Don’t let their pint-size fool you! Day-old chicks are shipped on a weekly basis with great success. Chicks ingest the yolk as the last part of their hatching process. This keeps them full and satisfied during their journey to their new homes, with you! While we do our best to ensure their safety during transit, there are many factors that are out of our control. If your chicks arrive weak, chilled or lethargic here are a few tips to help ensure their survival:
- WARMTH Your brooder temperature should be 95 degrees for the chicks' first week, but if your chicks are struggling don’t be afraid to boost that temperature by a few degrees. Chicks need to get their body temperature regulated so that their internal organs are working properly. Once stable they’ll begin to eat and drink on their own. Increase the brooder temperature up to 105 degrees for the first few hours. If your chicks begin to spread out in the brooder, moving away from the heat source you’ll know it’s time to reduce that temperature back to 95.
- HYDRATION Provide lukewarm water to the chicks upon arrival. When your chicks arrive they often are more thirsty than hungry. As they begin to rehydrate, providing lukewarm water instead of cold water will help reduce any further shock to their system. Once hydrated, add the vital pack to their water for an added boost of electrolytes.
- ENERGY If you purchased Grogel, now is the time to use it! Learn how to mix it, here. Grogel helps provide immediate nutrition and increased hydration levels, resulting in generally healthier chicks. Forgot to add a vital pack and grogel to your poultry order? Try adding 1 teaspoon sugar, molasses or honey to 1 quart of water. This sweet energy boost is great for the first few hours, then you’ll want to switch back to plain water.
- FOOD For lethargic chicks, try feeding them raw egg yolk. This will provide the nutrients they need to begin eating on their own. If you feel your entire new flock could benefit from a boost, provide warm scrambled eggs or yogurt.
- PASTY BUTT When dipping their beak in water, also be sure to check for pasty butt. Pasty butt is common in new chicks and can be caused by stress from shipment, fluctuating brooder temperature, and low-quality feed. Check out our blog post on How To Treat Pasty Bottom In Newly Hatched Chicks, here! We highly recommend checking for pasty butt routinely their first few weeks as they adjust to their new environment.
On rare occasions, orders may have a loss. If this is the case, please know we do offer a 48-hour live arrival policy for properly cared for birds. Please report any losses or weak chicks within 48-hours of their arrival by contacting us via phone, email or chat.