4 day old chicks= 1 nervous 1st time mom (update! ) ;)

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ArcticFox, May 4, 2008.

  1. ArcticFox

    ArcticFox Out Of The Brooder

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    May 3, 2008
    :eek:

    I've been reading the forum threads for 4 days now, trying to educate myself and calm my nerves but it's not working. I have 27 chicks that I just moved into a large hardside wading pool with pine shavings for bedding. They have been scratching and pecking the shavings since I put them in 2 hours ago. They are working so hard to find food among the shavings and completly ignoring their food dish. Is it ok to scatter food among the shavings? Are they going eat the shavings and get sick? I have a layer of the bedding over the entire pool bottom. should I limit that to just the area under the light and use something else for the rest of the area, like towels?

    Also, out of the 27 one of the chicks seems to be more lathargic and sleepier than the others. She's not scrathing or foraging like the rest and seems to fall asleep standing up after just a few moments of activity. She also holds her right eye closed most of the time.

    Thanks for any help or advise you can give me...I really appreciate it!

    Melissa [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2008
  2. Vamp-A-Billy Princess

    Vamp-A-Billy Princess Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2008
    Indiana
    I dont know what the paranoia with shavings is. Mine have all been on shavings as soon as i got them and been fine but I've seen alot of posts about it so I guess it can be a problem at first. If they seem like they are eating it try the towel thing. They like to dig and scratch. I have one that was a big scratcher and threw bedding allover my floor. Chicks that young do alot of sleeping. Sometime standing up sometime laying spead out like they're dead. I wouldnt worry yet. But keep an eye on the sleepy chick just to be sure. Make sure its eating and drinking.
     
  3. ArcticFox

    ArcticFox Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for your reply princess. My paranoia comes from never having raised chicks before and reading some the threads here about chickens getting too much straw and junk in their croops and needing surgery to remove it. I worry because babies this young are not supposed to have grit (so i've read) so there is really nothing to help them pass the pine shavings if they do ingest it. Did you ever spread your chicks food out in the shavings for them to eat?
     
  4. ArcticFox

    ArcticFox Out Of The Brooder

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    May 3, 2008
    *crop's...

    [​IMG] sorry for the typo
     
  5. 12 Acres

    12 Acres Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 23, 2008
    Oak Harbor, OH
    It sounds to me like they are doing what comes naturally for chickens...foraging. I wouldn't worry about them, they aren't starving. They have their food and water available to them in feeders, right? At their age, that's all they really need.

    Just keep doing what you're doing, observing and learning. I learned more about my birds by watching them than I did from anything else. Try not to stress about them. They really are tougher than you think. [​IMG]
     
  6. ArcticFox

    ArcticFox Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you for your reasurance Amy [​IMG] This is definitly going to be a learning experience. Something i've learned tonight is the chicks don't like strange loud noises like my sneezing or the toilet lid slamming down. [​IMG] When it happens I hear one loud scuffle from the chicks and then all is silent. No more scraching or pecking. I looked at them and they were all laying down looking scared to death. I hope I don't give the poor things a heart attack. [​IMG]
     
  7. ArcticFox

    ArcticFox Out Of The Brooder

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    oh, and yes, they have their food and water available in feeders. I was just wondering if it's ok to go ahead and spread some their food among the shavings...
     
  8. 12 Acres

    12 Acres Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 23, 2008
    Oak Harbor, OH
    Chickens are hard-wired to survive! Sounds like the toilet seat and your sneeze had them hunkered down! LOL

    Honestly, go ahead and knock yourself out in regards to the feed. I was giving mine chopped grass on their 2nd day, sprinkled with some parakeet grit. They enjoyed it as a fresh green treat. They're a month old now and still enjoy fresh grass clippings every day (morning and night). But there are some here that would admonish me for even considering giving 2 day old chicks fresh grass! [​IMG] I would invite them over to take a look at my birds and see how healthy and robust they are now.

    I don't think it's fair to assign hard and fast rules to raising livestock of any type. I read these forums and can't believe some of the responses to the questions here. I guess I'm a little fed up with some of the nonsense I read here and I want to get across how easy chickens really are.

    Once you learn the basics of raising chickens, feel free to experiment! You are giving them what they need to thrive and that's the most important thing in raising them. They will let you know when they're ready for more, which doesn't take long! They are fun to raise and the little buggers really grow on you after just a few days.

    Follow your instincts and you won't go wrong! [​IMG]
     
  9. ArcticFox

    ArcticFox Out Of The Brooder

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    *sigh* (of relief) [​IMG] Thanks so much. After reading through this forum I was really thinking this was going to be really hard. I did read one thread called "a journey through a different way" by ruth...which describes her putting her chicks outside very early and even in colder weather. She too says that the chicks are stonger than we give them credit for and that too much 'coddeling' is going on. [​IMG]

    Ahhhh, sounds like after hours of foraging...they are finally going to sleep. I think I will too [​IMG] Thanks again for chatting with me.
     
  10. Slike

    Slike Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 1, 2007
    Puna, Big Island, HI
    A little trick I started using since I was a little kid (forget who taught me) to get them to learn to eat!: take shiny, colorful marbles or those flattened color glass "beads" that you see used in vases or aquariums (at least the size of a regular marble). Place them scattered around through their feeder, buried a little into the food. They are attracted to shiny, bright things and so when they go to peck at them out of curiosity, they can get a mouthful of food and quickly learn how to eat on their own [​IMG] Same trick also works for water.

    As to the lethargic one, often times when they are in their first few days (1-5 days I find) some of them are just sleepier and take longer to get "wired" than the others if that makes sense. Keep a close eye on the little guy and unless he shows absolutely no signs of "speeding up", I would try not to worry too much. Of course, let us know if he seems to be falling ill though. Best of luck,

    ``Slike``
     

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