Basic needs....

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by phatchicken, Feb 1, 2009.

  1. phatchicken

    phatchicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 24, 2009
    Salt Lake City
    Okay, here's the deal, last year, after months of planning; replacing a dilapitated fence - researching and building a pretty cool coop and run we FINALLY got 6 chickens (yeah!) However, we got chickens that were raised by a great guy who raises chickens on a big chicken like ranch with goats, and other game birds, so needless to say the chickens are pretty wild. They are happy, well adjusted, but looking at the photos of people carrying their gals around like feathered footballs makes me laugh aloud just thinking about it...I digress...

    We want to buy three chicks this Feb., raise them and introduce them to the flock. I know we need to wait until they are as big, and provide plenty of extra feeders and water, but what I need to know right now is what I need immediately to be sure they are comfortable and survive/thrive while inside here with us? I have read three books, but I always feel more info is better...sorry about the verboseness, but these are my peeps!
     
  2. Portia

    Portia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 29, 2008
    South Central PA
    The peeps will need a source of heat (heatlamp, heater, etc) to cuddle under/near when they are cold. They will a constant supply of starter/grower feed and water as well as a place to run and stretch their legs and wings. Shavings in their domain help with clean up and give them a place to scratch and play. I like to put in a few low roosts and slowly raise them as they get higher, you'll find that given a few perches most of them will quickly adapt to sleeping on them if they are near the heat source.
    One note about the heat source. There is no need to heat the entire area they have access to, as long as they have a heated spot to warm up when they feel the need. Not that I'd recommend it to everyone, but I have a 4 day old chick that runs around a 32 degree coop with impunity, beelining for the warm undersides of mom when he gets cold. They aren't as fragile as you'd think.
     
  3. waynesgarden

    waynesgarden Feathers of Steel

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    Mar 30, 2008
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    I've only ever replaced flocks so can't help with introducing new birds into the flock. As for raising up the chicks, make sure to read through the Learning Center here.

    I liked your reference to "people carrying their gals around like feathered footballs."

    Thanks for that.

    Wayne
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2009
  4. Suellyn

    Suellyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 7, 2008
    SouthWestern PA
    Lots of good info on "basic needs", that I'm sure you've already read or will be reading soon!! I'm posting to give my input on making them into "feathered football" lap chickens...

    1.) Start with a breed that is genetically inclined to be calm & interactive. I'm sure there are some "Leghorn Lap chickens" out there, but odds are far more in your favor if you start with an Orp or a Silkie!

    2.) Put them somewhere that they get used to the sights & sounds of people. I noticed that mine were starting to get a bit jumpy/flighty when brooder was in our spare bedroom... It was so quiet & still back there that they would startle when we approached, or at noises, etc. I actually have them in my family room [​IMG] which is NOT an option for everyone, I know! BUT, has made a HUGE difference in behavior, they are completely unflappable!!!!

    3.) Handle frequently... Hold, snuggle, pet them.. Hand feed them when you have them out, etc.. Ours have learned that hands = treats, warmth, & belly/chest scritches, they actively seek out our attention & leap out of the brooder onto us when we open the door. They also peep to us and come to us, whenever someone talks to them or walks past the brooder (which is a billion times a day!).

    The way to a chicken heart is thru their stomach, BUT I really do like that ours are also approaching us for petting & interaction WITHOUT food as a motivator at this point!

    Hopefully this isn't "too much information", but just wanted to share what has worked for us... I know I am kinda going to "extremes", BUT 99% of why we have chickens, is as "pets" for my 2 daughters, ages 7 & 4, so I really wanted to go the extra mile to tame them down.

    To say "it's working" is an UNDERSTATEMENT [​IMG] !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  5. phatchicken

    phatchicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 24, 2009
    Salt Lake City
    Thank you!! I'm excited to get little peepers and see how different they turn out. I love my big girls, but they are super independant; even with all the goodies we feed them.
     
  6. Suellyn

    Suellyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 7, 2008
    SouthWestern PA
    Yep, I think that it's pretty easy to get them to learn that "people = FOOD", but if you want snuggle chickens then teaching them that people = warmth, comfort, safety, and tummy scritches is imperative! [​IMG] !!
     
  7. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    My Coop
    I sat with mine for hours with treats. I would hold a treat in one hand and while they would peck at the treat I would try to pet them with the other hand. Eventually they let me. Treats equals pets. Eventually I would pick them up and carry them around for awhile and pet them. It took a lot of time and patience.
     
  8. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    16,261
    769
    406
    Nov 18, 2007
    Florida
    My Coop
    I sat with mine for hours with treats. I would hold a treat in one hand and while they would peck at the treat I would try to pet them with the other hand. Eventually they let me. Treats equals pets. Eventually I would pick them up and carry them around for awhile and pet them. It took a lot of time and patience.
     

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