Baby chicks are on the way

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by shellcracker, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. shellcracker

    shellcracker Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 18, 2009
    Pitts, Georgia
    I have some baby chicks on the way next week. Day old that is. I just need some good sound advice in handling this situation because it will be my first experience. I have a brooder and will set a thermostat at 95 degrees or what ever is best. I have some biddie waters and feeders. I will use pine wood shavings in the brooder. Now how long should I wait before giving water and feed and any other advice you might have would be appreciated. you know sugar water or anything helpful. Also, will they find the water on their own or should I but some on their beaks.
  2. chickensioux

    chickensioux Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2009
    Western North Carolina
    You should offer them food and water immediately. Dip their beaks in the water to show them where it is. I also sprinkle some of the Chick starter feed all over the bottom of the brooder. I would use newspaper covered in paper towels for the first few days or two. This is what I do. Pine is fine but I like for them to be able to find the food on the floor for the first few days. You may have to show them the water a couple of times but usually they are pretty quick to pick up where it is. Keep an eye on their little bottoms, they tend to get "pasty" or get poop stuck to it. This will have to be kept clean too.
    Good luck with them
  3. the_great_snag

    the_great_snag Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2007
    Staples, Minnesota
    Some people recommend giving them water for an hour before introducing feed. I think it's to get them good and hydrated before they try to eat dry chick starter.

    I've read recommendations of 1-2 teaspoons of sugar per quart of water for the first day as well. I've never done it but it seems it couldn't hurt. I would just be careful not to attract ants or other sugar-loving pests to the party. Some folks also use Karo syrup in the water the first day. Check around on here, but I think you would be good to go with the sugar water. I've never even used that and never had problems.

    For heat, remember the lamps work on infrared radiation, so hard temperature numbers are not that useful. Yes, 95 degrees is the recommended temp, but when using brooder lamps the best indication is the chicks' behavior. They should be moving around the brooder and eating and drinking contentedly. If they are huddled up under the light, your temp is too low. Conversely if they are avoiding the light, you need to lower the temp a bit.

    I run my new chicks on paper towels over pine bedding the first day or so, and then just pine bedding after that. I mean the pine wood shavings, not pine straw...

    And by all means, dip their beaks right away. I usually take the chick from the shipping box and dip its beak before I even turn them loose in the brooder. That way I know I dipped all of them. I've never had trouble with them finding the water again after that first drink.

    Also, remember to elevate their feeders and waterers as they grow. This helps keep them from getting dirty and contaminated by their scratching behavior. You will understand the first time you have to clean out a dirty waterer... ugh...

    Good luck with your new babies. Follow the care instructions that came with the chicks or on your hatchery's website and you should be just fine.
  4. mychickens98

    mychickens98 New Egg

    Feb 6, 2012

    I know it may be years since you wrote in, but this is for future questions.
    When the date has finally come for the chicks to hatch, the first thing is to give them water, food can wait, since, before they hatched they ate the rest of the yolk. It may be hard for the chicks to find the water, so you may need to dip their heads in it. Remember that the container you put the water in should not be higher than the chick, since it can drown (it should be about half way up, and less). When we are through with that, you will need to find food, which the chick wont have any trouble swallowing. Since the food will be dry, I like to mix it with water, so that the it wont choke on it, and I recommend you do the same. Remember that the chicks should NEVER overeat! You should give them two to three times a day. To know if you are not giving them too much, always check their tummies or where the food is stored, and make sure its not too big, because the chicks don't know if they are overeating. Make sure they always have clean water and some people may even put vitamins for the chicks. If you have not yet fixed a bedding, maybe the best way is to put newspaper under them, since you can clean it everyday. For warmer solutions, tree sheddings may work, hay, dry grass or anything soft, except cotton.
    And with the days growing, take them outside for fresh air. From chicks they will learn how to hide from hawks or eagles, anything that is looking for a snack. But it is good to keep an eye on them, since they will wonder off in different directions. :D

    Hope this helped!!! :)[​IMG][​IMG]

    But remember if the chicks are with a mama, she knows best!!![​IMG][​IMG]Any questions???...[​IMG]

    [​IMG]Happy Birthday!!! :)[​IMG]
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2012

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