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Raising chicks in the house?

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 

Anyone have any advice on raising chicks hatched from an incubator in the house?  I have an extra bathroom with an outlet for the light that I can use, but I'm not sure if it's better to put them in the bathtub, or a cage in the tub, or what...I figure they'll need to stay in there for a good while since I'm going to try to get the eggs close to Christmas if there are any available.  What's the best substrate for them?  Just trying to get all my chicks in a row before hand so I can eliminate as many surprises as possible, LOL!

post #2 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tera 

Anyone have any advice on raising chicks hatched from an incubator in the house?  I have an extra bathroom with an outlet for the light that I can use, but I'm not sure if it's better to put them in the bathtub, or a cage in the tub, or what...I figure they'll need to stay in there for a good while since I'm going to try to get the eggs close to Christmas if there are any available.  What's the best substrate for them?  Just trying to get all my chicks in a row before hand so I can eliminate as many surprises as possible, LOL!


Lots of people raise them in their house until they feather out. hu It is not a very good idea however due to the respiratory implications.  th Their dander and amonia is not at all healthy to have in your living space however if you have a good vent system in the bath perhaps it would be a bit better (just leave it running 24/7).

Depending on how many chicks I find the big plastic totes work well.  thumbsup Just place plywood across the top of the tub and the totes will fit on top nicely. I definately like pine shavings but I have always been curious about using play sand in with the chicks also, hmmm. Don't ever use cedar shavings as they are toxic!

Nice to be able to get them going so early in the season. Good Luck.

Mom to wonderful young man in the USAF, wife to an amazing husband, owner of 2 Border Terriers, Jack and Hannah, & 1 Black Cocker Spaniel named Katie. Keeper of 2 adorable coops which house my Light and Dark Brahmas (standard and bantam), EE mixes, and my d'Anvers which I have in Dun Quail.

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Mom to wonderful young man in the USAF, wife to an amazing husband, owner of 2 Border Terriers, Jack and Hannah, & 1 Black Cocker Spaniel named Katie. Keeper of 2 adorable coops which house my Light and Dark Brahmas (standard and bantam), EE mixes, and my d'Anvers which I have in Dun Quail.

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post #3 of 31
Thread Starter 

Yeah, I wondered about the ventilation, but I figured that if I left it running it would help.  It would only be 3 chicks at a time.  The incubator that my mom is giving my son will only fit 3 eggs, so that's hoping that all three hatch out.  Plastic tote is a good idea.  I have one that I use to feed my Beardie her crickets in, so getting another would be easy.  I was wondering if I could use cat litter as a substrate.  I use World's Best Cat Litter for my cats, and it is 100% natural, people, planet, and animal safe, and made from corn.  I like it since it's septic tank safe, so I can just flush the nasties down the toilet.  My DS would be cleaning their cage multiple times a day, I can't stand my house to smell like a litter box or dog or anything like that, so I was thinking that being able to flush it would be helpful.  Any thoughts?

post #4 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tera 

Yeah, I wondered about the ventilation, but I figured that if I left it running it would help.  It would only be 3 chicks at a time.  The incubator that my mom is giving my son will only fit 3 eggs, so that's hoping that all three hatch out.  Plastic tote is a good idea.  I have one that I use to feed my Beardie her crickets in, so getting another would be easy.  I was wondering if I could use cat litter as a substrate.  I use World's Best Cat Litter for my cats, and it is 100% natural, people, planet, and animal safe, and made from corn.  I like it since it's septic tank safe, so I can just flush the nasties down the toilet.  My DS would be cleaning their cage multiple times a day, I can't stand my house to smell like a litter box or dog or anything like that, so I was thinking that being able to flush it would be helpful.  Any thoughts?


If the litter is all natural I don't see a problem. Just read the packaging in its entirety to be sure about the possible ingestion. I think you are good to go!! smile

Mom to wonderful young man in the USAF, wife to an amazing husband, owner of 2 Border Terriers, Jack and Hannah, & 1 Black Cocker Spaniel named Katie. Keeper of 2 adorable coops which house my Light and Dark Brahmas (standard and bantam), EE mixes, and my d'Anvers which I have in Dun Quail.

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Mom to wonderful young man in the USAF, wife to an amazing husband, owner of 2 Border Terriers, Jack and Hannah, & 1 Black Cocker Spaniel named Katie. Keeper of 2 adorable coops which house my Light and Dark Brahmas (standard and bantam), EE mixes, and my d'Anvers which I have in Dun Quail.

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post #5 of 31

Well, for the first few days of life outside of the egg, you need to cover whatever substrate you're using with paper towels.  Especially if it's corn cob....  that way the chicks don't try to eat it - they only eat the chick starter commercial feed.

After about a week, you can stop using the paper towels.  (Actually, I use that rubbery shelf lining and smack the poop of it, then throw it in the washer for next time.  And I only use it for about 3 days before just uncovering the pine shavings I use in the brooder.)

The other issue (and I raise ALL my chicks in my only bathroom, in rubbermaid tubs) of odor is solved with pine shavings.  I only clean OUT the brooder once in the six to eight weeks I brood chicks in the house. (I wipe down the inside walls daily.)  Just keep adding pine shavings, so it's like the "deep litter method" sorta kinda.  The odor is minimal - no ammonia at all.  Couple times a day I'll toss a small handful of shavings on a fresh, wet poop.  Every few days I put in enough to make about a half inch layer of new shavings on top of them all. 

Dust and dander, there's no real cure for that....  but since it's my bathroom, it's a really easy room to wipe down.

Get a brick or two on which to set the feeder and waterer, keeping it higher than the pine shavings.  The chicks will not be able to kick so much stuff into them.  Or hang the feeder from a crossbar or the wire "lid."


Edited by gryeyes - 11/17/10 at 10:12am

-- Linda (AKA: gryeyes)
I refuse to fight a battle of wits with an unarmed person.

Buncha Outdoor PET chickens, ducks, 5 Toulouse geese, and 7 turkeys....so far. Plus 2 wiener dogs, 2 bunnies, a rescue cat which owns me and a new kitten. Oh, yeah: and a house silkie....

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-- Linda (AKA: gryeyes)
I refuse to fight a battle of wits with an unarmed person.

Buncha Outdoor PET chickens, ducks, 5 Toulouse geese, and 7 turkeys....so far. Plus 2 wiener dogs, 2 bunnies, a rescue cat which owns me and a new kitten. Oh, yeah: and a house silkie....

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post #6 of 31

I've never used paper towels with my chicks.  They go straight on to pine shavings.  Have done hundreds this way without loss to eating the shavings.

But as far as brooding in the house is concerned my recommendation is - don't.  Brooder dust is some of the most mobile stuff you'll ever see.  Everywhere.

Chance favors the prepared mind.
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Chance favors the prepared mind.
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post #7 of 31

In the house?  Yes, it can be done.  But I'll never do it again, along with a lot of others on here.

Ventilation -- may be the most important aspect of coop design

BYC Troubleshooting article -- click here

Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.

14 hatchery and mutt hens

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Ventilation -- may be the most important aspect of coop design

BYC Troubleshooting article -- click here

Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.

14 hatchery and mutt hens

Reply
post #8 of 31

A.T. Hagan :

I've never used paper towels with my chicks.  They go straight on to pine shavings.  Have done hundreds this way without loss to eating the shavings.

But as far as brooding in the house is concerned my recommendation is - don't.  Brooder dust is some of the most mobile stuff you'll ever see.  Everywhere.


Huh.  Wow.  That's nice to know - I can stop using paper towels OR that shelf liner!  Guess what I read when I first started with my very first feed store chicks imprinted on ME.  lol

And I've purchased (but not yet picked up) a ginormous brooder which I'm going to be putting into the shed I'm building, so I DON'T have to brood in the house any more.  The thing is custom made, 8 feet long and 3 feet wide.  All "plumbed" for brooder heat lamps and with different, interchangeable lids.   Woo hooo!

-- Linda (AKA: gryeyes)
I refuse to fight a battle of wits with an unarmed person.

Buncha Outdoor PET chickens, ducks, 5 Toulouse geese, and 7 turkeys....so far. Plus 2 wiener dogs, 2 bunnies, a rescue cat which owns me and a new kitten. Oh, yeah: and a house silkie....

Reply

-- Linda (AKA: gryeyes)
I refuse to fight a battle of wits with an unarmed person.

Buncha Outdoor PET chickens, ducks, 5 Toulouse geese, and 7 turkeys....so far. Plus 2 wiener dogs, 2 bunnies, a rescue cat which owns me and a new kitten. Oh, yeah: and a house silkie....

Reply
post #9 of 31

Mine are in a bedroom, I use paper towels for the floor, no shavings or anything else at all. There is nothing on the floor of my coop either. Just easier and cheaper that way. Less dust in the air, too.

Chickens, Ducks, Guinea hens, dogs, cats, horses, Guinea pigs, Babydoll sheep, meat rabbits, 4 Aquariums, 3,300g pond & my Fiance, all at Forever Farms!
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Chickens, Ducks, Guinea hens, dogs, cats, horses, Guinea pigs, Babydoll sheep, meat rabbits, 4 Aquariums, 3,300g pond & my Fiance, all at Forever Farms!
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post #10 of 31

I rayse mine on my enclosed back porch it is not heated but draft free with a good light they are fine they go out to the coop/barn when they are fully feathered. I have a small coop inside my large coop the small coop is 4x4 the big coop is 15x15 this way the big girls see the new ones every day and integrateing them into the flock goes pretty smooth.

we now have a yard full of critters

2 mini donkeys, 2 fainting goats, 3 peacocks 3 royal palm turkeys, 3 silkies, 5 barres rocks, 2 rhodies, 1 leghord, 2 marans, 5 eastereggers, 8 cats, 2 dogs. I think that is everyone

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we now have a yard full of critters

2 mini donkeys, 2 fainting goats, 3 peacocks 3 royal palm turkeys, 3 silkies, 5 barres rocks, 2 rhodies, 1 leghord, 2 marans, 5 eastereggers, 8 cats, 2 dogs. I think that is everyone

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