Quick Help... chicks got here a few hours ago!

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7 Years
Dec 19, 2012
We raised chicks when I was young but now *I* am alone responsible for these little babies and I'm going into a motherhood-induced panic...HAHAHA! Anyways, they weren't supposed to be here until later this week, so we are slightly unprepared. I live on an island in southeast alaska, so my options are limited. I am trying to get a nearby farm to contact me to get a hold of some chick starter, but I currently have only the powder formulation for their water that I can give them. Is there anything I might have in the house that I can give them at 1 day old?
Also, I have a heating pad sitting under the corner of the brooder...so they can get warm on it. I don't have a thermometer, so do I just just by them falling asleep and cuddling quietly?
I have 27 chicks. Is there an easy way to tell if they are all drinking?? I didn't get a chance to dip each nose because I put them in the brooder checking for pasty butt, and forgot to dip them all on the way.
I don't even have a waterer! I turned a cup upside down on a plate for them and they seem to love it.
Any last minute advice or tips? I thought I was fine but now that they are here I am a nervous wreck! LOL

Despite them having to fly all the way out here to Alaska, and it dropping down to 28 degrees last night, they were ALL alive and SUPER peppy, and only my special free chick had any crusty butt.
Oh...and some of them are laying down when they cuddle up on the heating pad... like, all the way down. It freaked me out at first so I would poke them when they did, and they jumped up and looked at me like "what the heck is wrong with you??"
Is it normal for them to lay like that, or is it possible they are getting too hot???

Jeez...I just had my fourth baby in february, but nothing can prepare you for chickens :p
Oh...and some of them are laying down when they cuddle up on the heating pad... like, all the way down.
Yep - mine did the same. They 'crash' when they nap and it looks like they are dead...no worries as long as they pop up and run around at other times.

Can't help you as far as other foods...We're on our first batch, too.

Good luck and keep us posted!
You need some chick scratch as a backup feed until you get starter. Don't waste time. Chick scratch is mainly composed of corn, red wheat, and milo. Don't get regular scratch or they'll choke on it. You need a thermometer and a brooder lamp rated for a 250 watt bulb. Red bulbs reduce feather picking and allow the chicks to sleep. The temp the first week should be in the low 90's. Make sure the lamp you get has the ceramic housing on top.
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