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Got my first chicks finally today for christmas...... So many questions !

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by connor97, Dec 25, 2012.

  1. connor97

    connor97 Chirping

    Okay well my mom got me chicks, she didnt know how to care for them very well haha. I went to my dads for a week and while I was there she got 6 chicks. 3 of them died the first three days though :C

    Now that I'm here I know how to care for them properly and they seem to be doing good.........
    But, some of them have some crusty poop on their butts, I've heard of it before. How do you guys clean them ?

    Another question, one of the chicks is like stretching its legs out a lot and sometimes it sits down while the other 2 are always standing, could there be something wrong with its legs? :C

    These chicks are about a week old, is it too early to start bring them some meal worms from the pet store and other bugs from my garden ?

    Finally, at what age is it safe for them to live outside in their coop without a heat lamp ?

    Thanks everyone !
    Merry Christmas !

  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I get poop off the butt with gently running water in the sink. It takes a while but it's easy to pull their feathers out otherwise. You can gently scrub with a Qtip. Put something greasy on the butt when it's clean -- Vaseline, Neosporin, cooking oil, Crisco -- anything to help prevent the next poop from sticking. Poopy butt is from constipation. About a teaspoon of molasses per quart of drinking water will help, or use organic ACV. If they have sugar in the water I'd cut back or stop.

    I wouldn't give any treats til the poopy butt stops and they get a bit more settled down. A little plain yogurt mixed with a bit of feed might be a better first treat; I'd hold off on mealworms and bugs for a while, although I'm sure some people give them at a very young age. Healthy chicks will stretch like that.

    They will be safe outdoors at 6 to 8 weeks, which is when they should be fully feathered. They might tolerate it much sooner, but would need to be taken outdoors for short periods for the next few weeks, to acclimate them to your temps.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2012
  3. Trefoil

    Trefoil Songster

    Dec 7, 2011
    When they can go out depends a lot on your temperatures. Do you have a secure coop for them? If you have a good coop and a safe source of heat, they could be out a lot sooner. But if you live where its getting cold and have no way to provide them with a safe source of heat its going to be a while. In cold weather, they can't be out until they are fully feathered and then they can't be put out unless they are acclimated to the change in temperatures.
    Give them Luke warm water, cold water will give them pasty butt. Be careful about what treats you give them until you are giving them grit. Boiled or scrambled eggs are a good first treat along with yogurt. Spinach or broccoli blended very fine is a good treat. Meal worms are great as long as they have access to grit. I either run warm water over they butts or sit them in warm water to loosen the crust off their butts and then clean, make sure you get them dry before putting them back. I use olive oil on their butts to make it easier to clean, poopy butt will kill them if not cleaned off.
    About your chick that seems to be sitting a lot, its probably not leg problems per say, but it may very well be a vitamin or mineral deficiency. Put a couple of drops of baby vitamins in their water (I use poly visol without iron) and make sure its holding its own. You may want to give him a drop of vits to start out with, but be careful not to get it into his lungs.

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