1st post, 1st chicks..critique me please

maizey

Songster
9 Years
Feb 23, 2010
670
8
131
Deep in the heart of Dixie
Ive been lurking around here for months in preperation for this day. I just brought home my first baby chicks, 3 barred rocks from the local feed and seed. I was wondering if someone would mind checking over my "list" and making sure I haven't left anything out.
I have them in a closed shed, in a large plastic box lined with PINE shavings and topped with papertowels. I have a heat lamp and the temperature in the "warm spot" is hovering around 98 degrees. I will probably need to move the heat lamp closer down to them tonight as it cools off. Lows will be in the 40's. I have a plate of clay grit with calcium added.. its just a small box of hartz brand from the pet store. I know oyster shell is best but haven't been able to find it yet. Will order some this week. I have a gallon water-er with 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar added and I have a plate of starter crumbles. I plan on giving them a power meal later of plain yogurt, with olive oil, cyanne pepper, iron free poly-vi-sol and some crumbles mixed in. And lastly, the sweetest, most patient man in the world is hammering away at a home made coop...im in love all over again.
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SO...have i done it correctly? Thanks for your input!
 

ChickensAreSweet

Heavenly Grains for Hens
9 Years
Jun 8, 2010
15,100
721
398
Pacific NW- where the Douglas Firs grow
You don't want to give them calcium until they are laying. Sounds like you have some cuddling ahead!!

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Here is one of my hatcheries' website on caring for chicks:

http://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/chickcare.html

Also you want the temps the first week to be 90-95. 98 might be too hot. You should see the chicks not huddled under the light, but not trying to get away from the light in the farthest corner, either.

Secure your light two ways so it doesn't fall, and it shouldn't be closer than 18-24" away from the shavings.
 
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montverdechick

Songster
13 Years
Mar 10, 2007
265
10
171
Central Florida
I agree, don't use that grit. Get chick grit or granite grit. Also, agree about the temp...to hot.

I would also get a chick feeder to put the food in. They will just poop on the plate and knock the food around.

I have never done a power meal. Don't really think it is necessary...never lost a chick from just giving crumbles and clean water. Then, Electrolyes/Vitamins in water for 3 days after they are 4 days old.

They really don't take that much work, just leep them clean, warm and fed/watered.

Good luck and enjoy!
 

maizey

Songster
9 Years
Feb 23, 2010
670
8
131
Deep in the heart of Dixie
Thanks Guys! Overrun, I actually bookmarked your link previously to this post.. guess I didn't read it carefully though.. don't know where I got 98 degrees from. I checked the temp again and there is one really warm corner, 110 actually, and the other side and center of the box are about 90-95. They seem to be hanging out in the middle which would make sense, not bunched up and are milling around pecking and drinking at will so I think they are comfortable. I will check the temps throughout the day and evening and ajust accordingly. I kinda like the idea of a warm spot though, they can get closer if they get get cooler in the night. I will remove the grit and replace with granite and I already see what you mean about pooping in the plates
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Glad I checked in with the experts!
 

Tdub4chiks

Songster
9 Years
Jul 8, 2010
556
2
121
Constantia, NY
They are too young for oyster shell, hot peppers etc. I have read recently that people give them hot peppers to help make them lay eggs. I don't know if it really works, but yours won't being laying eggs any time soon. lol
 

ChickensAreSweet

Heavenly Grains for Hens
9 Years
Jun 8, 2010
15,100
721
398
Pacific NW- where the Douglas Firs grow
Good job - my advice to you for your temps is to have a slightly cooler spot available less than 90 so that when they are ready for it they have it. Some have had sick chicks from too much heat.

I know that might be impossible for you with your setup. One option is to use a couple of 100 watt bulbs when you think it is a good time (only thing is a lot of people like the red lamps to discourage picking, but I never use them). That always worked for me.

Or you can try RAISING your bulb to make it cooler for them- probably the best option?

After my heat lamp exploded outside, I swore no more heat lamps- only 100 watt bulbs. And I use 2-3 of those to begin with, then decrease it so that I am actually only using a 60 watt bulb by 5-6 weeks of age, out in the coop.

You are doing fine!
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maizey

Songster
9 Years
Feb 23, 2010
670
8
131
Deep in the heart of Dixie
ok.. i think i have a good range of heat options now... all the way from about 88 on up to a really super warm corner that i want to wait and check again in the cool of the night. They are active and pecking at food and drinking water and occasionaly having a nappy..now off to find granite grit, of course the feed and seed closes at noon on saturday. In the event that i cant find any before monday, will they be ok with out any or will the stuff with the calcium be better than nothing? Will the calcium do them harm? What about a handful of sandy gravel from the yard.. i could run it through the microwave to kill any nasties? suggestions?
 

ChickensAreSweet

Heavenly Grains for Hens
9 Years
Jun 8, 2010
15,100
721
398
Pacific NW- where the Douglas Firs grow
Quote:
Some use sand. If you are feeding crumbles, you can do without grit (some BYCers never feed grit but free range so they find grit in the soil). I feed grit from day 3 onward because I worry about them ingesting something like shavings and getting plugged up.

I wouldn't feed the calcium at all. Even if you have to wait. See this if you want and scroll down to calcium supplementation:

http://www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/A/ANR-1317/
 

icemanchicken

In the Brooder
9 Years
Jul 22, 2010
57
1
29
I dont give grit to my chicks until after i take them off crumbles. Where do you live i just picked up a few barred rocks from my feed store this morning too.
 

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