Couple newbie questions

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by jasonvanorder, Mar 1, 2017.

  1. jasonvanorder

    jasonvanorder Out Of The Brooder

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    First time with chicks and chickens in general. We picked up 8 chicks. My first question is a couple of them have some poo build up on their butts. What causes it and what is the best way to remove it? Second I've been tossing around the idea of getting a rooster also. We had these chicks for a little over a week. Would it still be ok to add a rooster chick to the bunch without too much trouble? Thanks
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

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    Yes, you can add a new chick. the poo build up on their butts is called pasty butt. It is important to get that cleaned off, otherwise it can block the vent, and kill them. I hold the chick's heiney under a small stream of warm water to loosen it. don't rub! Once you get the chick's butt cleaned off, and dried, you can apply a bit of vaseline, or olive oil to help the poo slide off the next time the chick poops. If you give your chicks a plug of sod, that should help them. You also need to assess the temp in your brooder. How old are the chicks? What is the temp under the heat source? (Heat lamp or heating pad?) and what is the temp at the other end of the brooder? How many chicks? Too warm or too cold may play a role in PB.
     
  3. jasonvanorder

    jasonvanorder Out Of The Brooder

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    OK I will work on cleaning butts tonight. As for the age of the chicks we got them almost a week ago so I would say at most maybe 2 weeks old depending on how long they store had them. As for temp Im really not sure since I dont have a thermometer. I started out with a heat lamp with a 250 watt bulb and was adjusting the height by the chicks behaviour. If they were staying at the opposite end i would raise it a bit and if they were huddled close together under it i would lower it a little. Last night I switched bulbs to a regular 60 watt bulb about 8 inches above them.
     
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

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    Put your hand in their "warm spot" It should feel about like a warm sunny day, Of course, the chicks will tell you if it's right. But, especially when starting out, it's not a bad idea to have a thermometer. I've been brooding this time for 4 years, and also brooded as a kid and as a younger adult. I always had a thermometer, simply b/c it's nice to have a number to correlate with the comfort level of the chicks. That way when you see them happy at 80, and make the next adjustment, you'll know that you may have gone a bit too far if it next reads 70.

    I'm a huge fan of heating pad brooding. If you've not yet read about it, here's a link. https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/yes-you-certainly-can-brood-chicks-outdoors

    Takes so much of the work out of brooding, is safer for all concerned and gives the chicks a much more natural environment.
     
  5. snow5164

    snow5164 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Why do you want a rooster? Do you want to hatch eggs? Are your other chicks sex link( you can tell if they are a rooster or hen )?

    I introduced a rooster to year old hens without incident, I wouldn't rush things .....


    Have you read any books? Chickens for dummies is great and full of answers
     
  6. jasonvanorder

    jasonvanorder Out Of The Brooder

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    Main reason is because a friend of my son has chickens and they have a rooster so of course we need on too. None of our chicks are sex links. We have 2 Rhode Island Reds 2 Isa Browns 2 Barred Rocks and 2 Leghorns
     
  7. snow5164

    snow5164 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So you probably have a rooster already in those chicks?Im sure someone will know but some breeds are 50% roosters at hatch,

    I'd wait til your chicks either crow or don't ,
    Roosters can and will fight
    We ended up with 3 from our " hens" and had to kill them because they grabbed each other's necks , it wasn't pretty.
     
  8. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Isa brown is a sex link chicken.
    I wouldn't rush to add a rooster. There is the chance that you already have one as vent sexing day old chicks is about 90% accurate. Let your chicks grow up and revisit the rooster idea in 6 months. You can find free roosters all day long on byc and cl.
     
  9. snow5164

    snow5164 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I totally agree , roosters sound nice but especially with children they can get hurt,
    I've bled and been bruised while training our rooster that I eventually gave away because it wasn't worth the stress!!

    Have fun chickens are amazing creatures[​IMG][​IMG]
     
  10. N F C

    N F C just blowing in the wind Premium Member Project Manager

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    Roosters are pretty and I personally like to hear their crowing (which they might do at any time of the day), but since these are your first chickens, you might want to wait until you have more experience with chickens in general. You'll still get eggs with the ones you have and they won't be pestered by a mating rooster.
     

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