Chicks arriving in 2 weeks! (Update: Finally here!)

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by chickenmomma16, Jan 22, 2015.

  1. chickenmomma16

    chickenmomma16 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 25 chicks coming fro McMurray and I can hardly contain my excitement![​IMG] I will only be keeping about 10 chicks out of this group and hoping to find homes for 15 within their first week.

    I need some input on my setup so I can prevent problems. I don't have pictures yet so I will try and describe it as best I can.


    I'm using a 4ft x 8ft whelping box and a portable metal pen. Not sure how I'm going to attach the pen to the whelping box yet. The sides of the whelping box have inserts that raise the sides to 3ft. My first question is how high, how soon can chicks jump out?

    Also, I'm planning on using half the whelping box for the first 2 weeks and then opening up the rest of it for 2 more weeks and then adding the pen for however long it takes for them to safely join the rest of the flock. By this time I will have everything covered on top to prevent escapees. I may be able to move the pen outside while having the whelping/brooding box inside the barn. Is this a good or bad idea to put the pen outside?? I can also keep everything in the barn, maybe put the pen just next to the barn door for a little fresh air.

    Also thick plastic will be on top of the plywood box and on the concrete with shavings on top if I put the pen in the barn. My goal is to minimize the mess if at all possible! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2015
  2. boskelli1571

    boskelli1571 Overrun With Chickens

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    Hello there,
    Couple of questions - does the whelping box have a 'predator proof' lid? plastic is not going to do at all. Personally, I wouldn't use plastic on the floor unless the shavings are going to be at least a couple of inches thick. Newspaper would be a better bet at least for the first couple of weeks. This will help to prevent spraddle leg. The sides of your box need to be at least 9 inches for the fist couple of weeks. As they get stronger/larger you can attach more height as you need.
    How warm is it in Washington?? Chicks really shouldn't be outside until they have their feathers grown in, especially if it's damp, chilly & breezy. It doesn't take much to kill them off when they're small. The pen inside the barn is a better idea, but make sure there isn't a mighty draft for them. You can start to integrate by the see/no touch method at around 6-7 weeks, but I never put my little ones in with the big girls until they are about 2/3 size and able to run/take care of themselves.
    Hope this helps a bit, pics would be nice tho' [​IMG]
     
  3. chickenmomma16

    chickenmomma16 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have not set up the box and the pen yet. I will post pictures here when it is all up. I have chicken wire for the top of the box and run. I'm hoping my husband can make some sort of lid for the box before the chicks are old enough to jump out. The barn has no other animals in it and it can be completely shut up so no worries about a draft or predators.
    As for temp here it usually is in the 50's during the day and the 40's at night sometimes in the 30's. This week it looks like we might break 60. The barn can get damp feeling though. I thought of plugging in our de-humidifier, do you think that would help?

    My hens are also used to little ones running around (I currently have one surprise chick running around raised by a broody) I would only put the little ones in the coop when I feel they are plenty big enough and fully feathered at the very least. [​IMG]
     
  4. Wxguru

    Wxguru Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I made lids out of 2x2's for our brooder. Your brooder size is alright to start...I have 6 chicks that were confined to a 3x4 box for 2 weeks, then a 3x8 (opened the other end) up to this point. They are now 12 weeks and going outside within the next week.
    Make sure they are staying indoors since it is winter. They won't fully feather out until around 8-10 weeks old......and they need to fatten up a bit. Depending on breeds, they will have grown quite a bit. My 12 week olds are all over 3lbs right now.
     
  5. Kadu

    Kadu Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 25 chicks coming next week from McMurray too!!! So excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    A little something I've noticed after placing the order: there are so many posts about how their chicks arrived dead and this and that, it worries me so much. I'm trying to make up my mind about it, and kind of expect a box full of dead chicks, so if I see a live one I'll be very excited.

    To answer your questions:
    I already have a brooder set up inside with a heating lamp. It gets below freezing here at night so I can't keep them outside. I wouldn't recommend it for you either. Maybe wait till they are at least 4 weeks old and fully feathered! =)

    Also, about 3-4 months ago, we bought a batch of baby chicks and guineas, and we put them in a box over night with a light. The box was covered but the guineas started picking on one of the baby chicks(week old), so the next night we put him alone in another box with another lamp. We did not cover that box because the chick was so tiny (a bantam) and he had about 10 inches above him to reach the top of the box. WELL, the next morning, the chick had jumped out of that box, jumped from the table to the floor and walked all the way to the brooder and died right beside it because he couldn't jump up to get inside. He was probably cold cz he ran away from his heat lamp. Anyway, I would not leave it uncovered. Just to be on the safe side. They are not the smartest, you know ;)

    Good Luck with your chicks, hope they arrive safe and healthy <3

    I think I will get chicks a week before you, so I will try to post a picture or two. =)
     
  6. chickenmomma16

    chickenmomma16 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes! Please post pictures! :) There is no possible way I can put the chicks in the house. No Way. I am setting everything up in our barn hopefully tomorrow after work and I will post pics then of the setup. I told my boss (I work at a dairy goat farm) I have chicks coming and she ok'd me picking them as soon as I get the call :) [​IMG]

    I don't think everyone understands what I meant by "out side". In the barn there is a small pedestrian size door that I was thinking about putting the brooding box next to and when they were old enough and the weather was decent out I could let them out in a small pen for a little bit at a time. It would be closed up in cold/poor weather, at night and if I was not home. It is not a drafty door. BUT as it turns out an immovable truck is in the way and I wouldn't have enough space to walk around it so the brooding box and the extra pen will have to be pushed to the back of the barn and everything will be inside the barn.


    Edited to add:

    About the dead chicks... I am expecting some dead chicks esp. this time of year unfortunately. I'm also staying optimistic, I keep telling myself that if someone was happy and had all chicks survive I would think they would be too busy taking care of them instead of posting how good their experience was. If a lot died then they might be more apt to post about it. Right? Right? :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2015
  7. kmartinez

    kmartinez Chillin' With My Peeps

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    chicks are so cute, the excitement is hard to contain when you know their coming and if u got the tracking number u copy and paste it alot LOL I found myself on USPS site alot..It was very cold here when mine came couple weeks back the same night they where to be in the area a cold snap hit hard and i was so worried about them..I think calling the PO before they arrive is good since they have a heads up and are expecting live animals. I called the PO and told them to be expecting live chicks coming their way and also provided them with a backup cell number and the tracking number for them, they did not even call my cell number on the box instead they called my husbands the one i left them as a backup, at 6:30 am they were ringing the cell to come and get them even though they opened at 8am. When I got there they just scanned them and handed them to me in the PO box area..IDK if thats common but i was so happy they did that for my chicks.

    On chicks arriving dead I think its expected part of the process..I was lucky none perished in transport but one died a day later..My daughter was the 1st to open the box she couldnt contain herself either LOL however she is 15 and i warned her and really I just layed it out there before she opened the box that there could be dead chicks in that box; but she insisted she wanted to put them in their box and feed and water them. They peeped all the way to my business and they stayed with me all day at work so i could watch over them, well she did. she broke open that box and she lifted each one and put them in their box . after the last one was in she came running to me and said "THEY ARE ALL ALIVE" . She coddled the runt he was very weak i thought he was not going to make it; but as it turns out he sprang right up throughout the day and he/she is so strong right now. he does dive bombs I call them. He gets up on the chicken swing when I put goodies on a plate and he jumps into the crowd from above and they all scatter he gets what he wants and runs away LOL and repeats the process,,, smart little one..I hope he is the he. I ordered 5 of the brahams and my rooster is one of those. My girl is hoping he is the rooster as well cause it has a good personality and is super sweet...


    I am wishing your chicks all arrive peeping happily.
     
  8. boskelli1571

    boskelli1571 Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm pretty sure the vast majority of chicks arrive alive. I have received 2 orders from MPC in the past - one set lived, the other set were all dead but one. I blame the postal service. Anything that's labelled 'livestock' should receive overnight/priority - mine sat around somewhere for 2 days in last winters' cold temps. so they all froze - except for Henrietta. She's a visually impaired chicken - doubtless due to cold damage. [​IMG]

    I have promised myself I will not order from hatcheries ever again until the postal service is more responsible with their cargo [​IMG]
     
  9. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    I've ordered from McMurray several times (and Ideal and Cackle) over my years of chicken keeping. I've never received a box of dead chicks and I typically always order this time of the year to get a head start on growing them out. The last time I ordered from MM, I had 1 chick die the day after I got them. My last order from Ideal came in February, they all arrived alive and stayed that way (even the 15 packing peanuts sent with my order). My last order from Cackle came safe and sound. 15 guinea keets, keets are said to be quite fragile, but they certainly sounded strong on the car ride home (they also showed me I'm not a guinea person, never again).
    Anyway, I have 25 chicks coming from Ideal this week, they ship out today and I should get them Friday. I expect this order to go as well as all the others.


    Good luck with your chicks everyone, I hope they get to you all safe and sound!
     
  10. chickenmomma16

    chickenmomma16 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 16, 2012
    Buckley, Washington
    So what would be a guess as to when my chicks should arrive? They are coming from McMurray in Iowa and arriving in Eatonville, WA. Shipping out Feb. 2nd
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2015

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