2 week old chicks - new to it all!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Jose21, May 18, 2011.

  1. Jose21

    Jose21 Out Of The Brooder

    May 18, 2011
    I am very new to all of this and very relieved to have found this forum. I am a Headteacher of a school with children aged from 3-18 and my Pre-Prep Dept hatched 9 chicks in early May. The experience was so wonderful that we have subsequently decided that keeping chickens on our wonderful and extensive rural site would be a great thing to do - so I have now got two of the (Isa Warren?) chicks in a brooder in my lounge. We wanted to keep 4, but we were told by the hatching company that the browner (Ginger?) chicks were the females (can this be right?) so we let them take the 7 roosters back. We will get another two chickens later this summer once the coop is done. I think by now that if one of these chicks does turn out to be a rooster, I don't think we would have the heart to get rid of him.

    My query is that the brooder they are in was not made for longer term use and the light is fixed on the wall. Not only does this mean the light is on all the time (is that bad?) but that I cannot reduce the heat, which I know we should be doing. Am I best to convert my dog cage and buy a heat lamp? The pictures on this website have given me lots of ideas. At what point are they likely to start smelling? At the moment it is no odour problem and it is quite nice having them in the centre of the house - the perspex lid of the brooder keeps the dog and cat out, but if they smell they will have to go in the shed.

    The chicks are now just short of two weeks old and seem to be bouncing around and pecking happily. I am just feeding them chick mix at the moment. We are handling them every day (but they are not in the school) and they do not seem to mind. I still worry that they might not make it - can anyone advise me of anything else I should be doing? Any extra food? Going outside for short periods? A perch in the brooder? I am worried that with just two of them they might get bored - but I am not sure if chickens get bored. Having read some of the postings on here my biggest worry is that one of them will die.

    Any advice welcome!
  2. smokeykk

    smokeykk Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 15, 2011
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    They will probably not smell until atleast 3 weeks old. I have 6 and they have started to smell, they are almost 4 weeks. And the heat should be decreased by 5 degrees a week. and My chicks didin't get bored. They are really getting too big for their brooder so I'm gonna have to get my dad to either buy the chicken coop we been looking at or start building one asap. They are getting too big!!!!!!!
  3. Mommy 2 Wee Ones

    Mommy 2 Wee Ones Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2011
    North Texas
    Hi, I am new to raising chicks too, got mine yesterday, 6 of them, 2 weeks old.
    I have the heat lamp, mine are in a large rubbermaid container. The house is 74 deg. and the chicks were not under the lamp, but over to the side. So I thought, turn off the light, so I did. They started talking to me like there was no tomorrow, so I switched it back on & they are quiet as little lambs. Running all over & eating non-stop, but quiet.lol:)

    Good Luck on your coop building, we are in that stage too.
  4. ginger c.

    ginger c. Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2011
    if you're planning on a few more chickens it's easier to add now before the get too much older. we have 4 (2 EE0, 1(RIR), and 1(not sure what she is some sort of mix?) in a 55 gal. rubbermaid tub. we added 2 silkies this past weekend, and have them in a separate brooder box, due o their tiny size. we'll have to slowly introduce them otherwise our bigger girls could kill the younger ones, there is a lot of truth to the "pecking order" thing.

    as far as treats go you can give them mashed up boiled egg, or plain yogurt now without any grit. our girls hated both, but other folks on BYC swear by those treats. once ours reached 3 weeks we got a bag of grit and introduced earthworms that we dug up in the yard, too much fun, it's like a big game of keep away! ours also LOVE tomatoes cut into strips, orange bell peppers, strawberries, corn cut off the cob,and blackberries. they HATED the slice of bananna. once you start these types of treats you MUST give them grit.

    for smell control we change our shavings out about every 4-5 days and it hasn't been an issue.

    we started taking ours out for short periods to play at about 31/2 - 4 weeks always supervised, and they love it, they will stay pretty close to you and each other.

    and finally yes chickens can get bored, that's why you make sure they have plenty of stuff to scratch and peck at in their run, otherwise they will pick at each other!

    have fun, this site will be your life-line to chickens![​IMG]
  5. Steph Martin

    Steph Martin Out Of The Brooder

    May 7, 2011
    Nova Scotia Canada
    Congratulations on your babies! I have mine (12 who are almost a week old) in a rubbermaid dry bin about 4 feet long and 2.5 feet wide. I've a heat lamp suspended on a dowel which, in turn, is supported on the backs of two kitchen chairs. Also have galvanized chain link and "S" hooks to raise or lower the lamp. My brooder temp is at 88F and this seems to suit them. They fight a bit amongst themselves, which results in some sharp peeps but they don't do too much chatting at this time. Lots of eating, lots of drinking, lots of snoozing. Yours sound like they are doing fine! Good luck with them.

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