Polish chicks being weird (almost drowned, poorly attempted dust bathing, winking)


Feb 8, 2019
I have 9 polish chicks around 8 days old. They’re all healthy and active. I check them every 2-6 hours adjusting their brooder temperature and ventilation, cleaning their pine shavings, and changing their food and water. They’ve been chirping, eating, drinking, and pooping all fine but lately they’ve just been a little off today.

I have a very shallow plate for their water. It’s so shallow that even if any of them decided to stand in it, it would barely go past their ankles. But one of them I guess got tired? And ended up laying down in it. She didn’t even bother trying to stand up. She just stayed in there soaking up like a wet cotton ball. She started chirping a lot and luckily I was there in a heartbeat to get her out, dry her, and put her in front of the heater until she was all better. I was just shocked that her survival instincts didn’t tell her to stand up and get out.

I have another chick that keeps burying herself in pine shavings. I’m guessing she was just dust bathing but she ends up kicking food on herself with the pine shavings and all the other babies start pecking at the food on her. I don’t know if she’s just lazy or if something’s wrong because when she tries to escape she doesn’t stand up. Instead, she’ll stay crouched and try to run away from them in that position as if they can’t chase her. But if I try to approach her and dust her back off, she’ll go back to standing up like normal and run around just fine.

I also have another chick that keeps winking. It’s a slow wink with only one eye. Another chick had pecked her a few days ago and ever since she kept winking. I put a drop of saline solution in her eye, she kept scratching it but stopped later that day and the next day it cleared up and no more winking. But today I saw her back to winking again. There aren’t any tears, no slimyness, no floating particles, no redness, no swelling, no one’s been pecking at it, and she doesn’t seem too bothered by it either. I’m thinking about doing another drop of saline if she keeps winking though just to be safe.

This all happened today around the same time, right before they went to bed. If anyone has suggestions or advice, I’d really appreciate it. I just want to be sure that their behavior isn’t anything too abnormal.

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