Totally new at raising chickens - words of wisdom warmly welcomed!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Sequin, May 20, 2008.

  1. Sequin

    Sequin Songster

    May 20, 2008
    Hello! It is wonderful to have found such a great forum. Thank you in advance for your time and assistance in helping out a new member and new chicken mom.

    We have had our 5 sweet Australorps for a little over a week now. I am absolutely fascinated by them. They know my voice, and when we sit in the warm yard under the trees(for shade) on our little 'field trips' they never stray very far from my chair. When one sounds the warning they all freeze and when I say "it's ok chick chicks' then they return to their exploring. If I move my arms like I am making a circle over my lap they all come running under my chair. Usually. [​IMG] I love to watch them as they find new things - and when they find a bug boy do they ever play a great game of chase!! I have really enjoyed handling them each day and giving them each a little bit of love. Every morning I check each one over, under, and around to make sure they are all fine physically.

    I do have a couple questions though. I have observed two of the chicks performing what I Think is a dust bath type behavior. They have done this in the lawn, on a dirt patch, and in the brooder(where they are on shavings). They rub their heads, fluff the 'bath' material under their wings and onto their backs, they kick around and scratch and rub and roll a little on their side. They will do this for some time, and sometimes the other chicks will walk over them during a session and they don't even seem to notice. Does this type of behavior sound normal? It seems to have the same effect on them as catnip does for cats. Should I be concerned? Might they be itchy because of their growing feathers?

    Also, I do not know how to tell their age. I bought them from a local farm store, and they were at Least a week old when I picked them up. It has been at least a week since we got them - so I know they are over two weeks of age. I will post pictures as soon as I find my camera. It has mysteriously gone missing.

    Annnnddd, one more question. One of them seems to have diarrhea. None of the chicks have a dirty bum, and they are all active, eating and drinking well, have clear eyes, no discharges, and don't seem to act sick that I have noticed. One of them did sneeze a couple times a few days ago, but I haven't heard it sneeze since. Again, should I be worried or concerned about this? Should I seperate them until I know who it is for sure?

    Many Many thanks for all of your kind help with advice in raising our new chicks for the first time!!
  2. eggzettera

    eggzettera Songster

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    1.) Try a little Apple Cider Vinegar with the mother in it (can be found in most grocery stores with the other vinegars or all health food stores carry. It must have the mother in it to be effective (it will say so on the bottle) add a little to their water (I don't measure but about a tablespoon a quart) do not put it in a metal water container it will have a chemical reaction resulting in an unwanted product.

    2.) Buy some Avian Charge 2000 if your feed store doesn't carry it you can buy online. If you are really concerened & do not want to wait pedialyte will do in a pinch. Just add (again I am not one to measure) bout a 1/4 cup to a quart of water.

    3.) Add garlic powder or oil to their water (couple of capsules of oil for quart)

    4.) ALL 3 are good preventative maintenance measure that can be practiced, on all your chicks, in a rotating routine. 1 week or every couple of days depending on how you want to manage your flock..... ACV w/mother next week plain h20 next week avian charge (follow directions on container) following week just water next week garlic etc....

    Chickens do not handle stress well and that maybe all that is going on with you little sickie, just needs time to adjust. But garlic would be a good choice to start with since you probably have that on hand.

    Follow these rules also:

    1.) Do NOT feed them treats unless they have access to grit - or your chickens will get an impacted crop. They need grit to properly digest their food.

    2.) NO CORN in the HEAT of the summer - corn is GREAT in the WINTER.

    Others will chime in soon but again [​IMG] [​IMG]
  3. HorseFeathers

    HorseFeathers Frazzled

    Apr 2, 2008
    Southern Maine
    #1 Rule of Chickens: Be really careful going to the feed store cuz you're gonna end up with more chicks than you want! [​IMG]
  4. Kessidy

    Kessidy Songster

    May 13, 2008
    I am a noob, but I have read that you need to keep the little ones bum clean.
  5. pixiechic

    pixiechic Songster

    Apr 23, 2008
    North GA
    They are indeed having dust baths, and it's nothing to worry about. My peepers do this a lot and it's pretty entertaining to watch [​IMG]

    If they are acting overly itchy, you might try sprinkling some Diatomaceous Earth on top of their bedding material (wood shavings, etc.). Be sure to get the food-grade DE as the other kind can kill chicks. You can do a search for DE here on the forum and you'll find lots of info. Or, my neighbor uses Frontline spray on her chicks -- but again, do some research first.
  6. chcknrs

    chcknrs Songster

    Mar 7, 2008
    Kelso, WA
    Give them some plain organic yogurt every day, helps with the gut, less diarrhea.

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