9 new chicks - newbie


In the Brooder
Jan 23, 2021

So nice to find this site! I googled backyard chickens and found you!

My 9 yo daughter is quite a planner and did all the shopping and planning for our 9 baby chicks! All female, we hope, Rhode Island Reds. They arrived by mail yesterday and are happily living in a good-sized wire crate in her room. She’s in charge, but we want to help when we can.

We live in Maryland, so we’ve got them a nice warm brooding mat atop of pvc pipe, purchased on Amazon. They are peeping a lot and pecking happily on milk-soaked bread and on dry rolled oats. Happily drinking from their water dispenser.

I’m in need of help guessing how many will make it through the first few months, so we know what size coop to buy/build outdoors. I’m hoping we won’t really end up with 9 egg laying hens, or we’ll be secretly dropping off eggs at our neighbors houses!!

Our family includes our 9yo daughter, me and my husband, as well as a 5yo foxhound adopted in July (yep, a pandemic dog), a 5yo cat, a newt, and a betta fish. It’s a zoo!!!
We have neighbors with chickens, so we are planning to hit them up for info!!!

Nice to find this community!



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Dec 4, 2020
Welcome BYC!

And as for your question about how many chicks will make it through......
If none of them have anything wrong when you first got them or now then they will probably make it. If later on you start to realise some feathers are deformed, there sleeping a lot, and there not very well, then that means that chick most likely won’t make it. Things can take a turn for the worse with chicks very fast, and overall you won’t know how many chicks aren’t going to make it until they pass. Hope this helps :)


Free Ranging
Jun 14, 2017
Central PA
Welcome to BYC!

You should buy chick feed ASAP. Chickens are omnivores, and mostly eat insects in the wild. Oats and bread don't have enough protein or vitamins for healthy development. They're also mildly lactose intolerant.

And since chickens grow very fast, their early development is very important in how healthy they are later. Think feeding a human baby a diet of apple juice and bread.

As for the coop, depends on how handy you are and how much you'd like to spend. There are a lot of designs on the Articles page. EDT: If a chick isn't obviously unhealthy now, you should have nearly 100% survival rate. Might want to think about rehoming a couple.

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