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Brand new and tons of questions!!

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
We recently moved and have 5 acres of land. We have started clearing land to build a chicken pen. We have two previously used chicken houses that need fixed up. We will finish clearing this fall and build in early spring. I want to get some baby chicks to raise until they have a pen.

how long can you keep chicks in a metal tub or other storage type container? My hubby said they will be able to fly out before the pen is built. I'm hoping to have it done by early March. The clearing is the hard part. The pen can be built in a day. We have a big detached garage that I would keep them in with the necessary heat lamps. Is this even possible? Should I wait and just buy young hens when it's built? I really wanted to raise them with my 3 year old. Any advice is appreciated!
post #2 of 9

:welcome If you are not planning to have the pen built until March, you should wait until at least February to buy chicks. They grow quickly and will require a space larger than a tub within a few weeks. Of course, it depends on the size of the tub. However, a plastic storage container or tub will hold in too much humidity as they get bigger. I have used a 100 gal stock tank for grow-outs, but they will usually outgrow that by 6-8 weeks of age. You would need a top on it (with plenty of ventilation) because they will start to fly out at an early age. 

 

I can fully understand your excitement in getting starting raising your chickens, but you will enjoy the experience so much more if you are fully prepared for it. Use these next few months to read up on raising chickens and deciding which breeds you want to raise. There is a wealth of information on this site to keep you busy all winter long. :D Then in the spring you can decide if you want to start with chicks or buy started pullets.

 

Good luck and keep us posted on your progress! 

post #3 of 9

:welcome

 

I would also advise to wait. Your chicks will be 5 months by March, that's practically grown. They'll need 10 square feet of space each at that point...and they'll poop a lot. You don't want to be trying to house them in a garage, etc. That's just a mess.

 

Come spring, all the feed stores will have chicks. Pick some up then, I think you'll be a lot happier. Sounds like your honey will, too ;)

Rachel BB

Stem cell transplant from unrelated donor in Feb 2015. Thank you to all my friends here on BYC for all your support during my treatment and ongoing recovery!

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Rachel BB

Stem cell transplant from unrelated donor in Feb 2015. Thank you to all my friends here on BYC for all your support during my treatment and ongoing recovery!

Reply
post #4 of 9

I third the advice to wait, take things slowly, be prepared. I know a person who works at Tractor Supply, and she was in such an excited big hurry to get baby chicks and start raising them that she slapped the pen together and didn't give adequate thought to what type of predators that might endanger them. In just a matter of weeks, a raccoon discovered the vulnerabilities and killed all but one.

 

Discouraged is an understatement of how she's feeling at present. She gave away the surviving chicken and is now in the process of starting over.

 

By not giving adequate thought and preparation to this, you're inviting tragic heartbreak. Take things slow, do as Donrae advises, read all the great advice you'll find on this site and do it right!

post #5 of 9

x4  Take it from someone who put the chicks before the coop, so to speak.  I had my 22 chicks living in my husband's office.  I got chicken fever and bought them, not only before we had a coop, but before we had plans for one!  And it was sub-zero out there so they had to stay in the house.  What a mess!  And the noise!  Oh, brother!  I enjoy my chickens very much, and love the fresh eggs. But if I had it to do over again, the coop would have been built, the run added and the predator proofing done before ever clicked that "submit order" button on the hatchery's web site. And I doggone sure would have been reading up and studying everything I could about chickens, asking questions right here, long before I went to the hatchery web site in the first place. 

 

You'll enjoy your chicks much more if you are fully ready for them before you get them!  In the meantime, we're all here ready and willing to help with whatever you might need.  Welcome!

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Wow! I definitely have a lot to learn! Excuse my ignorance!
post #7 of 9
I brood mine in a homemade brooder box, by two weeks I have them outside for the day, by 6-8 weeks I'm moving them to the coop, if you keep them confined too long they will start pecking each other, chicks get bored at a young age, if you can't keep them busy and uncrowded you will have a mess on your hands. I personally like brooding in warmer temperatures, I can get them out of the artificial heat sooner.

I would wait until your shed is ready than get your chicks which can be brooded in the coop, with their space expanded as they grow. I agree, slow down and learn and plan, it will end much better for you, good luck.
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
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Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
post #8 of 9

As a breeder and raiser of chickens for 30plus years,, let me just say that yes,, it is going to be better if you wait till spring. Raising chicks going into the cold season (which is fast approaching) is much harder than in the spring going into warmer weather.   Another added benifit of spring chicks is better selection,,, hatcheries will be more likely to have a particular breed you want in the the spring

post #9 of 9
I'll just add that as a newbie chicken owner, I was surprised my babies could fly at 2 weeks old, even without all their feathers! A piece of hardware cloth over the box was enough to keep them contained, but they were flying way sooner than I expected. And they do grow fast!
2 black australorp pullets, 3 BA babies, and two border collies (one angel and one cute troublemaker chicken licker)
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2 black australorp pullets, 3 BA babies, and two border collies (one angel and one cute troublemaker chicken licker)
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