Did I cook my babies? New to "backyard chicken raising" I placed an order for 4 hens: 2 Australorps and 2 bantam buff brahmas in April, as my wife said she always wanted to have chickens and we learned that we could have them in our "upscale" town. I then proceeded to read the thousands of posts on this forum and others, designed a coop and run, passed it off to our "architectural review committee" and got approval for the coop "aesthetics". Then we anxiously awaited their arrival, which occurred yesterday at 9 am after my wife picked them up at the post office. They were day old chickens that shipped from Ohio on Monday. Brooder is a 2' x 3' wire cage that is 2' tall that was used by my golden retriever when she was in heat. Since she passed away last year at 13, I figured it would be good to use it as temporary 4-5 week housing. So it has a great plastic floor which I placed a light layer of pine shavings in and then lined those with paper towels. A heat lamp (250W) was placed in the center (2.5' above the floor) with some cardboard baffles to restrict light/heat flow. Temperature readings in the center were 90 - 97 degrees at chicken height, with the outer edges reading anywhere from low - mid 80s the further out you get from the center. When the chicks arrived, we checked them for pasty vents, dipped their beaks in the waterer to give them a drink, and let the go off to play. We also showed them where the food was and I even scattered some feed on the paper towels for them to scratch and eat. At 9 AM they were all active, although the smaller of the two brahmas (the runt) was the most lethargic of the bunch. All of them had fun pecking each other with the only remaining chick (an australorp) being the dominant pecker. Up until about 2 to 3 PM they would eat, move about the cage, scratch, drink and peck each other. It was quite entertaining to just watch them move about, peck each other and listen to their chirping. Between 2 and 3 PM we noticed the runt (the smallest buff brahma) was spending alot of time "sleeping" under the light. A saw her sleeping on her back and thought she was dead. But I picked her up, put her on her feet and she kind of stumbled forward to rest and resume her sleeping. At this point the other three are still fairly active, but all of them spend most of the time under the light so I assume its not too hot for them. Occasionally I move them to the outer edges where the temperature is lower and they migrate toward the center. At 3 PM I became concerned enough that I decided to mix some electrolytes in their water in case the runt was needing more energy. Well throughout the evening she became less and less active, getting to the point that she would roll onto her back, her neck would tilt to the side, and she couldn't right herself. From about 5 PM (obviously too late) we started taking her out and manually giving her water with an eyedropper. But she passed away at 9 PM. Then today, same temperatures and all, the less active of the two australorps passes away in pretty much the same exact way a little after 7 PM. Her activity slowed way down, she began to just "sleep", finally died in my wife's hand as we were giving her her hourly water and crushed feed mix. We started doing this earlier in the day about 3 pm (again probably too late). And then the "tough" brahma died the same exact way tonight after 10 PM. Earlier today we talked to a local breeder, and they suggested that we turn off the lamp for awhile....and when we did, the activity picked up, but then so did their chirping and they began clumping together, rather than spread out as they had been. They are in the house and when the heat lamp was off, the temperature dropped to about 80 in the coop. They were all quite talkative during this. But the temperature is spot on according to everything I've read about raising chicks. So, could it be that I have a red heat lamp? Does this make it "seem hotter" to the chicks than say a white incandescent? Did I cook them or were they just stressed from the trip? Their breathing never seemed to really pick up as I would assume it would if they were "panting". But we did notice that they were sleeping most of the time with their wings spread out. So apparently they were too hot but just didn't want to move out of the heat? Are they lazy? The remaining australorp (who appeared to be the strongest from the minute we saw them and who was the queen pecker) Is doing quite well. Eating, drinking, walking and chirping very frequently. Sometimes its the uncomfortable chirp but mostly its the faster, quieter, more pleasant chirp they do. I obviously need to get the remaining chick a companion or two and we have found a local breeder who carries the buff brahmas that my wife likes so that will reduce travel stress. But with a 36 hour survival rate of 25% I'm reluctant. I assume I did something wrong but I don't know what. Anyway, your advice and thoughts on what I should do better before I kill the next batch would be appreciated. Thanks.