Only 2 chicks in the brooder. Yikes!


In the Brooder
Mar 26, 2015
Concord, NC
I didn't want to do this in this manner, but my 2 different breeders came through a week apart. So, I have only 2 chicks in the brooder for another week and it's making me a bit apprehensive how they are so lethargic.

When I got my 2 new marans home today, they just wanted to sleep. I suspect from a 2 1/2 hour drive? I introduced them to their food and water, but I'm just so nervous of them getting sick or something happening. They just seem soooo lethargic. I keep moving them to eat and drink every so often to be sure.

I'm still very new to this chicken thing and I know it wasn't smart to have so few in a brooder at a time but I was told they would be fine until the others arrive. Any thoughts? I'm using probiotics already. Maybe should I put a very small dose of Corid in the water? I can't get medicated feed here, unless I order it online. Perhaps this whole thing is a useless panic? Could they just be tired from the ride? I haven't lost a chick yet and I just don't want to start now.

Please be kind. I know I sound like a moron, but everyone is new at something at some point. :)

Thank you!
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You don't sound like a moron, I think your concerns are pretty valid. When I've had chicks shipped to me from a hatchery, they were energetic little things, running around the brooder and testing the food, water and straw. And they spent 2-3 days getting tossed around by the PO. Having only 2 shouldn't be an issue either. They have each other for company. I've kept lone chicks who didn't act lethargic. They weren't happy to be alone, but they weren't mopey either.
Your chicks may have picked up cocci at some point. Or, the stress of being moved may have caused them to become overloaded with it. If that's what they've got going on, a round of Corid would be the way to go. Medicated feed is just for preventative purposes. I'd go ahead and dose them.
(Breathing sigh of relief.) I'm preparing the Corid now and will use a syringe for a bit until they're drinking without me putting them there.

Thank you so much for the advice and reassurance...seriously. Chickens are the first thing I'm attempting in life without knowing anyone around me (that well) who does it. It's like diving off the deep end of the pool at the beginning of a summer as a kid.
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You'll learn quickly and be fine. I learned a lot on this website and I started out brand new in April of 2013. I still have several of that flock as well as 6 from last year with 8 in the chicken tractor now. So, I have 17! You'll figure things out as you go, and the chicks are pretty resilient once they get over the stress of shipping. Have fun and don't be afraid to ask questions about things you can't find information about.
Thank you so much for all of the help! They are happy little cluckers today, running around and chirping everywhere. And yes, I did the Corid.

So helpful. Thank you, guys!
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