New chick anxieties and questions!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Kimberlass, Mar 29, 2018.

  1. Kimberlass

    Kimberlass Chirping

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    Hello! I brought home three chicks today - an australorp, a red sex link, and a Black Star. When we got home I tried to show them the water, food, and brooder. The three vary in ages between a few days and a week. The youngest went right to the brooder plate and has been there since we got home. The other two had more lukewarm responses to the brooder. I eventually raised two legs a bit to convince them to get under it, and I feel like it isn’t close enough to them. I also have only seen one of them eat?

    So here are my questions, if you would be so kind as to give some input!

    How often should they eat and drink? When do I get worried that they still haven’t? Is my water too cool? Are they close enough to the brooder plate? What should I be looking out for, behaviorally, these first few days?

    Here’s a picture of the two who aren’t super into the plate seemingly (I had to put them under it multiple times because they kept falling asleep out in the open.)
     

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  2. Dawnjanell

    Dawnjanell Chirping

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    Chicks will move away from the heat when they need to cool off and if they are sleeping peacefully then they are probably not cold. They get very loud when they are cold.
     
  3. Caliber

    Caliber In the Brooder

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    They should pick up an appetite quickly. Young chicks cycle most of the day through sleeping and eating. The two older ones with more smooth feathers might not need the extra heat of the low brooder. If their entire space is not warm like under the brooder heater they may be too cold to eat and drink much. Are they active otherwise? Or sleeping constantly?
    Here are some articles with great information about baby chick care:
    https://www.fresheggsdaily.com/2018/02/beginners-guide-to-getting-started.html
    https://www.fresheggsdaily.com/2012/01/chicks-are-coming.html
    https://www.fresheggsdaily.com/2013/04/good-better-best-smart-chicken-keeping.html
     
  4. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Crossing the Road

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    They will eat and drink when they're hungry and thirsty. If they're in your house, the older ones may not need the brooder plate as often or for as long. I haven't used a heat plate, but with a heat lamp, you watch your chicks to know if they're comfortable or not. If they are too hot, they will be as far from the lamp as possible. If they are too cool, they'll huddle under the lamp. In both situations, they will cheep very loudly. When it's just right, they will be moving about the brooder, chirping contentedly, eating and drinking or sleeping. They do need to be able to escape from the heat if they are too hot, so make sure the brooder is big enough for that. They've been moved and had a big change today, they may need time to adjust to their new surroundings.
     
    Kimberlass likes this.
  5. azygous

    azygous Crossing the Road

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    You aren't going to see all of your chicks with identical food and heat needs due to the age difference. A week old chick needs less heat while the ones that are much younger need more frequent warm-ups. Provide fine chick crumbles and chicks will eat when hungry. New ones eat very sparingly at first, appetites picking up dramatically after one week.

    If you can, tilt your heat plate so the radiant heat is less intense for the chick that needs less heat and the younger ones can warm up at the lower end. This is how we who use the heating pad system rig it.

    Watch your chicks and you will soon be able to tell when they're comfortable or not.. As @Caliber pointed out, the loud persistent chirping will leave no doubt that your chicks are unhappy with something, just as a newborn human infant makes their discomfort known.
     
    Kimberlass likes this.
  6. Kimberlass

    Kimberlass Chirping

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    Thank you everyone! I tilted the brooder plate more and everyone seems to be quietly sleeping right now! As expected, the youngest is at the lowest part and the older ones at the higher end. I will check every so often to see if they stir to eat/drink.

    To answer a question above the chicks were very active and chirping loudly for the first 20-30 minutes or so, and then started getting tired. They’ve probably been sleeping close to two hours (with some interruptions from me, during which they chirped a little.)

    The oldest one totally faceplants when she sleeps. Is that weird? She picks her head up right away if something disturbs her.
     
    azygous likes this.
  7. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Crossing the Road

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    On the MN prairie.
    I have seen baby chicks fall asleep mid-stride when they're walking. It's funny to watch!
     
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  8. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    I always worry ( :confused: and I have been raising chicks for over 40 years ) until I see the chicks clearly eating and drinking. I have had some dunces.

    Some of the slower chicks need you to peck at the feed with your finger to get them to eat. Other times if I dip my finger in water, then touch my damp finger on their crumble a few crumble bits will stick to my finger, and for some reason they like eating the crumbs off of my finger tip.
     
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  9. Kimberlass

    Kimberlass Chirping

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    Another update! Two of the chicks have been eating and drinking now! The Black Star is definitely the one I am worried about - she’s still very sleepy and is not interested in food or water. I tried to dip her beak in a little sugar water to no avail. Tried some of the suggestions here - it’s been about 4 hours we’ve been home and nothing yet. She flaps her little wings in protest when I pick her up. I’m still nervous about her!

    The oldest is only interested in the food the youngest is trying to eat, but I’m not worried about that, I know human children
     
  10. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    have you tried warm sugar water, and just a drop on the end of a fingertip?
     

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