My chicks have no instincts :/

hanabatake

Hatching
6 Years
May 2, 2013
3
0
7
Hi BYC!

Long time lurker, first time poster here - and a hopeless chicken noob, you've been warned. :)

I bought three chicks six weeks ago from a backyard breeder. One silver-laced Wyandotte (named Nugget, will explain) , one BO named Choco, and one supposed Australorp (named Loco, will also explain) but now we're not so sure.

Nugget is about three weeks behind the other two in age - this has been pretty challenging, and in raising them so far we've just gone with what we thought was best for the lowest common denominator. They lived in a big cardboard box with a lamp and shavings with chick starter for the first four weeks - we noticed Nugget, the youngest, wasn't growing at all (hence her name as she is tiny in comparison).

Choco, the buff, is a giant dinosaur and is definitely queen of the flock - she chases the other ones around and steps on them sometimes, but doesn't peck them.

Loco is inexplicably scared of everything, especially people, and constantly croons this warning sound as if the world is ending - we can barely get close enough to her with mealworms.

So our motley crew of chickens finally made it out to the coop two weeks ago, and we discovered two things: one, they were covered in poultry lice (didn't notice until we got them out in bright sunlight , maybe that's why Nugget wasn't growing?) and two: the daft birds have no instinct.

They don't roost on their roosting pole, they can't figure out the ramp to go to the run, they don't dust bathe, and they don't go inside at night - I find them snuggled together in the corner of the run and mother hen has to climb in there, pick them up and put them in the coop.

Because of the little one I had been keeping their lamp on in the coop at night - did I mess up their circadian rythms or something?

I started feeding them chick grower and electrolytes last week and Nugget has grown more this week than she has ever, so I still have hope for her.

Besides their lack of instincts, the only other thing that worries me is the poop in their coop and on the ground usually looks solid and normal, but when they poop in front of us it's usually yellow and watery - all three chickens. It's this normal? They all are alert and eat well.

I'd love any insight or advice - are my weird little birdies OK or can I help them?

Thank you!!
 

hanabatake

Hatching
6 Years
May 2, 2013
3
0
7
I forgot to mention - as soon as we discovered the lice, we dusted them with Sevin, and applied again after 7 days, and they are now lice free as far as we can tell.
 

MamaJoJo

Chirping
6 Years
Apr 2, 2013
188
8
88
North East Alabama
Welcome to byc! I've only been here a short time myself and am fairly new to chickens so I won't be of much help here. Can you post a pic of the runny poop? Seriously. Lol. It will help others decide if it's possible coccidia or cecal.yellow can mean coccida but chickens also have a runny poop once every eight poops or so that is called cecal poop and is perfectly normal. I have noticed with my chicks and other chickens it is usually a dark brown though. There is a poop chart here on byc that is very helpful. Type poop chart into the search bar and you will find it. As for the other odd things chickens do, you wil have to wait until someone with more experience comes across your post, or just start typing things into the search bar and begin reading ask the massive amounts of info that is known as byc :) good luck!
 

hanabatake

Hatching
6 Years
May 2, 2013
3
0
7
THANKS Mama JoJo and Sobba Chickens! Who knew looking at a whole page of detailed poop pictures would be so helpful - it's definitely just cecal poo. :) what a relief!!

Now to solve the other mysteries. :)
 

MamaJoJo

Chirping
6 Years
Apr 2, 2013
188
8
88
North East Alabama
THANKS Mama JoJo and Sobba Chickens! Who knew looking at a whole page of detailed poop pictures would be so helpful - it's definitely just cecal poo. :) what a relief!!

Now to solve the other mysteries. :)


Quite welcome! Glad to help relieve the worry. Sobba chickens was on the spot with the link. I just posted on another thread how my chickens won't use their roost bars and sleep in our under their nests so I have no clue how to help with your other issues lol. I'm off to do research of my own now. Who knew I would care so much about these feathered creatures?? :)
 

lazy gardener

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
27,615
27,002
917
CENTRAL MAINE zone 4B
Quite welcome! Glad to help relieve the worry. Sobba chickens was on the spot with the link. I just posted on another thread how my chickens won't use their roost bars and sleep in our under their nests so I have no clue how to help with your other issues lol. I'm off to do research of my own now. Who knew I would care so much about these feathered creatures??
smile.png
You might need to give them a lower roost to start, or try putting them up on the roost some during the day. How high is it???
 

MamaJoJo

Chirping
6 Years
Apr 2, 2013
188
8
88
North East Alabama
You might need to give them a lower roost to start, or try putting them up on the roost some during the day.  How high is it???


It is a bantam size coop. the first bar is a foot and a half off the ground with a ramp leading to it. I have wondered if they ever had roosting bars where they lived before. Even my chicks know what the bars are for.... These girls, not so much.
 

Havenhill Farn

Chirping
6 Years
Apr 23, 2013
190
2
71
Horton,Al
i think it is captain jack sparrows falt(her rooster). He doesn't roost and the girls are SOOO in love with him that they sleep where ever he sleeps lol
 

farmer boy

Songster
7 Years
Jul 5, 2012
1,229
15
131
Canada,NB,River Glade
Hello and welcome ... my chicks did not how to do things but i have other chicks that knew what to do and they showed each other what to do my chicks are 3-4 weeks and they dust bathe scratch and they rooster if i put a little roost in there .. my roosts i put in with my young birds are pretty low to the ground so they get use to it and then i just start putting higher ones in ( chickens like to roost as high as they can ) and then they learn after a while ... if they were raised in side that is why they don't know how to do things with my chicks i brought them out everyday since a few days after they hatched so they know what to do outside and when they learn things as chicks they will use them when they are adults ... my new chicks just hatched from my eggs and once their a few days old i will be doing the same thing with them and bring my older chicks out with them so the the older ones show the young ones what to do ... but this is a little old of a thread and tell me how they are doing now
 

MANNA-PRO

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom