Loads of Questions

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by CluckyCharms, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. CluckyCharms

    CluckyCharms Chillin' With My Peeps

    This may seem like a silly question but these 4 chicks have me all nervous, so I have some questions. I have books coming out my ears about chickens, and chicks and several resource cites and I keep thumbing through them expecting to say "Eureka" and find the answers but they're not in thereeee.

    - One of them is drinking practically non-stop. She dips her beak in the water, tips her head back and guzzles it down, and dives in for more water - lots of water. Is this dangerous to her little system? The other 3 don't do that.

    - We have 3 small ones and 1 standard. Amazingly enough it's the smallest, runtiest chick in there that is picking on everyone...so I'm assuming all will be okay. But...wanting to make sure.

    - They are HOT in my opinion. I picked one up and my hand soon wanted to put her back in. :hmm It's only 91 in their brooder and they are comfortable (nobody is trying to run to the outside) but they sure feel like little hot potatoes - that is normal?

    - All of them do a little dance thing when they poop. They'll stop whatever they're doing..push out their neck and a little "blooop" comes out their tushy. It's normal looking I guess (not exactly sure what chickpoop is supposed to look like). It's the straining I'm worried about - is pushing their necks out just to poop, normal?

    - They are laying down in the bedding flat, with their footsies sticking out and wings sort of flapped out to the side, so I was concerned. I picked them up one at a time and they seemed frustrated to be disturbed - but they sure don't look like they're comfortable when they sleep - are they?

    - One of them sits with her beak open a lot and none of the others do. It's not gaping or hanging wide open, but her beak is parted a lot of the time...what does that mean?

    I think that's all for now....I'm stressed to the maximum. They're so blinking tiny!!

    Thanks in advance [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012

    CKNNWBEE Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 2, 2012
    I empathize with you! I am new to this too and currently have full on chest pain from anxiety over one of my girls. She gave herself a bath in their water dish and they were outside and the wind was blowing. Next thing I knew she was soaking wet and laying weird on her side, legs out, and panting. Back into their brooder she went and is warm now. Panicking, I looked online and will save you the terror, DON'T LET YOUR CHICKS GET TOO WET! Its serious business and they can die, if they get chilled. And her 'crop' the puffy thing on front of chest looked like a tumor swelling. I looked online and its her 'crop' and she probably ate too much and digestion has to happen. I too have been panicking and asking questions. I hope someone with experience answers you ASAP! [​IMG]
  3. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2012
    Los Angeles
    As far as the too hot goes you want to make sure that your brooder has enough room so they can get away from the light if they are getting too hot. If they are overheated they will look for a cooler place. Chicks can overheat.

    When my girls were chicks they would just sleep where ever they were (I think being a baby is just exhausting) and would just laying down flat on their tummies. As long as they are walking normal otherwise and getting up and moving around after their nap I don't think you need to worry.

    The other things I'm not as sure. Just take a deep breath and relax. You are doing great.
    1 person likes this.
  4. CluckyCharms

    CluckyCharms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you for the support and encouragement! I know what you mean about the chest pain, too...but that might be because I have the flu with bronchitis...and not the chicks (not sure, LOL)

    For all the research I've been doing, and the countless searches I have done on this forum, and the hours and hours and hours I've stayed up at night reading books before we brought *any* chicks home - for all that - I feel like I'm still no more educated than I was before I started. [​IMG]

    Snickerdoodle (she's my Mille Fleur) took a bath on accident as well...thankfully they're in the brooder so she wasn't too bothered (too brrrcold outside to take them out there). They're 1 day old (hatched yesterday morning) so I'm a nervous wreck. All of them knew how to eat and drink though (thankfully).

    Basically it's just the drinking I'm concerned with. They ate a little...but mainly just pecked at the starter meal without actually eating it (they sure are messy little things).

    My husband is going to the store to get batteries for our camera so I can take pictures of their weird laying positions. Sigh

    I was NOT expecting to get these chicks so nothing was prepared (not even a brooder) because I'm sitting on hatching eggs (those were meant to be our first chickens) but...then this hatchery came into town for Chickdays...and I had to go see...I was going to get 1 maybe 2 and we ended up with 4. [​IMG]

    Sooo these ones are in a rubbermaid tote with bedding, starter, water and a heat bulb (until I'm done with the brooder I've been working on)

    Do yours exhibit any of the 'odd' things mine do??
  5. CluckyCharms

    CluckyCharms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yes, that's what they are doing - laying flat on their tums. One has a leg stickin' straight out behind her though...and a wing open at her side. She keeps laying like that and then squawks at me when I move her. She walks normally, poops normally(I think). Actually she really doesn't walk she hauls butt (runs fast). =/ Seems healthy but she lays like she's dead. =(

    One side of the brooder has the lamp over it and the other side doesn't...thus far they're all staying on the heated side...but sprawled out.

    Thank you for replying.=]
  6. Peeps4me

    Peeps4me Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 15, 2012
    Southern Indiana
    Okay Clucky, it's time to take a deep breath and relax. It sounds like your little chicks are just being normal little babies. Chickens are like little heaters, they have a high body temperature. It still amazes me at how hot they feel when you hold them. What you are seeing when they poop sounds perfectly normal. I can always tell when a chick is about to poop by their body language. Chicks sleep in some unusual positions. Sleeping while standing up with their beak on the bedding is so funny. Sounds like yours are practicing for dust bathing and sun bathing. They get on their sides and tummies with legs and wings in different positions. I am not sure why one is drinking so much more than the others. Just keep an eye on that. I keep marbles or clean stones in the water container so they can't drown or accidentally take a bath for the first week to ten days. Put down a paper towel and sprinkle some starter meal on it when they are awake. They will get curious and peck at it. It is a good method to get them to start having an interest in food. Now, just sit and enjoy all the antics these little chicks will provide. I'm sure they, and you will be just fine!
    1 person likes this.
  7. CluckyCharms

    CluckyCharms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you for the advice and reassurance, and you're right...I'm probably freaking out over nothing. They've started itching themselves with their beaks...mainly under their armpits and backs, etc. My first thought was OMG they have mites! Or gnats or some other biting beast on them! I looked very closely though...even used my husband's microscope and pulled some of their bedding out that they were laying on LOL ...there's nothing on them at all (apart from peach fuzz and dust) nothing moving. =/ I did sprinkle an extremely light amount of DE in their bedding just in case...but I haven't a clue why they keep poking around in their armpits.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
  8. ChicknBaron

    ChicknBaron Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 12, 2012
    Marysville KS
    Okay... I know what you mean with the little "wiggle jig" they do before pooing. I remember mine doing that in the last batch of chicks i hatched... They're fine now so... take from that what you may... hmmm what else was there... as far as the excessive water goes, i'm not sure but the fashion of which she does it (tilting her head back) is normal. chickens cannot really hold in the water they swallow, due to there lack of lips so they tilt there head back to let gravity take it down before it all falls back out... If the temp gauge says 91 they should be fine but if they lay down and start panting with there beaks open (like a dog) then that may be a sign that they're hot. and Yah, like the others said: if they are laying down with there wings out they might just be practicing sun bathing and "soaking up the sun"... i imagine the nice warm lamp would feel good on my bare legs and wings if i was a little chicky... I find it so cute when my newborn chicks stretch out there wing and leg really far backwards after sitting down a while - kinda like a nice morning stretch - that might also be a version of the sun bathing and soaking up the warmth.

    Remember: this is only like my third time i've raised chicks and this is just all that i've observed in my experiences that seemed to relate to some of your questions... Hope they've been of some of some assistance!

    [​IMG] OH! i just read your new post! What they are doing when they itch there pits is called "preening". They are probably doing it by instinct and practicing/trying it out a bit... no need to worry! They may still have some residue in there from hatch that is breaking apart (like if there were a few strands of peach fuzz stuck together, they might be preening them apart) My chicks do it every once in a while too...

    Enjoy the Chickies!!!!!!!
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
    1 person likes this.
  9. KrisH

    KrisH Chillin' With My Peeps

    I remember those days, so nerve wracking. is this normal, why are they doing that, don't eat poop, wow you can about fly, etc.

    I remember when they were about 6 weeks old and we took them out on their first adventure. we took them to the barn and they would run out and when they got into the sun, they would FAINT. they fell over, closed their eyes and stretched a wing out. they had never been in the sun before. now we know that was the beginnings of sun bathing. run out in the sun, faint, then wake up and run inside again.

    yep, they sound normal to me.

    1 person likes this.
  10. ChicknBaron

    ChicknBaron Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 12, 2012
    Marysville KS
    It's so cute, isn't it...[​IMG]

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