Bantam experts: Unusual situation, guidance needed


7 Years
Sep 30, 2012
Norton, MA
I'm not new to chickens, but have never raised chicks before. I'll be bringing home the day old chicks from an elementary school hatch project. (they are going to be mille fleur D'anvers
) My fiance has successfully raised hundreds of chicks since he was 9 years old, has been a breeder of several breeds, etc., but he'll be gone at work during the day, and I'll be alone with the chicks.

I'm legally blind with some good residual eyesight. This means that I have a degree of central vision left, and can see the chicks, though not as clearly as others might. I can read a package of probiotics or supplements, but if there's something needed, I cannot drive to get it, would need to order it online, or wait until the weekend. I want to be prepared!

I'm confident that I'll see well enough to tell if a chick needs extra help. However, I want to ensure that I have everything on hand now, in case any chick emergencies should develop.

I currently have:

Bantam-sized chick feeder and fount, very w-i-d-e cardboard box for a brooder, a clamp-on metal deflector cup for a brooder lamp, some Probios dispersable powder, and Sav-a-Chick probiotics.

I plan to add:

Paper towels, clean, bagged playground sand/chick grit, chick starter, a tiny coffee grinder to make the feed smaller if need be, and a quality reptile heat-emitter for the brooder lamp, so the chicks will have plenty of heat but not have a light on them all night long.

What medications, if any, should I have on hand? Is Nutrena chick starter tiny enough for a baby bantam, or shall I get the coffee grinder? Are there any special things I can do to minimize problems for the chicks, such as using papertowels for better traction than newspaper for their flooring? Please share what you reccommend I have on hand ahead of time for emergencies, and lend me the benefit of your experience so that I can be as good a caretaker for these tiny chicks as possible.

Thank you!
Last edited:

sunny & the 5 egg layers

8 Years
Mar 29, 2011
It sounds like you are very much prepared.

Try to stay away from using newspaper as bedding. The slippery surface can result in leg problems in chicks. Pine shavings is much better to use as bedding, you can place some paper towels on top of the pine shavings for the first couple of days if you want.

Good luck with them!


6 Years
Apr 14, 2013
Switch out the reptile heat emitter for a red heat lamp. Reptile heat emitters only have a beam, in a sense, of heat, while red heat lamps heat more efficiently. :) You might get chicks trying to crowd into the beam of heat.


7 Years
Sep 30, 2012
Norton, MA
Thank you for the input! I'm learning so much, and trying to be as prepared as possible. Thank you again for your guidance!

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