HELP!!! I have an important question about my baby chicks : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

My baby chicks arrived yesterday. The brooder is functioning well but the chicks seem a little lethargic today. They were hungry and thirsty when they first arrived. They ate and drank most of the afternoon end evening, now they are kind of quiet. They are still pecking at the food and drinking but they are resting too. They kind of lay down for a while then mill around for awile. They are not as active as they were yesterday.

I have several books about raising chicks and the only thing I can see that might be out of line is that the mash I have is called 16% egg mash. I asked at the feed store if it was OK to use for the babies and was told "yes".

Can anyone offer me any information? I would appreciate any advise.


-- monique (, October 16, 1999


First you should be using starter mash not egg mash for the chicks - it gets them off to a better start. Chicks will be fairly quiet for long periods of time when they are warm and their tummies are full. They don't always run around. We could always tell when ours were getting out of food and water as the noise level went up considerably. Do check the temperature though as it is easy to get them too warm.

-- beckie (, October 16, 1999.


Give them a day or two and they'll be running around like crazy. They are just resting from their trip. After all, you'd be tired too if you were shipped a couple hundred miles at the age of 1 day!

The 16% layer mash is okay, although some recommend regular chick mash since it's medicated, but I'm not a big fan of medicated feed. The layer mash has more calcium in it. It would also help to put some vinegar in their drinking water, about 1 tbsp per quart, supposedly helps get them to growing faster.

On chicken feed, I just ordered and received a ton of layer mash in the belief that it might get scarce next year. Was pleasantly surprised to find that I saved $2.00 per 50# bag on the cost over buying a few bags at a time. The feed is now stored in a spare bedroom. A ton (40, 50# bags) takes up a space of about 4x5'x2.5' high. At my feed store, a ton is the minimum special order you can make and get the price cut...

And if you live in a rural area where corn is grown, you can take advantage of cheap corn. A few days ago I bought several bushels from a neighbor right off his combine for $1.50 a bushel. The older layers and pigs love it, and it sure beats paying feed store prices.

Keep those chicks warm. This isn't the best time of year to be raising chicks, but then again you might not be able to get them next spring.

Good luck,


-- J Werner (, October 16, 1999.

beckie and jw,

Thank you for your rapid answers. That was exactly the information I was looking for

The 25 chicks appear very healthy and rouse easily. The explaination about being tired makes sense. I keep checking the brooder temperature, it's holding steady at 95. The chicks are in a large brooder in my basement. The basement is heated to about 60.

When the chickens are old enough to move outside they are going into a chicken coop that will be will insulated and has south facing windows.

I know I'm late in the season for chicks, but there was not much choice if I wanted chicks this year. The house I'm in now is in town and there is zoning here, so I will not be able to have them outside. The chicks are going to be moving to the country where we are building a house, no zoning there.

I raised lots of chicken in the past and never had a problem but it seems as though I have forgotten alot of information.

Again, thanks for responding. It has calmed my nervousness. They are such cute chicks I want to keep them healthy.


-- monique (, October 16, 1999.


You might also want to try sugar in the water (unless you got a package of dry electrolytes with the chick order). I always put 2 Tbsp. of sugar per quart in my chicks' water for the first week. I think it helped; I rarely if ever lost any. Mine were always perky and trying to jump out of their boxes at a few days old.

They are so cute, aren't they? I miss baby chicks. Good luck with them!

-- Scat (, October 17, 1999.

I would be very careful about feeding layer mash to baby chicks due to the calcium content of the feed. Too much calcium can mess up the kidneys of baby chicks. Make sure the brooder is warm enough, but there is enough area that is below temp too so they chicks can play in an area that is not too hot. Layer mash does not really have enough protein for baby chicks. In the wild, chicks eat lots of bugs, so they really like animal protein. Feed them extra meat like raw hamburger or fish. They will love it. They also love liver. High in Vit-B.

-- chicken farmer (chicken-farmer@, October 17, 1999.

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