Becoming a Chicken Mom in Two Days!

hanekins

In the Brooder
Jul 15, 2016
62
2
31
Hello everyone!

I've stalked this forum for a while, and decided that since I will have my babies soon, I should join.

I've been a dog, lizard, fish, and horse mom for some time, but these are my first chickens. I'll be getting eight to ten Cream Legbar pullets on Sunday, and I am so excited!

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This is a picture of my brooder. I don't have the light, feeder or waterer set up yet because those are stashed at my boyfriend's place. It's in the garage and it's been getting fairly warm here lately, so I was considering leaving the door open during the day? I haven't noticed any dogs or predators roaming.

Also, does anyone have advice on bonding with chicks? I really am hoping to have friendly, interactive chickens but I don't want to push the issue and stress anyone.
 

TwoCrows

🌻🐣🌻
Project Manager
Premium Feather Member
Mar 21, 2011
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New Mexico, USA
My Coop
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Hello there and welcome to BYC!
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Congrats on the soon to be new chicks! Cream Legbar's are very pretty birds! As for leaving them in the garage with the door open, I am sure they would appreciate the fresh air, but I would still be leary of predators getting into the brooder while you are not around. Squirrels, cats, even hawks and owls will fly in. Not to mention the chicks themselves will be able to fly out over the top soon. So I would definitely cover the top with a screen of some sort. Cover the sides as well. If you do all this, it is probably safe to leave the door open during the day. Of course, close the door at night.

Have you stopped by our Learning Center yet? All kinds of great articles on all the aspects of keeping your chicks and raising them to adulthood... https://www.backyardchickens.com/atype/1/Learning_Center

As for bonding with them, it is natural for them to be terrified of you. LOL This instinct keeps them alive. But what I do is get them out of the brooder starting the second day I have them home in the brooder. I get them all out in a safe place away from the dogs and kids and I sit down with them on the floor. Of course they are all terrified of the big world and they all gravitate to my lap. They learn to trust you this way. I get them out for field trips to all kinds of places and sit with them, of course do this in a place of confinement so they can't get lost or taken by predators. And always stay with them when they are out of the brooder. Handle them frequently during the day as well. Make sure to hold them in a safe manner so you don't drop them however, they do squirm and a long fall can kill them. Over time they get used to all the handling and holding. By the time they are ready to go out to the coop and especially after they are laying age, they will calm way down and really have bonded with you after all this attention. All the lap sitting will turn them into love hounds and lap warmers. LOL

Good luck with your new flock! If you have any questions after you bring them home, feel free to ask around. Oh and make sure to dip all of their beaks in the water first thing and withhold food until they are thoroughly hydrated. (about 15 mins after putting them in the brooder) This will help prevent pasty butt, which you do not want them to develop.

Welcome to our roost! :)
 

QueenMisha

Queen of the Coop
Jan 14, 2015
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973
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Placerville, California, USA
Welcome to BYC! It's great to have you.

The best way to tame a bird is to handle it constantly and to touch it all over its body. You don't need to be sitting down or even trying to keep it calm. Just carry it with you whenever you have a hand free.
 
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BuffOrpington88

Songster
Mar 20, 2012
1,395
222
236
Hi and welcome to BYC! You already have some great advice, so I just wanted to say that you have a very nice brooder! Great idea! Thanks for joining us!
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hanekins

In the Brooder
Jul 15, 2016
62
2
31
Thank you all so much for the excellent advice and welcomes! I can't wait to get the girls tomorrow.
 

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