newbie question about activity level

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by apetelo, May 12, 2008.

  1. apetelo

    apetelo Out Of The Brooder

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    May 12, 2008
    Hi all,
    I've been a lurker here for a couple of weeks. I've been researching like mad because we were to pick up first baby chicks ever today. I was so nervous to have everything just right. We picked them up this afternoon and got them home, right into their heat regulated brooder. I put their water and food in, they nearly jumped into the food. Figured that one out pretty quick, but I haven't seen any of them (5 New Hampshire Reds) drink yet. And, the concerning thing is that they are pretty much passed out on the floor of the brooder. Granted, we've only been home for 30 minutes, but is this normal? I'm sure they're tired but they are looking half lifeless on the floor. I have the Ball jar waterer, should I do something different for water?
    Thank you in advance for you much needed advice!!
    Amy
     
  2. Sahara

    Sahara Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am sure they are exhausted and will do fine after they get a little rest. When chicks sleep they usually are beak down so they look dead but are fine.

    If you are still concerned about it when they wake up I would stick their beak in the water so they will know what it is. They will jump back at first but will go back to it if they are thirsty.

    Good luck with your new little chicks!
     
  3. Red

    Red Chillin' With My Peeps

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    All our chicks we have ever raised have slept looking like they were dead...sprawled out on the floor, sometimes with their necks and legs stretched right out and as still as stone. It's possibly one of the scariest sights ever, but on a more positive note, they have all been fine and that just seems to be the way they sleep [​IMG]

    If they still haven't discovered the water or taken a drink after a while, you can try dunking their beaks in just so they definitely know that the water is there to drink!

    Good luck with your little ones, you will have great fun and will be a fantastic chicken mummy! [​IMG]
     
  4. kodiakchicken

    kodiakchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I call finding all my chicks passed out like that "chick Jonestown". It is scary but they all seem to do it. Just watch them when they get up and move again to see if they make it to the water. We didn't have any problem with any of ours, which started at 14 until we dished them out to everyone that ordered.

    If they seem really sluggish, peckish or are huddling away from your light you may need to reduce the temp. I've found that my chicks don't like it nearly as hot as everyone recommends and as with all new "mommas" we tend to overdress/overheat our babies.

    Good luck and keep us posted!

    PS - What breeds did you get????
     
  5. apetelo

    apetelo Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you guys so much, you are so quick. And your replies certainly make me feel much better. Also, I had the brooder at 94-95 degrees, but they have conked out at the very back, away from the light. So, I've moved the light away a bit and will monitor the temp. They were born last Wed-Thursday. What would you say would be the lowest safe temp? Thank you so much!

    Oh, and all five are NH Reds, so so cute, a nice blonde color. I will try and get my act together and post some pics.

    Amy
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2008
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    And to think in another week you'll be asking yourself "don't these chicks ever sleep?!? [​IMG]

    The golden rule says keep them @ 90 - 95 degrees for the first week, decreasing by 5 degrees a week. But watch the chicks and let them tell you. Huddling under the light, too cold. Getting as far as possible away from it, or panting and/or spreading their itty bitty wings, too hot.
     
  7. kodiakchicken

    kodiakchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would take your cues for the heat from the chicks. Others swear by the thermometer. I tossed my out after the first two hours. My chicks were only about 2 days old and I was trying to get the temp up past 90 degrees (many say to start them at 100) and they were running from the heat. My house is at 68 degrees and the chicks are in a rubbermaid tote with a red heat lamp about 2' above them. I'm thinking of turning the light off soon and just letting them live with the room temp (they're 2 weeks old now). I took them outside Saturday for about 20 minutes. It was only 40 degrees but was the nicest day we've had in weeks and it had stopped raining (only for the day!). They did okay but I took them back in as soon as it looked like they were getting chilled. The ducklings, on the other hand, loved it and we had to fight them to get them back in the house!

    The chicks will tell you what they need if you pay attention. You will do fine.
     
  8. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

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    I got mine last Wed as well. They did the same thing- came out of the box, ate like crazy and then collapsed all sprawled out. I kept watching to make sure they were breathing! It's just been in the last ocuple of days that they have started being really active. Today they have hpped around and chirped all day. I added a stick/roost to the brooder and they've been practicing their flying trying to get up on it! Little dorks aren't terribly coordinated yet and keep crashing into it! Most of them still sleep all sprawled out. A couple have figured out how to roost and hunker down on the low stick, but the bulk of them flop down and spread their little wings out a bit and then kerplunk their little heads beak down. [​IMG]

    I kept the temp at 95 that first day and realized the chicks were avoiding the heat lamp like the plague. I neurotically fiddled with the temp for two days. I finally just took the thermometer out (they kept pooping and sitting on it anyway so I couldn't read it). I put the thermometer in once a day to check just for my own info. I think it's ranging between 80 and 85. It's less in the edges areas away from the lamps. The chicks all seem fine. When I had the temps higher they edged the brooder. Now that I've dropped it they hop all over the thing.

    Aren't you just having the best time with them?! I didn't know they would be so darn entertaining! Try giving them a bit of scrambled egg. It was like a rugby scrum with the winner zipping around cheeping madly. The bantums were the best at the game and absconded with a lot of the egg! It was hysterical. It must be love as I rarely cook for myself and here I am cooking up eggs for the chickens! [​IMG]
     
  9. apetelo

    apetelo Out Of The Brooder

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    I just wanted to update.....they've been home for 3 1/2 hours now and they are much better now. They had that nice long nap earlier and then they were all up and eating and drinking, so I think they are all good!! And yes, they are completely entertaining, I haven't been able to pull myself away from the brooder since I put them in it. My husband says (when I should have been cooking dinner) with a smile on his face, "So, these are going to be your top priority now?" Of course I said, "Yes, I think so, at least for a couple of days until the newness and awe wears off." Thankfully, he was totally understanding and went out and picked up dinner, awwhh so sweet. Thanks for all the help, encouragement and advice.

    Amy
     
  10. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    apetelo, glad your chicks are off to a good start.
    I accused my SO of being jealous of my chicks the other day and he admitted he was! Same thing, he said I spend more time with them than I do him. I told him I'd already figured out how to keep him warm, watered, and feed; now it was time for him to leave the "brooder box" and let the chickens have it. [​IMG]
     

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