After My Chicks Arrive, What Do I Do To Care For Them Properly?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Awestruck, Feb 16, 2017.

  1. Awestruck

    Awestruck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am reading bits and pieces of how to take care of chickens properly, but am not finding specific directions on what to do once the chicks arrive at my house.
    So far, I know I need a heat lamp, correct? Where do I get a heat lamp from, and is it a specific type of lamp? Do I need one if the house is warm (I will keep them inside for a while).
    What kind of container do I put these chicks in? Can they drink out of a regular chicken waterer or do I have to find one specifically for baby chicks?
    What do I feed them and how often to I feed them? At what point does their diet change?
    What do I use for bedding during this time? Do they need a perch yet or does that come later on?
    Thanks. Any recommendations on brands or types also welcome.
     
  2. Cluckcluck1215

    Cluckcluck1215 Overrun With Chickens

    For the brooder(chick home for the next 8 weeks)
    Heat Lamp
    Infa-Red Heat Lamp Bulb
    PINE Shavings(NO Ceder, it can cause Respatory Desise)Or Paper Towels
    Mini 1 quart Waterer
    Mini 1 quart feeder
    Two small pices of smooth wood.
    And a Rubbermaid tub, or what ever you can use(Box(not recommended)Rubbermaid tube, Wood box)
    And medicated chick starter.

    Yes you need a heat lamp for a while, but I turn it off for a while if I like, leave the house.But when they start edging Way from it, eather stop it, or higher it.Also, to pervent fire hazard, I would recommend buying a Heat Plate.

    After they are temporally outside for a title while during the day, I would recommend at about 6 weeks start feeding them Layer Feed unles they are meat birds.

    After 1 1/2 weeks. You can add a small pirch.I built one for mine.
     
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  3. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

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    tell us where you live also, tell us where you ar going to keep the chicks and how your electrical set up looks. You only need a few things to raise quality chicks. warmth, lack of drafty winds, medicated chick feed ( it eyou on the bag how long to feed them this chick feed. ). fresh water and Bovidr Labs poultry nutri-drench ( get online or at Tractor Supply for about 6.00.) I mention the drench because the chicks will be travel stressed when you get them. The drench is a great nutritional supplement which fights travel stress, pasty butt and the runs. here's the website so you can read about it http://www.nutridrench.com it is very forgiving of novice mistakes in chick management. It doesn't need digesting and is measurable in the bloodstream in about 10 minutes.
    Give each chick one drop only by mouth when they arrive. Repeat as needed for any needy chicks every 8 -10 hours until perky. Put it in their water for the first 2 weeks at your place to get them off to a strong start. The drench water should look like weak tea. After the 1st week, sprinkle a bit of chick grit on top their feed. for 2 days. Then stop that and put the chick grit in a small cup in the brooder. They will find it. If they start cheeping loudly and won't stop, there is probably a draft going thru the coop. Find it and close it off. I am not a fan of the infra red bulb. I wuld use an 85 watt incandescent instead and do not turn it off if you leave the house. They need heat continuously until about 4-5 weeks old or until their breasts are completely, completely covered with feathers.
    Raising chicks is simple, it's us humans who make it complicated.
    Warmth, security, lack of stress, a clean environment, correct temp and humidity, chick feed, chick grit, fresh water, a feed of Okios Triple Zero Yogurt to jumpstart their developing G.I. tracts, and the Drench is all you need. Everything else is just extras, Take the yogurt out after about 10 minutes so it doesn't sour under the light bulb.
    Give it to them as a supplement feed once a day for the first 7 days you have tem. This yogurt will help establish the right flora in their G.I. tracts. It is hard for bad pathogens to get established in a G.I tract which has the proper bacterial flora established in it.
    Best,
    Karen
     
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  4. Rwood5093

    Rwood5093 Out Of The Brooder

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    You can also use a nipple waterer. You can buy the tips for about $5 for a pack of 4 and use a bucket, water bottle, or whatever to make the water reservoir. My chick's took to it right away and it's so much cleaner. I had one made of a bicycle water bottle, and one made from a chocolate milk container.

    You can also use a MHP (momma heating pad) if you're wary of a heat lamp. Use the search feature here for Tons of info. Works great and you might have everything already.

    Enjoy your new chick's.
     
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  5. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    Ask 20 people, get 20 answers. There are a number of options that all work so don't take the variety of options to mean it's complicated.

    I brood outdoors in a coop. If you don't already have one, you'll want the coop to be ready before the chicks arrive. Even if you intend to start them in your house. The time they spend as chicks is brief and they tend to be a delightful distraction from the mundane task of building a home for them.

    I used a heat lamp and a few different wattages of bulb to keep them cozy the first few times. Because it's spring, that meant a 175W, a 100W, and sometimes just the sun. I watched the weather and I watched the chicks to figure it out. It was more fiddling than I'd like but it worked. I felt this part could be improved for folks like me who only get 4-6 at a time -- it's a lot of wasted electricity to run a huge bulb for just a few chicks. So, I learned about constructing a hen substitute affectionately dubbed a "mama heating pad". I only built mine yesterday but I'm confident it will work for me. And, only 50W.

    I've watered with poultry nipples from the start and can see no benefit to changing that. Clean water, dry chicks, zero drowning risk, and no soggy bedding around the waterer is all great.

    I use a little chick feeder until they are big enough for the hanging one I have. I tape a cardboard cone on it to keep them off the top.

    I do have a roost in the chick-juvie coop and when they start sleeping on that instead of where it's heated, that's how I know they are done with heat. They start flying up to it around 2 weeks but they don't stay long until they are feathered or it's a very warm day.

    You'll figure out what works for you but definitely get to reading the learning pages here.
     
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  6. Awestruck

    Awestruck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for all the wonderful help. I am wondering, if I were to use a MHP, momma heating pad, do I use that only when the chicks are babies or is it something I will continue to use with the chickens throughout their lives (or even a heat lamp)? What wattage should the heating pad or the heat lamp be? Thanks.
     
  7. Awestruck

    Awestruck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    OK I do see some answers to my questions in the comments. Feel free to continue the comments. This has been very helpful. Thanks for all the insights.
     
  8. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    I don't heat feathered chickens. Some do. But, down is terrific insulation so I just heat the water to keep it from freezing (bucket driver) and let the hens heat themselves.
     
  9. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    You can make a brooder out of almost anything such as a cardboard box. Here are a few pictures that may help give you some ideas.
    15 watt incandescent bulb. I do use shaving in the boxes. I hope this helps you. Good luck and have fun... I usually try to keep the temperature around 90 degrees for the first few day. If they huddle together they are too cool If they are as far away from the heat as possible they are probably to warm.
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    Regular hear lamp which will support a 250 watt heat lamp..
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    Feeder. New hatches I usually put some paper towels down until they find their feet.
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    Feeder and waterer. After a couple of days and the chicks are walking well I take the paper towels out and they are on wire. Their poop goes through the wire into trays with shaving in them under the wire. Makes cleaning much easier. I have had no problems.
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    Chicks feeding
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    I have a 75 watt incandescent bulb. I put the cardboard with foil on the inside to keep it from burning to candle eggs I was incubating but without the card board you cold use something like this as a heat source. I will support up tp a 150 watt bulb.
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    This is the chick grow-out coop.
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    Chick brooder
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    Chick brooder.
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    A melon box brooder.
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    New hatch.
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  10. IdyllwildAcres

    IdyllwildAcres Chillin' With My Peeps

    What? NO NO NO don't do that, too much calcium layer feed is for LAYERS

    When it comes to advice here take the best and leave the rest

    Good luck

    Gary

    Here is a good place for information:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1153952/topic-of-the-week-raising-chicks
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2017
    3 people like this.

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