2 day old chicks, lots of questions

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by DanLeaAnn7, Nov 19, 2010.

  1. DanLeaAnn7

    DanLeaAnn7 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2009
    Hempstead, TX
    Hi, we just got our 25 pullets from Ideal yesterday. I have a ton of questions, - these are our first chickens and this is my first post !
    The chicks are in a cardboard box 34 long by 24 high, I have a red heat lamp on and am trying to maintain 95 degrees. The chicks act like this is too hot, is it ? Also some of the chicks seem to stretch out their legs really straight - even while laying down, is this normal ? Sometimes their peeping, chirping, is so quiet, is this normal ? One chick seemed to have a pasty bottom, cleaned it with warm water but it was very hard to get the poop off. I have paper towels over pine shavings, 2 quart size waterers, one long food tray with the holes in - I have put Purina starter ration in, and chick grit, they seem to really go nuts over the chick grit. We have tons of grasshoppers here in Hempstead, TX now, the kids want to put some in the box, is this OK ? When do I move them to a bigger box, in a week ? Thank you for your help ! (We have 6 barred Plymouth Rock, 6 Ameraucana, 6 black sex linked and 7 red sex linked)
  2. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas

    Welcome to BYC from a fellow Texan!

    Temperatures are guidelines. If your chicks are hot, they're hot. Move the lamp. I have never had any chicks who adhered to the textbooks on temperature.

    The straight legs are normal. New chicks sleep in all sorts of weird positions - and sometimes appear to be very dead. Completely normal.

    Quiet peeping is a good thing. Usually means they're happy and content and comfortable.

    I usually clean pasty bottom by sitting the hind end in a cup of warm water and then gently working it off with my fingers (you'll get used to chicken poop) until it's loose. Then put vaseline on those feathers to keep it from sticking again.

    As long as they're on starter, they don't really need grit. And i would hold off on the grasshoppers for a week or two. But be sure they have grit before grasshoppers please. [​IMG]

    They will double in size overnight sometimes. They will quickly outgrow that box. Just be prepared.

    Welcome to the wonderful world of chicks in your living room!
  3. DanLeaAnn7

    DanLeaAnn7 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2009
    Hempstead, TX
    Thanks Beth ! This helps a lot, and I found some other posts on pasting bottoms, - thank you for the helds up on the grasshoppers and grit. Lea Ann
  4. abhaya

    abhaya Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 5, 2010
    cookeville, tn
    Quote:X2 All I can add is [​IMG]
  5. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I strongly agree about temp guidelines, I think people sometimes lose chicks from overheating, and I could never keep them as warm as is recommended; I had an L shaped brooder with the heat on one and and they stayed at the other end, even slept there, til I dropped it to about 10 degrees below recommendations.

    By around two weeks, they will need one sq ft of space per chicken to prevent overcrowding and pecking. By around 12 weeks they will need 4 sq ft. And these are minimums. They are little dinosaurs and can turn into cannibals quickly. Hope you have a lot more space to get them into very soon.

    First time, I did it with cardboard boxes, too, but I cut them apart then duct taped together a larger area. And my spare bedroom was a mess in no time, not to mention the dust all over the house -- the chickens give it off as they drop fuzz and grow feathers. Never again. I wish you luck.
  6. DanLeaAnn7

    DanLeaAnn7 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2009
    Hempstead, TX
    Thanks ddawn, tomorrow I am going to double their space, using your idea of duck taping 2 boxes together. We lost one today, we are heartbroken, we had to keep her away from the others, they kept trying to peck at her this afternoon. Something was wrong with her besides her pasty bottom, she didn't walk right and always seemed to be off balance. Poor thing. So far the rest seem healthy, I keep going to the garage to check them.
    Thanks for all your help ! - Lea Ann
  7. azygous

    azygous Flock Master

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Duct-taping two boxes together is what I also did this summer when my brood got too big too fast. I slapped the two boxes together and then cut a pass-through from one to the other, thus maintaining the strength and integrity of the boxes. But I then got another brain-flash. I decided to elevate the boxes up on some tables, and I then cut access doors into the sides of the boxes. This saved my back and having to bend over to clean and administer to the chicks. But the really huge bonus to this set-up was having chicks that were unafraid of me handling them right from the very start!

    I had raised two previous batches of chicks in brooders placed on the floor, necessitating reaching down to them from above. These chicks never were tame, and would run from me when I reached in to pick them up. It dawned on me too late that they were reacting instinctively with fear as if I was a predator diving at them from the sky!

    Anyway, the brooder on the table worked so well, I raised another batch six weeks after the first one, and all of the chicks are so tame that none runs from me when I need to pick one up now they're almost fully grown. Here's a post I did recently with a picture of the pass-through in the two boxes and a few more ideas you might be able to use. https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=5118525 Good luck!
  8. DanLeaAnn7

    DanLeaAnn7 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2009
    Hempstead, TX
    Very good idea about raising the boxes up on a table, I will try that. And I really like your orange bag netting on your waterer ! I've spent the last hour looking thru the brooder pictures on the "Raising Baby Chicks" topic. I noticed that lots of people put toys in with their chicks, we will do that too ! thanks for all the help, Lea Ann
  9. Rozzie

    Rozzie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2010
    Just make sure they can't get out of the elevated boxes. When the boxes are on the floor, if a chick gets out, it might get chilled but won't fall to its death (or severe injury). When they are elevated, if they escape somehow then there is more potential for harm.

    I currently have quail. The little snots can fly enough to get out of their brooder in just a few days. Since I do elevate their brooder on a coffee table in the basement they have a lid to keep them safe. I can skip using it for the first 3-4 days but then on it goes!

    Make sure to change the water in those waterers every day, if not twice a day. They'll drop pieces of food into it & it gets foul pretty fast. Plastic chick waterers grow slime & funky odors faster than the old fashioned metal waterers.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2010
  10. i<3chickens

    i<3chickens Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 26, 2010
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

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