Brooder supplies

humblehillsfarm

Crowing
Mar 27, 2020
2,494
4,587
321
Southwestern Pennsylvania

Alex S

Chirping
Nov 20, 2020
248
295
83
Kirkland, Washington
Ok people of this thread! I found a way to get a good brooder box. Uhaul gives away huge 4x4 boxes that would work great for chicks. I will make a list of brooder supplies and send it here !
 

Alex S

Chirping
Nov 20, 2020
248
295
83
Kirkland, Washington
Plan for a lot more space than you think they will need. Many of us fell for the trap of building the coop while the chicks grew up. Naturally the first couple weeks you'll be hanging around within 10 feet of the brooder box at all times ... so plan to build and be COMPLETED by then. Because the little suckers grow and they grow QUICK- and by that second week they get realllllly tired of being in the same space with each other and by week three ... yeah.

Have a 2nd box available to put them in while you clean their main brooder. Trust me.

BUY CORID. Have it on hand the second your chicks arrive. Finding that your chicks have come down with coccidiosis symptoms late in the evening - ALWAYS happens right as the farm supply stores close -- can find you in the morning with dead babies. It can be that fast. I like the liquid better myself. And YES, even if you're feeding medicated chick starter, even then ... have the CORID on hand.

A dropper - or 1ml syringes.

Something to grind their food down a little more- a mortar and pestle or a food processor. Every batch ends up being a little different texture in the crumbles - so sometimes they're just fine, and sometimes they're a little big, so I grind them down.

I live in the brooder plate/MHP (momma heating pad, there are lots of threads) camp when there's no hen available for the job. I loathe heat lamps for many reasons, but not providing darkness at night is their greatest crime. Chicks do better when there's a long dark night like they would have under a hen. They need that rest- and frankly, having chicks active all night leads to more issues with each other- someone is trying to sleep, someone else decides they're going to pick at them and there is NOWHERE to hide- then there's blood- then a huge problem. If everyone sleeps at the same time- and chicks who need naps during the day have a darkened warm space they can retreat to where they're not getting run over- makes for a better overall experience. Heat plates will get your chicks used to day and night immediately, which helps so much.

For bedding - especially for the first week - I start with paper towels over the top of the entire brooder surface: Why? 1. they don't eat the paper towels, 2. YOU CAN SEE EVERY POOP (very important in identifying any problems early), 3. VERY easy to roll up and dispose of ... and 4. TRACTION. Never, ever put them on bare cardboard or other slick surfaces. If on a counter, put a washcloth under the feet. Fixing them is harder than preventing the problem.

Underneath the paper towels I use pine bedding pellets- Natures or Blue Mountain are the brands that come to mind.

Nature's Bedding Pellets, 40 lb. - Wilco Farm Stores

I like them so much more than shavings, having used both. Why ... they absorb moisture readily. Poop on a pine shaving sits there. Poop on a pine pellet starts to get dehydrated, making everything cleaner. Also- Water will be spilled. All the time. As the pellets break apart, they make really nice dust bathing material. Also --- they are way too big to be eaten by chicks that first few days. I use them from the START underneath the paper towels. That increases the drying capacity of the paper towels - keeps them from sticking to the bottom of the box. Chicks are poop machines and that poop is like GLUE when it dries.

After that first week, I only put paper towels under the brooder plate where they sleep and I change it at least twice a day because that's where they'll lay down ... and poop ... all night.

Get high quality TP (like Charmin) - and make sure you have a functioning hair dryer. Pasty butt is almost a given, and cleaning their little delicate tushes that just closed their guts in hours before calls for soft things. Paper towels are not soft. And Kleenex doesn't absorb moisture very well. Charmin toilet paper squares make fantastic luxury chick bath robes to keep them warm and are extremely soft on that delicate skin. Find a long sleeve t-shirt or sweat shirt with a couple inches of space between your wrist and the sleeve.
What's the dosage for the Corid?
 

Shezadandy

Crowing
Sep 26, 2015
2,173
2,712
357
Portland OR
What's the dosage for the Corid?
9.6cc per 1 gallon of water. (cc and ml are the same thing)

This is where having 1cc syringes (no needles, just the syringe) comes in handy. They fit into just about any bottle and you can draw up the precise dose instead of guessing with a measuring spoon. I just buy a box of 100 which lasts a long time.

Corid should be mixed fresh for best results - most of the time you're not going to do more than 1 quart at a time when dealing with chick watering devices - so being able to draw up 2.4cc's (9.6cc divided by 4 (four quarts to a gallon)) to add to a quart of water is very handy.
 

Alex S

Chirping
Nov 20, 2020
248
295
83
Kirkland, Washington
9.6cc per 1 gallon of water. (cc and ml are the same thing)

This is where having 1cc syringes (no needles, just the syringe) comes in handy. They fit into just about any bottle and you can draw up the precise dose instead of guessing with a measuring spoon. I just buy a box of 100 which lasts a long time.

Corid should be mixed fresh for best results - most of the time you're not going to do more than 1 quart at a time when dealing with chick watering devices - so being able to draw up 2.4cc's (9.6cc divided by 4 (four quarts to a gallon)) to add to a quart of water is very handy.
Well know the powder is a lot cheaper than the liquid... do you know the dosage of that?
 

Shezadandy

Crowing
Sep 26, 2015
2,173
2,712
357
Portland OR
Wait why does the Long sleeve Tshirt matter
Ah. Sorry. The long sleeve t-shirt.

Inevitably it seems there's always someone who gets pasty butt. The first time I was faced with pasty butt and a faucet ... it got really messy.

One chick did me the favor of teaching me the easiest way to clean pasty butt (or whatever else). For comfort, chicks go to their momma hens, tuck their heads on in there and that's the safest place in the world. The chick decided my long sleeve shirt was a terrific warm safe place to hide.

So I developed my method of handling chicks for butt cleaning in the most stress free (and least amount of water all over the place) way possible. They are tiny and of course delicate, but they can move and when upset they can rival a smoke alarm for sharp loud noise. They need to be secured so you don't end up with a soaking wet baby - and make sure they don't land in the sink risking injury, or worse, do a chick ninja move and end up on the floor.

Anyways - I pick them up--- making sure it's a NICE WARM AND DRY hand - much like you would pick up a computer mouse- from above. Non-dominant hand- so if you're right handed, pick up and hold with the LEFT hand Their head faces your long sleeve (wrist), their back is up against the palm of your hand to keep them warm, and the feet then just kinda dangle, but their entire body is supported by your fingers. The long sleeve should come to about the base of your fingers to give the chick somewhere to hide.

If they haven't already done it, tuck their head into the long sleeve shirt. The vent should be accessible between your index and middle fingers. It also makes it easier to see what you're doing. Then with warm water directly from the tap, run the water (obviously on low volume) over the vent until the poop is cleared, using the free hand to gently clean.

Then of course you've got a handtowel or washcloth waiting to set the chick on- and a few squares of Charmin toilet paper to wrap the chick in to wick away the moisture.

The blow dryer (having been set to the lowest heat and air volume, and warmed up before directing at the chick butt) then gets used to get chickie back to being its fully fluffed up self again. Putting a chick back un-fluffed can create a problem for that chick.

Chick(en)s' vents are ALWAYS moving. This becomes a source of intrigue to the others, because it looks like a worm they should peck and explore. When fluffy - the vent is somewhat disguised. When technically dry but not blow-dried, the vent is on full display.

So how to blow dry a chick:
I do it much the same way as I wash them after they've received their Charmin bath robe drying off treatment. With the washcloth/hand towel under their feet, I cup my hand over them, allow them to hide their heads under the sleeve (they pick this up pretty quick) - and then it's pretty easy.


Definitely gonna try pine pellets... but at tsc because Willico is a 2 hour drive and a ferry ride away xD
I wish we had a TSC but ... not yet. At least Wilco finally put a store on the way to somewhere I go regularly - all other farm store locations are far enough that I really have to want to go from my house.
 

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