 hours a day eating. Maybe the problem is not the chicks, but my expectations [​IMG]
     
  4. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    They should have access to higher temps at one spot in the brooder. Imagine if they were with a hen, they'd pop under her to get warm and deal with whatever the temps are outside of her. 50 isn't all that cold. My chicks are in an outside brooder, and have 2 lamps on one side pointing towards the wall. Its usually around 80-85 under the lamps and the rest of the brooder is close to outside temp (which has been in the negatives and single digits at times).
    Those meaties are still lil babies, I would expect them to act like normal chicks, at least at first. But don't worry, they'll be eating you out of house and home soon enough ;) A friend of mine raises a batch of meat birds every year, and as they get older, they literally lay down in front of the feeder and eat for most of the day! Then they get up, waddle to the drinker and come back to the feeder and lay down and eat again!
     
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  5. keesmom

    keesmom Overrun With Chickens

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    They are still very young, so don't worry about the excessive sleeping and lack of interest in food so far. I found them to be like any other chick for the first week or 2. After that is a different story.
     
  6. CliffB

    CliffB Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Cornish X chicks will sleep just about whenever and however they choose. The moment their belly is full and they are ready they will just flop face first and go to sleep.
     

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