First time with chicks: Gotta couple questions

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Eggstravert, Mar 2, 2017.

  1. Eggstravert

    Eggstravert Out Of The Brooder

    18
    3
    27
    Apr 20, 2016
    Central PA
    1)I followed the directions on these forums for setting up their brooder with proper heat etc. I put a thermometer under the light and dialed it in to a nice 90-95 degree range as recommended. Is it normal for them to huddle in a ball underneath it? They only seem to do it when they want to take a nap (sometimes one or two chicks, sometimes all them). The rest of the time they're very active, running around and seem to be happily exploring their new home. They seem fine on the colder side of the brooder as long as they're moving. Is this all normal? I just want to be sure they're getting enough heat as it's still quite cold here (45 right now)

    2)They're doing a lot of pecking at the wood chips on the floor and mostly ignoring their feed in the feeders. Every now and then one of them will peck at it for awhile but then they seem to forget. Do I need to do anything else for them or will they figure it out on their own? Are they actually eating the wood chips or just pecking at them?

    thanks!
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

    18,887
    6,294
    526
    Nov 7, 2012
    CENTRAL MAINE
    All babies explore with their mouths. You might put down a shoe box lid with some feed in it. IMO, it's good for babies to get to walk through their feed the first couple of days. it encourages them to eat it. An other thing you can do is give them a plug of sod from your yard. Put it upside down and they'll work on that. It gives them beneficial bacteria and fungi, first greens, first grit, some insects and seeds, some minerals, first dust bath, and lots of play.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2017
  3. Eggstravert

    Eggstravert Out Of The Brooder

    18
    3
    27
    Apr 20, 2016
    Central PA
    OK I'll try that...so just dig up a small chunk of sod (like 1 inch square?) with the dirt and all and plop that in there?
     
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

    18,887
    6,294
    526
    Nov 7, 2012
    CENTRAL MAINE
    I give them a chunk about the size of a pie plate. Be sure the lawn has not been treated with herbicide/insecticide.
     
  5. :welcome
    How old are they? Maybe put down paper towels and sprinkle the food on that? I did this with my day old chicks. What are you using for a watering system? I use the nipple waterers and it works great! No dirty water dishes! :bun If you use nipple systems make sure the bottle is see through or else they won't drink it. I just use plastic water bottles.
     
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    31,452
    3,531
    538
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    [​IMG]

    they sound pretty normal to me.

    As to the heat and the snuggling, that's exactly what they would do if they were raised by a momma hen. Run around out from under her, no matter the temp, then pop back all warm and snuggly underneath her for a nap. When rested and warm, back out into the world to eat, drink and explore. Since they don't have momma to show them what's good to eat, they have to go by trial and error. They don't know what is food until they taste it, hence pecking at the wood chips. Giving them sod is a good thing, it also encourages scratching and playing, gives them something to occupy their time.
     
  7. Eggstravert

    Eggstravert Out Of The Brooder

    18
    3
    27
    Apr 20, 2016
    Central PA
    Awesome, thanks for all the tips and comments gang...it's like being a brand new parent, you over-analyze everything to death ;)
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by