First timer needs assurance!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by MountainCountry, Apr 27, 2016.

  1. MountainCountry

    MountainCountry New Egg

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    Apr 27, 2016
    Hey everyone! Brought 4 baby chicks home today (Aracauna, Maran, Rhode island, Brahma). I have them in a bathroom and am using an EcoGlow 20 instead of a heat lamp (too worried about fire hazards). Being a first timer, and a worrier, is it normal that the chicks chirp a bunch (one is LOUD!), then hide under the EcoGlow, then come out, chirp some more, etc. It does appear that they have been eating and drinking. I guess I had read (over-read, probably) so much that noisy chirps mean a problem, but it isn't all the time. They tend to come and go from under the EcoGlow. Underneath, they seem calm and fine. It's when they come out and walk around, eat, etc. One already (at just a day old) already hopped up on top of the EcoGlow. Am I just a first time worrier? Thanks for reading! PS: I haven't check for pasty butt...do I automatically do that, or only if it seems one or more are acting strange? (There is poop on the floor already.)
     
  2. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Sounds like you have an "opinionated" youngster. They can differ quite widely in temperament, some being precocious in their ability to manipulate us humans.

    You are correct that intermittent peeping is normal. It's when a chick is peeping non-stop that indicates a problem.

    Yes, you need to do vent inspections a couple times a day for the first couple weeks. Pasty butt acts as a cork and will stop up the works, causing death in short order, and it's a painful one.

    You should have very little problems with pasty butt using the Ecoglo. The chicks are much more able to regulate their heat needs with such a heat source. That they are on top of it indicates they are already beginning to wean themselves off heat. When they spend more time on top than under, you may need to adjust it to a higher profile.
     
  3. MountainCountry

    MountainCountry New Egg

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    Apr 27, 2016
    Thanks for the info. I am starting to see the pattern: eat/drink/chirp then go under the heat. Repeat. I checked for the pasty butt and it didn't seem like I noticed anything. I'll do some research on how obvious it is to spot. It's been a LOOOONG time since I held baby chicks and they feel so fragile I didn't want to stress them out by picking them up and trying to spot something I might be missing. Is it better to check when they are out and about from under the heat? My first check I got them out from under it since I hadn't checked all day, but don't think I'll do that again. It was nice how they calmed down just being in my hand. When I turned them around to look for pb, though, the chirping began.
     
  4. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    They do tend to object to being upended for their butt inspections. They'll survive. It beats a painful slow death from pasty butt, you can inform them.

    If you can, reach slowly in from the side, sliding your hand up against their toes. Then they may step right onto your hand. When they do, bring your other hand around from the other side and cup them in your two hands and lift them out. Try to avoid reaching for them from above, since that frightens them.
     
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  5. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    An easy way to get a good view of their hineys without causing a disturbance is to put down a nice dish of soaked feed once or twice a day -- it is a big treat for them and they will quickly gather around the dish and start gobbling it up which allows you a great view of the end you need to see....plus soaked feed is a great way to get a little extra hydration into them.
     
  6. MiniIndyRanch

    MiniIndyRanch Out Of The Brooder

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    x2 to this!

    I've been using the Ecoglow as well and i love it! As for the cheeping - distress cheeping, when you hear it, will be very different from the "opinionated" cheeping. My dogs unplugged the Ecoglow (only for 30 minutes thanks to hearing the distress cheeping) and the amount of volume that an unhappy chick can make is unbelievable! As I bent over to plug the Ecoglow back in, I swear my eardrums were vibrating!

    Good luck with the new chicks! They are SO MUCH FUN!
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2016
  7. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    Yes, it is like the different cries a human infant might make -- as you listen you start to hear different cries and understand the difference in what each cry is "saying".
     
  8. MountainCountry

    MountainCountry New Egg

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    Is the soaked feed okay even if they are only a few days old? If so, how big a portion and how "soaked? Sorry for the newbie questions!

    Also is it normal that, seemingly more suddenly than yesterday, when I enter the room they tend to scatter under the ecoglow. I think they might be thinking, "Here comes that hand again to touch us!" There is one who lets me pet her, but another gal definitely seems more stressed and pecks at the others when I open the top to try and pet them or just put my hand in to see if they'll come to it. Is this normal? I feel bad if my presence stresses them and causes one to bully the others.

    They are so cute...I just want to make sure they thrive and I don't cause any issues trying to be their friend and papa.

    Thank again to everyone on here! All of your responses are helping me feel better and keep my stress level down. I barely slept last night thinking all sorts of things!

    PS: I can see their different personalities and I've decided on names for the four gals: Dorothy (the one who tries to be tougher and pecks), Blanche (she's a looker and is the one who seems to like some attention), Rose (she is a bit smaller and bumbles around) and Sophia (she sort of observes the others. Yep, they're my "Golden Girls."
     
  9. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    Yes, soaked feed is safe at any age - it is, in fact, often better digested as it is water soluble - plus it gives them a great hydration boost, both of which can hep lower the incidence of pasty butt. I just take a handful of feed, put it in a dish and cover it with water, let it set a minute and add water if I want it soupier - put it down and it's generally gone in about a minute, maybe two if they are feeling slow, lol.
    Have to smile at your golden girls, we had a set of them ourselves - golden laced wyandottes - they were cycled out of the flock last fall and replaced with new layers.
     
  10. MountainCountry

    MountainCountry New Egg

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    Thanks for the help. I'm going to try the soaked feed. Still trying to get the babies used to being picked up. They get pretty stressed when we open the brooder top. Mostly the run back under the ecoglow. One seems more friendly, but one of the gals starts pecking the others and seems WAY more aggressive when we enter, which worries me. I know there is pecking order but I am hoping she calms down a bit. I dont want her hurting the others!
     

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