Some questions for chick veterans!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by steph, Feb 14, 2008.

  1. steph

    steph Hatching

    Feb 10, 2008
    Portland, OR
    Hi All!

    I have a couple questions as the new nervous chick-mom that I am. I got four chicks last Thursday, and one of them died without warning. I then went and got another chick from the feed store and she easily meshed with the other three. So far, they all look pretty great though I'm paranoid because of that early loss. The one that I got a few days after the others is vigorous and looks fairly healthy, but she is significantly smaller than the other three. She's definitely growing and developing, but it seems that they are doing it at a much faster rate. She is a Barred Rock and the others are a Rhode Island Red and two Ameraucanas, in case that makes a difference. She feels much lighter than the others and the most obvious difference is that her wings look like they are half the size of the others. Is this normal?
    The other question is about the water-- I can't tell if they're drinking an extraordinary amount of water or just spilling it everywhere. Is it normal for them to have pretty wet litter every time I change it (at least daily)?
    And for the inevitable poop question: is it normal for their poop to vary inconsistency from fairly watery to pretty solid? Not sure what to expect on that. And when can I start varying their diet to more than the chick crumbles?
    Thanks so much!
  2. sweetshoplady

    sweetshoplady Songster

    Feb 4, 2008
    Venice, Florida
    I am by no means a chick veteran expert, but earlier tonight I watched my chicks walk through their water (one of those red caps that fits on the mason jar) right after I cleaned out their brooder and put in fresh dry. First one walked through it - then like follow the leader the other four took a stroll through. And I thought AHA that's how the water gets all over the place.

    Have fun with your chicks! I look forward to hearing answers to your questions.
  3. professor_yellow

    professor_yellow In the Brooder

    Jan 28, 2008
    In the early stages of growth and development, chicks grow rapidly by the day. Your replacement may be a few days younger. Typically a Barred rock will be a faster gainer than the Rhode islands at the same age. The only real concern I would be watching for is if the others begin to pick on the smaller bird. Otherwise I think yiou can relax.

    As for the water, I would put it up on a block of wood so it is out of the litter. I add some decorative marbles into the little trough so they cannot get in the water and track it around.

    Keep them on chick starter for 8 weeks before All Purpose should be fed. Chicks need the higher protien for that long for proper feather and bone development.
  4. therealsilkiechick

    therealsilkiechick ShowGirl Queen

    Jul 18, 2007
    Northwestern, pa
    well depending on how old they are and breed usually smaller chick and shorter feathers on wings means boys and larger chicks with faster growing wings are girls. boys mature slower than the girls as long as they have enough water and food available that part should be fine. once they hit a certain age boys catch up that's not so fool proof. it's possible the last one is a few days younger also in which case she would be a little behind but will make that up later.

    as for spilling water as mine get older i place rocks or blocks of wood under my quart mason jars to raise them up so they can't spill it so much or kick shaveing in so much. when younger i also add pebbles or marbles to help keep them out and from drowning.

    peeps should not be in wet bedding (and only pine shaveings or paper towels) it will make them cold or cause nemonia so make sure they stay as warm and dry as possible and try to raise up the waterer some, that should fix that. as long as they have water available at all times they should be fine as soon as i hatch i dip beaks so they know what it is and wear to find it. after that they do it on their own is in their nature to.

    i don't check poo till they are older or i think they are sick i have to many wouldn't know most times who was doing it, easier to tell when older,lol then they have no shame they do it anywhere. only thing i check for is paste butts when peeps and if they get that i wash there little bums in warm water to get it off then dry them. my chicks stay on medicated chick starter only till about 16 weeks old then they go to crumbles then to layer pellets a few mths later mixed with other things.
    hope this helps,

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