I have a couple chicks acting weird


In the Brooder
8 Years
Apr 6, 2011
Colorado Springs, CO, USA
I have 2 Buff Orpingtons who are 3 weeks old and they are acting weird. They are burrowing down in their litter and then laying out on their sides. The other Orpington isn't doing it and my Barred Rocks aren't doing it. I've never seen my chicks lay down this way before. Are my chicks okay? Are they over-heated and cooking in their brooder? Are they ill? What do I do???? I don't want to explain to my kids that we lost a chick because Mommy cooked them by mistake! Please help!
Mine do that, they are outside but love to burrow and then bask in the sun. They could be a bit warm but probably just dust bathing and chilling out
My older ones do that outside in the sun. They are probably hot if they have one or both wings spread out. As long as they have far enough to get away from the heat lamp they are probably fine.
They're having a good time. You should get them a box of nice, dry sand, with a little diatomaceous earth mixed into it. The sand and DE is finer than wood shavings, and it suffocates fleas, lice, mites. Helps keep them clean, and for a chicken, it's like a day at the spa. They love it.
It's possible they are just having a dust bath in their shavings. My chicks are just 4 weeks old and they love to do that. At first it looks like they're having a seizure, flopping about, but they're just having a good ole time! It's their way of getting the parasites off and giving themselves a good scratching.
If your worried about the chicks being too hot, just be sure you have a cooler area for them to "escape" to in your brooder if they get too hot. And don't forget to decrease the temp each week by 5 degrees, you should be around 80 degrees, I think. Good luck!

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