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Advice on equipment needed for chicks arriving please.

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by PNightbird, May 22, 2010.

  1. PNightbird

    PNightbird Moved On

    Jun 4, 2009
    Hi Y'all, [​IMG]

    I've done quite a bit of research (and it never ends it seems..lol) on what I need to buy as far as feeders & waterers for my new chicks arriving in June, but I really would love to hear from the experienced chicken keepers here on what I really should get that works, as opposed to what the ads tell me I need. So can you all please give me recommendations on what feeders & waterers to get for my new chicks arriving in June? Also, do I just put a bed of pine shavings and let them walk on that? Because I see some people put paper towels over the shavings and others do not. I'm expecting 26 chicks so I just want to make sure all the little guys have a great head start.

    Thanks Y'all! [​IMG]
  2. ADozenGirlz

    ADozenGirlz The Chicken Chick[IMG]emojione/assets/png/00ae.png

    Oct 18, 2009
    Quote:With day old chicks, you'll want to start with paper towels OVER pine shavings (or just paper towels) for the first week. Never use just newspaper with day old chicks b/c they can get spraddle leg given the slippery surface of these little puff balls. After a week, I put newspaper UNDER pine shavings for ease of clean up.

    Oh, and if you haven't gotten to the "Learning Center" on the tab up top, that'll an invaluable resource for you and you have plenty of time to read through it before they arrive.

    Good luck with your new babies!
  3. PNightbird

    PNightbird Moved On

    Jun 4, 2009
    Thanks ADozenGirlz for the reply. I think it will be easy for me to just use those super strength shop paper towels they sell at Sams for the chicks at first, as they are very soft yet absorbent, and will give them good traction.

    Any advice on the type of feeder and waterer I should get, or are they all so similar it doesn't matter?

    And trust me, I am using the learning center here for sure, as it's a gold mine of info. [​IMG]
  4. Well with as many as your getting I hope you have a brooder big enough for all them and plenty of food on hand....

    Now as for feeders go you pick them up at the feed store same with a waterer now with that many I would get the trough kind it will be easier and if you can only get the round ones or shorts ones then get a couple (you will need them with that many).

    The waterer to start with I would get the gallon size but make sure you buy rocks to go into the tray where the water sits for the first week or two (you can get the rocks at the dollar store) I use the kind you put in vases the rocks are so they don't drown as a day old chick they will drown easy.

    Feed use starter grower you can get it at the feed store.

    Grit and treats give them grit after the thrid day put it in there food like you would salt your food this way you can give them treats.

    once they move to the big coop the waterer will be be able to be used but your gonna need a bigger feeder.

    Pine shavings yes you can put the shavings down but trust me you will need to put paper towels down ontop of them for about a week.

    Pasty Butt always check them for dried up poo stuck to their fuzzy little butts.

    I think that is the basics that you will need to do Oh almost forgot Bleach water everything and rinse Very well before use.

    Good luck at this late hour that is all I can think of.
  5. PNightbird

    PNightbird Moved On

    Jun 4, 2009
    Thank you Backyard Chicken Rancher for all the great info. [​IMG]

    The chicks are coming from Meyer Hatchery with something they call GroGel and a pack of Vitamin & Electrolyte for their water. They will also all have their Mareck immunizations. I will look for the feeder and waterer you recommended at our local feed store, and will make sure to put rocks in the waterer too.

    As for their brooder, we are almost done with our 8 x 8 chicken coop, but in the meantime they will stay in a big, square rubbermaid container that is apx. 52 inches long, 20 inches wide, and 14 inches high -it's made for storing artificial X-mas trees. Do you think that will work for the first few weeks until they can go in the coop? I have read others here saying they have put their chicks as young as one week old in their coops, and since this coop will be completely locked down and our weather here in the south is already warm, I figure they should do fine out there in a few weeks..whacha think? [​IMG]

    And great tip on bleaching everything, you betcha I'm doing that..lol. [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 23, 2010
  6. You may need a second or third with all the chicks your getting but for a week or two you should be fine though, The grow gel stuff you will need to feed them as soon as you get home with them from the P.O. it is a good thing now it will turn green but don't worry it's all good they don't need to eat all of it but it make sure they all get at least some of it.
    When they go to the coop outside be sure to treat it as if they were still in a brooder feed/water/ Heat lamp all the goodies they need.
    Now the rocks they don't need to go inside the waterer itsself just in the tray and thats only for about 2 weeks just till they get big enough they won't drown I took mine out after a week.

    Be prepared just when you think you have enough room you don't rule of thumb here is each week they grow ,each week adds more feathers to fly so you must keep an eye on them or have a lid with Hardware cloth screwed to it (the inside of the lid cut out) this way it will still grip and you will have room to screw the hardware cloth down. now they will eat alot so you may want to get about a 50 lbs bag right off my newest ones (I have 12 of them) eat like little pigs with feathers I go through about a quart bucket every 2 days just for them they are about 6-8 weeks old even when they were in the brooder they ate like I was going to take it away and never give it back to them lol.

    As I said before good luck to you
  7. jenn-E

    jenn-E Chirping

    May 6, 2010
    Albuquerque, NM
    I'm a newbie who got day old chickens from the feed store last week. They sent me home with the following & our chicks are doing well so far:

    1. cardboard box we already had (approx 24 x 24 x 24 in) is working so far for 8 chicks- expect we will need to get a bigger one soon or move then to the coop (if it gets finished)
    2. sugar water for the first day (1 tsp per quart)- I think the GroGel you are getting serves the same purpose
    3. pine shavings (did not use paper towels)
    4. heat lamp
    5. gallon water
    6. trough feeder
    7. chick starter feed

    I'm having so much fun with our babies. Enjoy!
  8. PNightbird

    PNightbird Moved On

    Jun 4, 2009
    Thanks again Backyard Chicken Rancher [​IMG], and luckily we have two more of those rubbermaid containers if we need them. I'll also make sure and get a big bag of feed like you suggested..what protein ratio do you suggest, or does it matter when they are this young? I see Purina advertises their chicken feed quite a bit, and the lady from Meyers hatchery suggested the feed be medicated.

    When you say I need to make sure they eat some of the Grogel, do I have to worry about force feeding it to them if they won't eat it, or should they all just eat it automatically? I'm asking because the lady from Meyers hatchery suggested I dip all their little beaks in the water to start with, so does this mean I need to put some Grogel in their beaks too, or just lay it out on their food and not worry about it?

    The rubbermaid containers all have plastic lids, and I drilled holes on the upper portion of them to hold reptiles. Do you think those holes are enough for the chicks with the lid on, or should I just use hardware cloth instead?

    jenn-E congrats on your chicks, and keep us posted how it is going with them. [​IMG]
  9. rileyboy

    rileyboy In the Brooder

    May 22, 2010
    I am using a rubbermaid tub (I believe the 35 gallon, it's pretty big) as my first brooder. However, I will only have 6 chicks. For the lid, drilling holes isn't enough because the heat lamp will be blocked by the lid. Take a saw or really sharp serated knife and cut out the center of the lid leaving about a 4" wide edges so the lid will still snap securely. Then take hardware cloth and attach it to the lid. This way the heat lamp will actually get to the chicks, the chicks can't get out, and there is good ventilation. It'll basically look like the screen tops that go onto reptile cages.

    Sorry, not the best instructions, but hopefully you get the point. [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 24, 2010
  10. bakerjw

    bakerjw Songster

    Apr 14, 2010
    Johnson City, Tn
    From what I've read, the tray feeders seem to be less wasteful. I have a round one and my chicks take extra special delight in tossing food everywhere. I ended up putting a pie pan under it to catch some of the food.

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