Is it normal for chicks to lay on their backs?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by NewcomerChicken, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. NewcomerChicken

    NewcomerChicken Out Of The Brooder

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    It's the cutest thing, and they look perfectly comfortable, and will even go to sleep like this (only when being held) but, I was just wondering, is this normal? Is it okay?
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Chickens cannot breathe easily when on their backs and can aspirate stomach contents (vomit). I do put them on their backs to dust them with poultry dust (someone told me that they had a chicken vomit when they did that).

    Holding baby chicks that way is probably ok for a cute cuddle here and there but I'd not try to hold them like that routinely.

    Just to cover all bases- vit e deficiency:
    http://www.thepoultrysite.com/publications/6/diseases-of-poultry/218/vitamin-e-deficiency

    (I am assuming they were just being held and don't have a problem...just thought I'd include the link just in case you needed it.)
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2013
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I agree, it's not a natural position at all. Probably okay for a little bit, but they'll probably start to resist it as they age.
     
  4. what did I do

    what did I do Chillin' With My Peeps

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    LOL, that is cute. We made sure we turned our rooster onto his back as often as we could and never had a problem with him.

    People have carried chickens by their feet for a long time and no one ever says it is bad. I wouldn't worry about it. Have fun with your chickens.
     
  5. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Not long ago, your chicks were inside their egg shells and were turned every which way for a month, so I doubt being upside down now is going to do them any harm.

    You're on the right track handling them a lot. Chicks like yours who are cuddled and loved grow to be tame chickens that are delightfully easy to handle.
     

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