A guide to raising baby chicks anyone?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by UrbanChickenBoy, Dec 28, 2013.

  1. UrbanChickenBoy

    UrbanChickenBoy New Egg

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    Does any one know of any perhaps some fire PDF,s. I plan on buying seramas in march and I need something to go over to make sure I know what I'm doing.
     
  2. PrairieChickens

    PrairieChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm sure someone has a nice list of resources for you that they'll post before too long, but I can at least help you with the basics.

    Your chicks will need ample heat to start with, so invest in a heating lamp and bulb. As a rule, chicks need temperatures of about 95F to start with, dropping by about 5 F per week until they have fully feathered out. Make sure that the lamp is placed in a secure location so that there is no danger that it might be knocked down into the bedding where it would pose a fire hazard. If the temperature is right, the chicks will run around and play, sleep, eat, drink, etc, but if it is too cold, they will huddle together under the lamp and cheep loudly in protest. If it is too hot, they will distance themselves from the heat source as much as they can, and may show signs of distress like panting or behaving lethargically.

    Especially with a tiny breed like seramas, you will need to take extra care with their feeders and waterers. Very young chicks will drown themselves in water if it is deep enough, so you may need to fill the waterer with small pebbles for the first few days of life. Even a standard chick waterer, which is normally sufficient to prevent drowning, would be too big for a serama chick.

    Make sure you feed them the proper chick-starter formula to give them the strongest possible start in life. How long you keep them on the chick starter seems to be a subject of some debate, so you may want to consult other serama owners on the proper procedure for that breed.

    Make sure you have their permanent living quarters set up before you get the chicks. You may think you have time to finish the coop or run before they grow up, but they will outgrow their brooder quicker than you think. (Even a tiny breed like seramas!)

    You may bed the brooder with a variety of materials. Pine shavings, sand, grass clippings, etc are all satisfactory materials. Do not use cedar shavings as they damage chickens' respiratory system, and do not use newspaper as the slick surface causes chicks to slip and slide, which can cause permanent injury and deformity.

    Do not leave your brooder in a part of your home where other animals can get to it. Few things are more devastating than coming home from work to find that the family pet has broken into the brooder and killed your new baby chicks. Even animals that seem disinterested or friendly towards the chicks can get other ideas when unsupervised, so take no chances.

    Handle your chicks frequently and feed them from your hands to teach them you are a friendly creature and source of food. While you are handling them, check for signs of "pasty butt"--a condition where dried poop has accumulated around the vent, preventing the chicks from defecating. This condition can kill chicks, and tiny varieties like seramas and other bantams are especially at risk because of their small size. If the chick has pasty butt, very gently clean the area around the vent. There are a variety of methods proposed to deal with this, though it usually requires a damp q-tip or paper towel to soften the dried poop and a lot of patience to gently pick it off. The chick WILL protest, but do not relent. Better a sore toosh than death by toxicity.

    I won't even go into all of the ailments and conditions your chicks might get while in your care. Most chicks will be perfectly fine and healthy and happy and will grow up with normal care to be strong, healthy grown-up chickens. Those that aren't will be fairly obvious, so just trust your instincts and research ailments on an as-needed basis. Stock up a chick first-aid kit in advance, because if you do get a sick chick, it will almost inevitably be on a weekend or holiday when all the stores are closed, and walmart of course won't carry what you need. I'll see if I can find you a list of basic first-aid items you should have on hand, but it's mostly vitamins and electrolytes, in my experience.
     
    3 people like this.
  3. UrbanChickenBoy

    UrbanChickenBoy New Egg

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    Jul 18, 2013
    Thank you I think, this is great(your post).
     
  4. ampho

    ampho Chillin' With My Peeps

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  5. HershelMS

    HershelMS Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 17, 2013
    Ampho. your profile pic looks just like one of my barred rock hens.
     
  6. ampho

    ampho Chillin' With My Peeps

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    good to hear she looks like a hen, I am new to this, still not sure although most guesses say hens. I actually just changed the avatar..but I have two barred rocks, one is not in the picture, both similar but one just a tad bigger and tail more "up" than the other. They are 14 weeks old.
     
  7. HershelMS

    HershelMS Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 17, 2013
    The one to the right of the buff :) shes a gal :)... as is the buff :)
     
  8. HershelMS

    HershelMS Out Of The Brooder

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    for a large breed, they are beautiful birds.... I have 7 barred rocks at the moment. 8 White leghorns, 7 brown leghorns, 6 brown/white leghorns(thanks to a sneaky rooster), 3 buff orphingtons, 5 black stars, 3 rhode island whites, 1 beautiful Rhode Island Red, one Bantam Sex Link Rooster that has an EXCELLENT work ethic, and a mutt coop 10 strong and growing :)...
     
  9. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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  10. UrbanChickenBoy

    UrbanChickenBoy New Egg

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    Jul 18, 2013
    Thank you.
     

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