Sleeping patterns for baby chicks?


9 Years
Mar 10, 2010
Hello there - Received 4 chicks yesterday afternoon. Have them nice and cozy in cardboard box under red heat lamp. thing is, I'm not a 100% confident on the difference between sleeping chicks and when they're sick. For instance, do baby chicks usually sleep standing or laying down on their tummies?

one other question - since they're inside and under a red light, I'm not sure when to turn on the regular white light overhead in order to simulate "day" time. Is this even necessary?


Pet Duck Boy

10 Years
Dec 12, 2009
Orlando, FL
Sleeping standing up and laying down, both. It is VERY normal for chicks younger than 1 week old. As they grow older their play periods get longer and they sleep less. Chicks are funny, in a snap they can go from running around and eating to stopping in their tracks and falling asleep. When chicks fall alseep standing up some people call them "tripods". Because their head will hang down and touch the floor, acting as a third leg. Sick chicks will sleep overtime. When a chick wakes up and wants too play, they'll play. Play play play!

About the red light and white light, it doesn't really matter. They mostly need the warmth. I have heard that white lights incourage pecking, but I havn't had this problem.


It Is What It Is
10 Years
Jun 23, 2009
Not an expert here, but will chime in. I love to watch babies sleep. they sleep on their belly's, standing up, on the roost with their head hanging down. I just got my first 8 chicks now 3 weeks old. I have used the red light continuously have not used a white light. they are in the garage with two windows. I would think that if a baby is not feeling well, you will notice that they do not move around very much with the rest of the flock. Just be sure your temps are good. You want them to be warm but not too hot. they need a cool place to go to. i have learned they will regulate their own body temps. So I keep the light on one side of the brooder and my temps now are steady at 80 in the middle of the brooder. That way they have a warm spot, medium spot and cooler spot.. I hope I have helped somewhat. good luck.


10 Years
Jan 4, 2010
Texarkana, TX
When I first hatched mine, I thought they all died! I walked into the room and they were laying all over. Some laying on their side, some laying on their bellies with 1 leg behind, some laying with both legs sticking straight out the back. I was Horrified! I slowly walked closer. One of them woke up. Saw me. and sounded the alarm. They all jumped up and started running all over. It was so funny! I was so happy they all are great! almost 5 weeks old now. They are amazing! I had 1 that would take long steps. Then stretch out 1 leg behind him and slowly lean down until his head touched the ground. then he would sleep like this for a minute or so. Finally he would settle down and rest normaly. I wish I could have got some pics. I was so amazed I never thought about the camera. I guess if I had been crammed in an egg I would want to stretch out too. LOL As long as they are playing, eating, and pooing ok. Your great! Don't worry about sleep. Unless they sleep way too much. But they do sleep alot!!! and in some crazy positions.

Good Luck and God Bless!

cotton I joe

6 Years
May 5, 2013
I just ordered some chicks from Murray and McIntosh hatchery and was concerned with a couple of them holding their heads down and when when I tapped the side of their box wouldn't move or open eyes, it was suggested to me by the hatchery to give them two drops of Karo syrup or honey, with a drop of water behind each one now then repeat at my bed time, and repeat the next day if still a little droopy but no more than for two says. It seemed to help. (a syringe, or a medicine dropper works for this) hope this helps.

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