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Newbie baby chick questions:)

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Good Morning!!!

I have a couple of questions that I am hoping the wonderful community of BYC can help us!

My chicks are 1 week old (I think) and starting to feather out on there wings and tails. I have them on potty pads and paper towel. They sure do poop a lot! When do i switch there bedding to pine shavings and once you do switch over what is your method of cleaning it? Once a day or add shavings on top of old shavings? What are the pros and cons of shavings, straw, or sand? What age do you put them outside? I don't have a cover on the brooder. What age should i put a cover on? Thank you in advance for your expertise!!!
post #2 of 8

I would go ahead on switch them to pine shavings.  If you can find some that is dust free it works way better and the chicks won't get dust into their systems.  I use straw for my bedding and I usually change it once every two weeks or more if they start to smell super bad.  I haven't had experience with sand before, but I know someone who uses cat litter (I would advise against cat litter, because the chicks will be tempted to eat it).  With my chicks I usually wait until I see random little chicks running around my house to get a cover.  One time I even found one on our kitchen counter eating almost everything!!   I put them outside when I feel they are ready (around 2-3 months old).  Hope this helps!!

1 dad, 1 mom, 3 sisters, a whole bunch of chickens, 13 runner ducks, 2 lab/pyrenees/anatolian mixes, 1 pyrenees rescue, a norwich terrier and 2 geckos
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1 dad, 1 mom, 3 sisters, a whole bunch of chickens, 13 runner ducks, 2 lab/pyrenees/anatolian mixes, 1 pyrenees rescue, a norwich terrier and 2 geckos
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post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your response! I will go ahead and switch them over.
post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by murphyfarm View Post

I would go ahead on switch them to pine shavings.  If you can find some that is dust free it works way better and the chicks won't get dust into their systems.  I use straw for my bedding and I usually change it once every two weeks or more if they start to smell super bad.  I haven't had experience with sand before, but I know someone who uses cat litter (I would advise against cat litter, because the chicks will be tempted to eat it).  With my chicks I usually wait until I see random little chicks running around my house to get a cover.  One time I even found one on our kitchen counter eating almost everything!!   I put them outside when I feel they are ready (around 2-3 months old).  Hope this helps!!
You keep chicks inside for 2-3 months?! And don't add a cover to the brooder until they start escaping?! I'm way too OCD/clean freak for that. I don't even brood inside anymore, I can't stand the dust! You're a brave soul!

But I agree, go a head and switch them to the shavings. You can either completely clean out once a week (or more as needed) or add more shavings and stir everything up (deep litter method, once a week or as needed).
Nikki
*C'mon, get flappy!*
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Nikki
*C'mon, get flappy!*
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post #5 of 8

Do you have a coop and run set up? If so, you could be brooding outside right now. There are so many reasons why brooding outside is better for the development of baby chicks, it's really a no-brainer once you realize it. I also use the heating pad system of brooding, doing away with dangerous heat lamps. It's a lot safer and more natural.

 

By age two weeks, your chicks will want to be running around and flexing their wings and they need much more space than can be found in most brooders. Many of us are tossing out our indoor brooders and brooding outdoors from day one and finding it superior to indoor breeding, cleaner and more convenient, too.

 

If this intrigues you, you can read all about it in the article I wrote on the subject. Click on the second link below in my sig line.

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by azygous View Post

Do you have a coop and run set up? If so, you could be brooding outside right now. There are so many reasons why brooding outside is better for the development of baby chicks, it's really a no-brainer once you realize it. I also use the heating pad system of brooding, doing away with dangerous heat lamps. It's a lot safer and more natural.

By age two weeks, your chicks will want to be running around and flexing their wings and they need much more space than can be found in most brooders. Many of us are tossing out our indoor brooders and brooding outdoors from day one and finding it superior to indoor breeding, cleaner and more convenient, too.

If this intrigues you, you can read all about it in the article I wrote on the subject. Click on the second link below in my sig line.
I couldn't find your link? That sounds like a fantastic idea. We live in WI though and our temps are still in the 20's at night but looks like it is going to start being in the 40's all next week. Do you still recommend outside brooding? My coop should be ready next week sometime. It might perfect timing. Do you use a heat lamp then still while in the coop?
post #7 of 8
post #8 of 8

Agreed.   Chicks can be brooded outside, and it makes the whole experience much less painful for all involved.  As far as covering the brooder, chicks are way too adept at thinking up creative ways to commit suicide for me to ever leave a brooder uncovered.  If a chick is able to escape brooder, and not make it back to the heat source (which they are most likely not able to figure out) he could even die of hypothermia.  

Jesus Christ is my pilot.

My husband of 41 years is my best friend and co-pilot.

Enjoying my gardens.  My flock are my garden helpers.

Breeding a winter hearty flock with small combs and colored eggs.

Favorite breeds:  Dominique and EE.  Hatching addict.

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1084432/egg-gender-selection-survey

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1013154/byc-member-interview-laz...

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Jesus Christ is my pilot.

My husband of 41 years is my best friend and co-pilot.

Enjoying my gardens.  My flock are my garden helpers.

Breeding a winter hearty flock with small combs and colored eggs.

Favorite breeds:  Dominique and EE.  Hatching addict.

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1084432/egg-gender-selection-survey

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1013154/byc-member-interview-laz...

Reply
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