Baby Chicks! - Are they suppose to be this way?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by peep-a-boo, Sep 11, 2012.

  1. peep-a-boo

    peep-a-boo Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 21, 2010
    Dripping Springs, TX
    I just picked up our chicks from the post office this morning. OMG they are soooo adorable! I got a faverolle, a SLW, and 2 silkies. I made each drink water before setting them down on their food. It took a few drinking sessions before they started to perk up and eat. However, none of them is drinking water on their own. Now they're all sleeping. That's normal right? Also, I tried checking for pasty butt, but they are all soooo fuzzy that I can't tell. How soon should I see them pooping? Btw, the water is 1 cup sugar, 2 tbl ACV, 1 gal water. Please let me know what you think. Thanks!
     
  2. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    That's a big thing of water. How many chicks do you have?

    Too much sugar. Just give them plain water or water with electrolytes.

    They should drink on their own after one gets it, they all will.

    Pasty butt is all about feeling. If you feel anything around the vent area, you need to pick or clean it off.

    Watch out for pasty butt especially in your silkies. Mine get it before any of the others.

    They sleep like crazy. They will even pass out mid playing. or mid eating.. or mid drinking.. Make sure you have a chick waterer. They will/can drown in a regular water fountain.

    ETA: Only pick it off if it is on the butt. You may feel hardness around the belly from the umbilical drying up. Leave this alone. Just pick poop that is stuck. Don't pull too hard. You can use water to soften it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2012
  3. peep-a-boo

    peep-a-boo Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 21, 2010
    Dripping Springs, TX
    I have 4 chicks. I used a gallon water jug to make the water mixture then poured it in a chick waterer. Thanks for the heads up on the falling asleep mid-anything. I think I would be freaking out if I hadn't known that. I'll check again for pasty butt soon. Thanks! :D
     
  4. Gifa

    Gifa Chillin' With My Peeps

    1 cup sugar to 1 gallon seems like an awful lot of sugar to me... mine did fine without sugar.

    I raised 8 chicks in my brooder box and used a 1 gallon waterer. This is what I did.

    1/2 gallon water
    3-4 drops of Apple Cider Vinegar
    1/2 packet of Probiotic powder

    I changed the water every to every other day with new water/ACV/antibiotic powder.

    I cleaned out their water every time I checked up on them (every 2-6 hours). Most of the time I had it raised enough that they weren't in danger of nodding off in it or pooping directly in it, but they were constantly kicking shavings into it, and the shavings had more than likely been pooped on... so... it was a matter of dredging the shavings out... and tipping the foul stuff out of the reservoir, letting the still clean water refill the reservoir.

    The pack of Probiotics says to change water daily... I didn't... and didn't have any issues. But my water was out from under the heat lamp where it was 72 degrees, and I was pretty vigilant about keeping the water free of poop and other debris. It is possible that keeping the water over where it was cooler helped prevent drowning as well, as they were all more likely to head back over to where they were warm to nod off versus over by the waterer.

    I have decided that there's no real reason to buy the smaller waterer. Just because it's a gallon, doesn't mean you have to fill it with a gallon. A gallon container holds 1 quart just as well as it holds a half gallon or a full gallon. And their brooder box should be big enough to accommodate the large waterer anyway since it will have to be big enough to accommodate the chicks as they grow. By the time mine were 4-5 weeks old, I was filling it with the full gallon anyway.



    For pasty-butt:
    Go ahead and start supplying Chick Grit at the end of the first week... I found that this helped tremendously. But I still had one chick who needed to be un-stuck a couple of times in the first 2 weeks. For her, I held her upside in my hand and ran her butt under a faucet of luke warm water...(check the water temp with a thermometer, aim for 90-95 degrees or something similar to what you have in their brooder box under the heat lamp). After a few moments, the crusty/pasty stuff should begin to soften... GENTLY with a cotton ball, or a q-tip, dab at or lightly massage the crusty/pasty stuff to loosen it from their fluff. NO PULLING! Be patient... it will all eventually dissolve and come clean. The sooner you catch it, the less time it will take to unstick them. After they have been cleaned, you want to wrap them up in a hand towel and hold them to keep them warm until they dry out. About 10 -15 minutes. I found putting a wet chick back in the brooder just got her picked on by the others.


    And yes, falling asleep everywhere anytime... it's a side effect of brooding under a heat lamp and not a hen with a normal day/night sleep cycle.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2012
  5. Jakoda

    Jakoda Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 12, 2012
    Old Lyme CT
    I didn't use sugar..I mixed a gallon of water with 3 T of apple cider vinegar, had a small chickie waterer that I changed daily. I never had any problems with pasty butt. Also had set the waterer on a smal cement paver to keep it higher than bedding .

    Asking Gifa, why do you add antibiotic powder to the water? Just curious as I never have done that unless of course they were ill and needed an antibiotic
    Diane
     
  6. Gifa

    Gifa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Bah! I meant probiotics!! (to help prevent coccidiosis) Thank you for catching that, I will edit my post.
     
  7. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Usually that is in their feed :)

    I often use electrolytes when starting them. It gives them everything they need to start out well.
     
  8. Gifa

    Gifa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Honestly, I am not sure there is such a thing as too much probiotic... what they don't use they'll poop out. And after a week of reading up on coccidiosis, I was a little scared about it and didn't want to take any chances... So, in addition to the probiotics in their water, I gave them a few weeks of the medicated feed. I've been feeding non-medicated ever since.

    I gave them another round of probiotics in their water for their first week outside, and it was so dang hot that week (I recorded a ridiculous 107 degrees in the shade) that I also made electrolytes available to them in a second waterer any day it was over 100 degrees.


    No issues with coccidiosis or heat exhaustion. They all seem very healthy today... They'll be 16 weeks old tomorrow! =)
     
  9. peep-a-boo

    peep-a-boo Out Of The Brooder

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    39
    Dec 21, 2010
    Dripping Springs, TX
    I made a new batch of water, just adding ACV this time. They all seem to be doing well except one - a silkie. She doesn't seem to be eating or drinking as much as the others and she tends to be asleep more than the others. I took her out of the brooder several times to feed her and make her drink. She seems to perk up, but after a few minutes back in the brooder, she goes off by herself and seems lethargic again. I've adjusted the lamp each time. Any clue what's going on? Oh, and I wiped her vent with a q-tip dipped in warm water. She pooped right after, but no change in her behavior. Any suggestions?
     
  10. Gifa

    Gifa Chillin' With My Peeps

    They're still really new and just went through a stressful shipping ordeal... They are still working on their yolk sac too, so they may not need to eat or drink as often as you might expect. Give em another day or two and try to minimize handling (I know... that's the hard part) to once or twice a day (to check for pasty butt).
     

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