2 days away from starting my first flock.

gofeedthegirls

Chirping
May 11, 2015
193
92
88
Thief River Falls, MN
Hello all,
as the topic suggests im completely green and a little worried im forgetting something! If you guys could look over my set up and give your inputs I would really appreciate it.
Brooder,
3x2 ft plastic tote
Waterer and feeder are qt sized
250 watt red heatlamp
Thermometer
Pine shaving floor
Set up for 15 chicks.
5 RIR, 5 buff orpingtons, 5 barred rocks.

Help me feel more confident please lol
 

gofeedthegirls

Chirping
May 11, 2015
193
92
88
Thief River Falls, MN
Questions I have.
Add sugar to water? Vinegar to water?
How to control pasty butt?
will 3 different breeds get along if raised together as chicks?
95° at start and decrease 5° every week?
Will the corners at 80° be too hot?
Grit needed?
anything to do right when I pick the up at post office?
Im from MN so bird flu is a concern.
Do the sleep often?
Can they be handled much right away?
 

sophiaw00

Songster
Apr 27, 2015
548
45
108
Illinois
I reccomend setting up a bigger brooder. Chicks need at least 2 square foot PER CHICK. Your 3x2 plastic tote brooder won't last more than a couple days with 15 chicks. I had only 8 chicks and an extra large dog kennel wasn't enough space for them for more than a week. They will begin jumping out of the brooder very soon and they grow extremely fast. Mine double their food and water intake almost every week for three weeks before it finally slowed down.
 

Traphill

In the Brooder
8 Years
Aug 26, 2011
85
7
31
Hi Ditto on the brooder size you will need something bigger. The best way to avoid pasty butt is to make sure that everyone is drinking and know where the water is then introduce feed, I usually make a mash they love that. They do not need any grit until they have treats, I would wait on that and let their little bodies regulate. I usually start treats around 3- 4 weeks. I have never even had the brooder 95 if you give enough room that they can get away from the lamp that would be best. Watch your chicks that is the best indicator, are they all huddled up or running around. Use your judgment you will be able to tell if they are content. Have fun
 

sophiaw00

Songster
Apr 27, 2015
548
45
108
Illinois
Questions I have.
Add sugar to water? Vinegar to water?
How to control pasty butt?
will 3 different breeds get along if raised together as chicks?
95° at start and decrease 5° every week?
Will the corners at 80° be too hot?
Grit needed?
anything to do right when I pick the up at post office?
Im from MN so bird flu is a concern.
Do the sleep often?
Can they be handled much right away?
Didn't see this post. Here's my answers
1. You can add sugar to the water...I would do this only for the first week to give them a head start, but it's not neccessay.
2. Keep them hydrated. If pasty butt is noticed, wash their butt with warm water on a paper towl.
3. Yes, chickens won't be able to tell that the others are different breeds.
4. Yep, that's correct but make sure that the chicks have room in the brooder to get away from the heat if they get too warm. Like Traphill said, use the chick's behavior as your best judgement.
5. ^^
6. Grit isn't needed until they are being fed anything other than their chick starter. You will need to buy chick grit, not adult poultry grit. Don't feed your chicks anything other than their starter feed for AT LEAST a week, but I'd reccomend waiting until two weeks.
7. Bring them home immediatley and put them in the already set up brooder to warm up.
8. I don't know much about the bird flu because it's not a concern in my area. Hopefully another user can help you.
9. Chicks are babies, so yes they sleep often just like puppies. Keep flat marbles in the water to prevent them from drowning because chicks have been known to fall asleep wherever they are standing, even if that's in the waterer.
10. You can handle them as much as you want, but remember to not keep any one chick out of the heat for too long or it might get cold. Handling is a good idea if you want your chicks to be friendly, but if they are destined to be dinner handling may make it hard to butcher them in the future - it's easy to get attached to them.
 

gofeedthegirls

Chirping
May 11, 2015
193
92
88
Thief River Falls, MN
400


Made a new brooder 4X8. I put a divider in because I figured they didnt need the whole space right off the bat but if they do I can easily slide it out. Any more suggestions on a cover?. Its going to be in my garage which is predator proof minus a mouse here and there.
 

sophiaw00

Songster
Apr 27, 2015
548
45
108
Illinois
I would use chicken wire as a cover. Hardware cloth is more secure, but if it's locked away in your garage you should be fine with chicken wire. Chicken wire is a lot cheaper as well. I would staple the wire to a wood frame that can be easily removed. This would probably be easier if you split the top into 2, one for each side.
 

sophiaw00

Songster
Apr 27, 2015
548
45
108
Illinois
That looks awesome and will have a lot of space for you chicks! You might want to purchase two heat lamps...one on each side once they have access to the whole thing so they have more than one heat source. The whole thing doesn't need to be heated and in fact they should have room to get away from the heat, but chickens aren't always the smartest and might get lost
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