A Lesson learned a word of warning.

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by magsrags, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. magsrags

    magsrags Songster

    Aug 12, 2008
    Staten Island NY
    I've hatched a number of chicks this past week. I decided to try using that waffled, rubbery shelf liner (in grass green color) I've seen folks have suggested for the first few days to insure good footing to my new chicks. This is my first attempt trying it, always used paper towels over newspaper which I find a breeze for clean-up throughout the day.

    My observations today likely saved one of my peeps for sure.

    Uno was a single egg hatch born on 1/4 in the AM. From the get go spunky, drank immediately and pecked at her meal which she didn't really get in her mouth. LOL
    I did notice the next day, that she tended to go to the far edges of her container to reach for the tiny pieces of food which had fallen OFF of that green rubbery liner...... and onto the newspaper underneath. Just took notice and went about my business hatching more eggs.

    In the meantime 4 new peeps over the next 24 hours joined her in that container and all were happy and fine. She decided to place herself immediately at the top of the pecking order which amazed me in itself. Went from one to another and pecked them a good one to insure her reign as top peep in the brooder.

    So this morning when I came in to check the brooder box.... I saw her standing all alone with her eyes 1/2 shut and just "not being herself". I brought her to her water dish and dipped her beak in and she seemed not at all interested. Added suger and did it again a couple of times.
    Fortunately the peep box is in my sewing room/office so I get to moniter newborns right there beside me for the first 2 weeks.
    She didn't go near her food ....even a nice mash I'd made her special. I tried enticing her and no go. Her crop was empty and I knew she needed to get down to eating or just fade away.

    By early evening she is wobbly and hasn't actually gone to lay down all day, just stood there.

    So, it just kinda dawned on me like a ton of bricks.....take the green liner away.

    Like a chicken who hasn't eaten in a week, she dove into the crumbles like there was no tomorrow!!!! Took a long drink and went back for more. I know now her blood sugar was likely way down and she was too larthargic to eat. I get hypoglycemic myself and understand it very well. :<)

    The liner for some reason made it either difficult or strange for her to eat from.
    Now a couple of hours later she is sleeping, lying down next to her little friends all content again.
    Phew, glad I averted that sad scene.

    Just wanted to stick this in peoples heads in case they might encounter the same thing down the road.
    I'll still use the liner, just only for day 1. After that it's white paper till they understand how to eat out of their dishes.
    happy hatching![​IMG]
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2009
  2. LilBizzy

    LilBizzy Chicken Storyteller

    May 20, 2008
    Wow, who would have thought? Very lucky you took the liner away. Sounds like that chick is going to be an interesting one. How cute to make herself the queen already!
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member 11 Years

    That's very interesting. I never use it in the brooder, only the bator.
  4. magsrags

    magsrags Songster

    Aug 12, 2008
    Staten Island NY
    Quote:Yes, interesting for sure. I used it in the bator also and like using it there and will again. Phew.....but not past day 1 in the brooder ever again.[​IMG]
  5. skeeter9

    skeeter9 Songster

    Did the other chicks seem affected by it or are they too young yet to tell? Sure glad you figured it out in time - Good detective work!! [​IMG]
  6. magsrags

    magsrags Songster

    Aug 12, 2008
    Staten Island NY
    Quote:Because they were younger they seemed fine. But when I remved the liner they really dug into the mash too. I just now believe it's better not to use after 1 day to be on the safe side.
  7. Smoky73

    Smoky73 Lyon Master 11 Years

    Feb 8, 2007
    Huh, thats interesting. When I buy the rubbery shelf liner, I have always gotten the ones without the holes. Wal-mart has them. They are fantastic things. Then I switched to sand. Now though, I just use feed. I buy a 50lb bag of starter feed and cover the bottom of the brooder with it. Then as needed, I dustpan the top layer off with the poo and refresh. I do not have to worry about them being without food as everything is food. A really good friend of mine who shows moderns and brahmas taught me this trick when I saw his brooder set up.
  8. magsrags

    magsrags Songster

    Aug 12, 2008
    Staten Island NY
    Quote:Hmmmmm............I do have white liner I can try. But I think your suggestion is a good one about using feed! Especially for small batches. Thanks for the tip!
  9. Mojo Chick'n

    Mojo Chick'n Empress of Chickenville

    I use puppy training pads - they are non slip and white, the chicks do great on them - plus, changing them out is fast and easy, just fold them up, throw away and replace.
  10. mjdtexan

    mjdtexan Songster

    Sep 30, 2008
    Quote:Thanks, thats what this site is for. I had no idea what to do with chickens before I came here.

    I am, however, amused at trying to imagine you sitting on these eggs trying to hatch them.

    <------------ laughing

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