- May 26, 2011
I'm new to the chicken thing...actually I grew up around them, but I guess my mom and dad dealt with the raising of the chicks, and I just joined in the fun when they started laying eggs. Now I'm raising 10 chicks of my own...2 Americaunas, 2 Wellsummers, 2 Ideals, 2 Australorps, and 2 Gold Sex Links. They are all about 3-4 weeks old. I have them in a large watermelon box in my garage right now. I'm in the Hill Country, so it's plenty warm here. I've even wondered if perhaps they are too warm at times. I put alfalfa hay in the bottom of their box, and I change out their pen every two or three days. ISSUE: I noticed last night that two of the chicks would take a couple of steps, then lay down. The other chicks were running around, eating, drinking, and having a good time. But these two chicks just looked like something was bothering them...they looked uncomfortable. I decided to check their legs and make sure they could walk, and weren't injured, and they seemed ok. When I picked them up, I noticed their bellies were reddish looking, and most of their feathers are gone. Has anyone run across this before? I thought maybe I need to change out their hay more regularly, as maybe their bellies are getting irritated if they lay down on hay that has poop on it. If you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them. Thank you!