Another "Baby Chicks" Thread

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Velocirooster, Feb 17, 2017.

  1. Velocirooster

    Velocirooster Out Of The Brooder

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    My Baby Chicks List

    Brooder
    Heat Lamp
    Waterer
    Feeder
    Bedding
    Feed
    Grit

    I have no doubt I'm missing something, so please chime in! Also, if there are specific brands of something I should use, or steer clear of, please let me know!

    Hoping for chicks around the end of March.

    Also, where would you keep your brooder? In the garage, coop? My coop is big enough to hold the brooder.

    How soon would you let them leave the brooder?
     
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    Are there other birds already in the coop? If not, you can skip the brooder all together and brood them directly in the coop.
     
  3. Velocirooster

    Velocirooster Out Of The Brooder

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    No other birds. This is my first time.
     
  4. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    That does open up the option of just using the coop as your brooder - (even with other birds it is still an option, just may require some modification to accommodate both the new chicks and the existing flock safely) - some advantages of this are that you don't have the mess of chicks in the house (they are DUSTY little buggers and even with vigilant housekeeping of the brooder some folks find their odor offensive) and you don't have to deal with the later transition phase when you do move them out to the coop. If your coop is a walk-in style it also lends itself very well to socializing the chicks more easily as you are able to interact with them at their level vs. reaching down into a brooder which can cause a stress reaction that makes the interactions less positive. There are many ways to raise chicks - no one right way, only a matter of finding the one that is right for you and your birds.

    If you aren't 100% set on the use of a heat lamp, you might want to take a gander at the Mama Heat Pad threads here on BYC -- or those discussing the use of a brooder plate. There is a great thread here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/956958/mama-heating-pad-in-the-brooder-picture-heavy-update -- again, one of those "more than one way" of doing things topics where knowing your options can help you find what works best for your situation

    There are many different brands of feed and supplies that are wonderful for keeping a happy, healthy flock - ultimately it comes down to doing a little homework and deciding what sort of feed program you want to use (fermented, do you want gmo-free/organic, do you want to use layer ration once they are laying or use a grower and offer calcium from other sources, etc) and then taking a trip to your local feed stores to see what is available that fits your choices and budget. The same goes for bedding, etc. You might want to read up on Deep Litter Method (search that here on BYC, you'll find several discussions) to see if it is something you might like to try. You can bed with so many different things - it's going to come down to what sort of housekeeping/upkeep you want to invest in doing, what is readily available to you in your area, what your budget is, etc.

    I know getting into something new, like keeping chickens, can seem overwhelming.........the truth is a lot of it is going to be a matter of trial and error to find what approach works for YOU. You can ask 10 different poultry people a question and get 11 different answers, lol. As long as you meet the basic needs (safe/secure housing, protection from the elements, appropriate supplemental heat until they are able to self-regulate, clean water and good nutrition) it doesn't really matter *how* how you do it.
     
  5. Velocirooster

    Velocirooster Out Of The Brooder

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  6. Velocirooster

    Velocirooster Out Of The Brooder

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    Our chicks arrived yesterday. They were a day late, and we were so worried! We ordered 6 BCM's, and when we opened the package, there were 8! They multiply faster than bunnies! LOL
    Thank you K&V for the extra chickies!

    Something I found useful, that may help someone else. They get water everywhere! So, I went out to the shop and brought in a slice of pine (my husband has a mill, so we always have some kind of wood laying around), put the pine under the water bowl, and now when they jump in and out of the water bowl, the piece of wood absorbs the water, and it doesn't soak the entire brooder.

    Things we've noticed about the chicks:
    1) they look dead when they sleep. I mean, they don't just squat down and get comfy when they're ready to go to sleep. They look like they just fell over and died! I poked at them a few times, but I think I'm okay now.
    2) last chicken awake will freak out and try to wake up all the other chicks by crying out like it's have a leg twisted off or something. twice last night, when I go in to see what all the noise is about, it's just a lonely chick.

    Baby chicks-giving new meaning to "cute overload".
     
  7. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    So glad they arrived safe and sound!

    Yes, they get water EVERYWHERE - and a wet brooder quickly becomes a stinky (and potentially unhealthy) brooder - you found one of the best solutions there which is to raise the waterer. It can help to continue raising it as they grow, keeping the rim at about chest height. You did say water "bowl" - are you using a standard chick style waterer or an open bowl? The latter can be a problem as chicks can get into the water and drown (they aren't the brightest or most coordinated at times) so one way to make that safer if it is what you are using is to place marbles or stones in the dish so that they can peck between to get the water to drink but not get totally into the water/stuck.

    The dead sleep thing is often the cause of concern for folks new to chicks -- my own poor dear husband (not a chicken person before I introduced him to the joy) had a panic moment when he walked into check the first chicks we brooded as a family and found them "all dead". The chickens enjoy causing him panic as later they often created very convincing "chicken massacre" scenes in the pasture when they would sprawl out all over the place while sunbathing. Bless his heart, he knows how much I love those birds and I think even more than being panicked at the loss of the birds it's panic at the idea of having to deal with me dealing with the loss of all the birds.....

    Welcome to the wonderful, completely absorbing world of "chicken tv" - you will have hours and hours and hours of entertainment in the weeks and months ahead as you watch your new flock grow and change!
     
  8. Velocirooster

    Velocirooster Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]
    the bowl I'm using has rubber bands criss crossed over it. If you think this could be a problem, I have no problem at removing the rubber bands and using stones. Whatta' ya' think? This little home made brooder is not going to last long. I'm gonna' have to come up with something else soon.
     
  9. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    1 person likes this.
  10. song of joy

    song of joy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] LG - you have quite a way with words.
     

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