Is it normal for them to sleep almost constantly the first day?


10 Years
Jul 30, 2009
Charlotte, NC Area
I have only hatched ducks before, and it seems like they are very active even the first day. They sleep some, but they also wander around, peck at things, climb on stuff, and, if there's water, get very wet all day. This little bantam chick just seems to want to sleep, sleep, and sleep. I haven't seen him wander more than a step or two at a time before taking another nap. He looks healthy, and can cheep up a storm when he wants something, but mostly he just wants to sleep... Normal, right??
I don't have much experience hatching, but I do have some, and yep, the babies that I've seen hatch do sleep a LOT the first and second days. If they sleeping, they're comfy. If they're constantly peeping, something's wrong -- either they're afraid, cold, or something else is amiss. If they stay right under the heat lamp, they're too cold. If they're far away from the lamp and sprawled out or open-mouthed breathing, they're too hot.
If when they're not sleeping they're peeping and exploring and generally goofing about, they should be fine!
All the day old chicks that Ive bought do that. (I will be hatching my first batch this week I'm on day 16.) I think they work so hard they get tired for a few. I cant wait to have ducks. I've always wanted ducks, I will be setting duckie eggs in spring.
I'm no expert but I would see that as a sign of weakness. They will be very tired for the first 3-4 hours, but after that mine turn on and start looking for food. By 12 hours after hatching they're scratching for food like 2 year old pros. I would try to analize my hatch and my setting and try to improve on it to see if you can do something to improve vigor. I had very good hatches last season and most of my chicks were very strong, big butts, wide backed and lots of energy. Of course as soon as they get their crops full they just stop and lay around and sleep. But when they get hungry they get moving. The few that were not as energetic were thinner, weaker and 1 of them died 2 days later. If it is not the incubation, look at your broodpens. Good luck.

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