5 days old and clueless!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by MomOf15, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. MomOf15

    MomOf15 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 13, 2009
    Mercer Co. PA
    I have a dozen chicks that are 5 days old and really unsure where to go from here. Could someone point me in the right direction as to what steps to follow. Right now they are in a cardboard box in my livingroom with non-medicated feed and water. We clean the box daily and my children handle them about twice a day for several minutes. We want them to be used to being handled, but don't want to over handle them either. The women we got them from said they are all 'supposed' to be pullets, but no promises. Which is fine, if not that saves us from buying a rooster down the road.
    Thanx for any advice you may have. [​IMG]
  2. TheBuff

    TheBuff Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 13, 2009
    S.E. IOWA
    Keep the chicks warm (you can lower the heat 5 degrees a day), watered and fed and everything should be fine.
  3. Renee'

    Renee' Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 8, 2009
    Yucaipa, CA
    Go to the BYC home page and click on "learning center". That's a good bit of info to get you started. Good luck![​IMG]
  4. emmalynn

    emmalynn Silkies Sebbies OEGBs

    Oct 16, 2008
    Middle TN
    Sounds like you are doing great.

    Hygiene is my big concern. I really don't want people to walk in and ask when I started fostering zoo animals. So I obsessively clean chicken boxes (so I have been told by someone that shall remain nameless)

    Something you might want to do is raise the food and water as they get bigger. I put my chicks on shavings after a few days and raising the water and food keeps it cleaner for longer.
  5. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    If the kids (and you) are clamoring to handle them more, I'm sure you could let them. I'm sure you can gauge how much is too much from how they react (they can get panicky.) They need a pretty good amount of contact to get them tame and used to people, assuming you want them tame. I sure handled them more than twice a day, and most of mine aren't really tame, though a few are pets. Of course, some breeds tame better than others. I think it helped to let them peck food off my palm.
  6. horsejody

    horsejody Squeaky Wheel

    Feb 11, 2008
    Waterloo, Nebraska
    1 day to 1 week old keep them at about 95 degrees. Reduce the temp 5 degrees every week. Watch for pasty butt.
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Quote:You are getting good advice here but I think there is a typo in this post. As Horsejody said, lower the temperature 5 degrees a week, not 5 degrees a day.

    Make sure they are not too hot or too cold. If they are too hot, they will crowd around the edges of the brooder. If they are too cold, they will crowd under the heat source and chirp loudly. If they are scattered, they are comfortable.

    Make sure they have feed and clean water at all times. Keep the feed and water containers about the height of the smallest one's back to reduce them getting it dirty.

    Keep the brooder dry. You do not have to change the litter every day as long as it is not getting damp or smells too badly.

    Give them enough room. Their space requirements go up as they get bigger.

    Best of luck!
  8. Chicken Boo

    Chicken Boo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 16, 2008
    Glenn Dale, MD
    I am sure you are being careful but just as a reminder: Make sure you and your kids wash after playing with the chicks. You probably have nothing to worry about but the easiest way to make sure is hand washing.
  9. MomOf15

    MomOf15 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 13, 2009
    Mercer Co. PA
    Thank you everyone...it's nice to meet all of you and you've been a great help. I'm off to a better start then I thought. I clean their box everyday cuz they are currently in my livingroom and I don't want smell in my house. My daughter was cuddling with her chick last night and had her up by her neck and got pooped on for the first time...that was reather amusing [​IMG] I hound them about washing their hands even if they so much as just give them food and water and not touch the chicks themselves...so far they've been good about it. We split them up last night cuz the box was just a bit to small for all 12 of them so I used two different boxes and put 6 in each...they were not happy about it and let me know - lol!!! So I just got a couple more bigger boxes to contain all of them so they'll be happy again. Our white rocks are growing like weeds and make the others look so tiny!
    Well, back to reading and learning...thanx for all the great advice. This is a great site and the people here all seem so friendly and knowledgable.
    Have a great day![​IMG]
  10. RendonRoo

    RendonRoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2009
    ft. worth
    Just wanted to say welcome to the chicken world and BYC.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by