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Lets talk CHICKS

post #1 of 57
Thread Starter 

Hello fellow chicken lovers,

 

Ordered our 15 chicks from a hatchery last night and am so excited over their impending arrival next week!

 

Got a tip today not to handle the newborn chicks too much so that disease and germs don't get on them. This person also advised us to handle them a ton after 2 weeks in order to gain their trust and comfort and to bond. This is good to know as we have 2 very young children.

 

They will start their lives in a big aquarium in our living room. I will then move them on to a brooder that I will be building in the near future. This second stage brooder will be kept in our basement near French doors for a view and sunshine. :)

 

I would love to get tips and hear your experiences on how to build brooders, what to put inside them for fun and play (do chicks play?), do chicks sleep in a nest together? Do they need poles to roost on at that age?

 

I have too many questions to post! Please share with me all that you have to share!!

~ Amanda:jumpy

post #2 of 57

You can put a section of board or something that is elevated for them to roost on.  Eventually they will roost on sticks that you can put in the box.  Mine are 2 wks and just now roosting on the tree branches.  We didn't handle ours the first night, and not too much the second day but after that....I have two boys who love them and I have 25 chicks to rotate thru.  They will sleep under the heat lamp or close to it.   Watch them for how they react to the heat, if they are clustered its too cold, if they are trying to get away from it then too hot.  Raise and lower your heat lamp accordingly.

 

My brooder is cardboard boxes of various sizes taped together and lined with garbage bags with bedding on top.  I heard to not put bedding in right away or they may mistake it for food.  Just paper towel for the first day or two with food and water.  I think I did 3 and then grew concerned with poopy feet and I added pine shavings to stop that problem.  I used a full size waterer so I placed marbles in the bottom to keep chick from getting wet and then cold.  

 

Best of luck!

post #3 of 57

Brooders can be as complex as the big commercial ones or as simple as a cardboard box. I've built a permanent brooder, since I get chicks pretty much every year, but before this, I would always use regular cardboard boxes. Chicks don't really "play". I think they all of their entertainment from each other. As for diseases and handling, I wouldn't worry too much about it. Just wash your hands before and after handling the chicks. Stress would probably be a bigger issue that comes with over-handling. Chicks really don't need roosts at such a young age, but they might like to hop on them. I don't give them roosts until they're a bit older, however.


Edited by LRH97 - 2/20/14 at 6:39pm

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing." -John 15:5
 

My dog is my friend; strange dogs are predators. Please be courteous and obey leash laws, or you may end up a dog short.

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"I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing." -John 15:5
 

My dog is my friend; strange dogs are predators. Please be courteous and obey leash laws, or you may end up a dog short.

Reply
post #4 of 57
Thread Starter 
Thank you, both!! I will use your suggestions and welcome more. I am going to build a permanent one for ages 2 weeks - 4-6 months I think. ? Is that how old they should be before living in our barn??
Anyone have any photos to share of their more complex brooders? smile.png
THANK YOU!!
post #5 of 57

I've actually put day-old chicks outside before in a box, in our barn--away and secure from the cats, of course. It really depends on outdoor temps. I don't have any pictures of my brooder, but there are lots of pictures and ideas in the "Coops" section here at BYC.

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing." -John 15:5
 

My dog is my friend; strange dogs are predators. Please be courteous and obey leash laws, or you may end up a dog short.

Reply

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing." -John 15:5
 

My dog is my friend; strange dogs are predators. Please be courteous and obey leash laws, or you may end up a dog short.

Reply
post #6 of 57
I started handling my chicks the day I brought them home (they had just hatched that morning). I would hold them on a towel near my neck so they could cuddle under my neck like they do under momma hen. They are not yet a week old and when I open the brooder door (big dog crate) they flutter onto my lap to cuddle. You're gonna love them.
Let me see if I can post a picture. This is from yesterday.
Edited by subhanalah - 2/21/14 at 5:36am
post #7 of 57

Thank you for posting these questions, they are very helpful to me to read off the answers people are giving.

post #8 of 57

My Brooder

 

I bought this before I retired and it gets used a lot and right

now it is being cleaned out for next week's hatch but I have

had this sense 1997 and had mor then a thousand birds go

through it chickens ducks geese doves quail chucker's

and other's :)  

post #9 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by gander007 View Post
 

My Brooder

 

I bought this before I retired and it gets used a lot and right

now it is being cleaned out for next week's hatch but I have

had this sense 1997 and had mor then a thousand birds go

through it chickens ducks geese doves quail chucker's

and other's :)  

So you use newspaper instead of bedding? Also what is the brooder made of?

post #10 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amandas4hens View Post
 

 

Got a tip today not to handle the newborn chicks too much so that disease and germs don't get on them. This person also advised us to handle them a ton after 2 weeks in order to gain their trust and comfort and to bond. This is good to know as we have 2 very young children.

 

 

 

Basic handwashing is always recommended, for both the chicks' and the peoples' sakes.  But I think we would all be interested in any research suggesting that handling chicks poses any real danger to them.  Certainly many people here have handled their chicks from day one.

 

Also, it is NOT recommended to use newspaper, unless it is shredded.  The reason is that it easily gets slippery and can cause splayed leg in young chicks.

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

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
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