Chicks delivered tomorrow, it's 20 degrees at night, help!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by rnmommy7, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. rnmommy7

    rnmommy7 Out Of The Brooder

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    Our coop is ready but we have a brooder ready for the 100 chicks we ordered from ideal poultry. I know I am supposed to keep the chicks at 95 degrees and decrease the temp by 5 degrees each week. Just wondering if anyone can give me anymore tips for this many chicks. The brooder is old but clean and electrically sound. It's like a tall metal box that has 5-6 levals.
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    [​IMG]

    I raised 100 chicks once. It was a lot of work, but huge fun!

    How big is the brooder? Ideally you should allow 1/2 sq foot per chick. It sounds like a lot, but they grow fast! Also make sure you have it covered by the time their wing feathers are in. Those little things can fly well from a young age (and run fast once they've escaped!)
    I'd suggest heating it so there are cooler spots where they can cool down if needed, put more than one water bowl and more than one food bowl in there for them, so they don't overcrowd them. Add a little Apple Cider Vinegar to their water (4-5 tablespoons per gallon water) to help prevent pasty butt.
    I'd also suggest you take them out and have a good look at each of them at least once a day. It's easy to miss little things like pasty butt or sore toes with so many of them. And enjoy!

    P.S. Love your avatar!
     
  3. rnmommy7

    rnmommy7 Out Of The Brooder

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    My husband says he can't get the heaters to come on in the brooder now. So, I guess we will have baby chicks in the bathtub in our warmest bathroom. It's a huge clawfoot tub....Thanks for the info about pasty butt. I have never heard of that.
     
  4. rnmommy7

    rnmommy7 Out Of The Brooder

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    And what would I do about a sore toe?
     
  5. ImpulsiveFarmer

    ImpulsiveFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just use a heat lamp over a large plastic tub for a brooder. This works for about 20 chicks. Might need a bigger space with more than one heat lamp for a 100.

    [​IMG]

    To reduce the temp just move the lamp higher each week.
     
  6. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    You'll probably want to set the feeders and waterers up on a brick or something, to cut down on the amount of litter they kick into it. Many people put marbles in the drinking tray part of the waterer for several days, as they tend to fall asleep where they're standing and can drown. I used bird netting when they started flying to cover the brooder, which was cheap but tended to droop. You want the top to allow plenty of air exchange. An old screen window is ideal.

    Temperature is a bit trickier than 95 degrees for a week, etc. Learn to watch their behavior, how much they move toward or away from the heat, and adjust. It's much less dangerous to keep them a little cool than a little warm. Mine always preferred 5-10 degrees less than the formula, at least after they'd recovered from shipping stress, which took only a few days. With a heat lamp and indoors it is very unlikely it will ever get dangerously cold. The sign of that is they pile on top of one another in a corner, so that there is danger of smothering the guys on the bottom. They will sleep cuddled with each other and even lying on each other; that's normal, as long as it's not a big pile several chicks deep.

    The vinegar is a good idea if you can find the organic kind with the mother -- Bragg's is a common brand. If not, just keep an eye on them, and if pasty butt becomes a problem, add a Tbsp or so of molasses to a gallon of water til resolved. (And soak it off, as it can obstruct them.)
     
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  7. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Even if the tub were 6'x3' that would be 18 sq ft, enough for 36 chicks. They will be ok for a few days, but you will want more space for them soon to prevent pecking problems.

    If chickens see a bloody wound, they tend to peck at it and make it worse. One approach is to keep some BluKote around -- or generic; the ingredient is primarily gentian violet, an antiseptic. Hopefully your feed store will have it. You can even try a little blue food dye as a stopgap. If they peck an injury anyway, you need to separate the injured chick til the wound is healed.
     
  8. TweeTea

    TweeTea Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I needed an emergency heating option for a pair of my chicks when I got them and used an electric blanket which worked a treat. Might need a pretty big blanket though for 100 chicks!
     
  9. rnmommy7

    rnmommy7 Out Of The Brooder

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    The chicks arrived. We have a 5 level metal brooder. A good portion of the chicks are huddled together. I keep separating them and making them go eat and drink. They are all barred plymouth rock chicks. I added a little Bragg's ACV, and some sugar to the water. I also mixed up a packet of this green slimy stuff that ideal poultry sent me and they love it. The lady at ideal said if I don't get them to 95 degrees they will die so I'm really scared. One chick was dead in the box and the others were pecking it. I'm a newbie to this for sure. Thanks for everyone's help.

    How do I know if my chicks are male or female?
     
  10. Mandy79

    Mandy79 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi there, my name is Mandy. I am new at the raising chicks thing to! I don't have tha many but I started out with 4 Black Australorp pullets that are now amost 8 weeks old and are now out in the coop. I now have 2 Blue Americaunas, 1 Splash americauna, and 1 blue orpington that are a little over a week old in my bathtub with a 100 watt lightbulb over them. Their food and water are set away from the light and they are doing very well. I hope that helps you a little!
     

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