D-Day Fast Approaching! Some Last Minute Questions!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by CYGChickies, Jun 24, 2011.

  1. CYGChickies

    CYGChickies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 13, 2011
    I ordered 35 babies from Ideal Hatchery: 15 Australorps, 15 asst guineas and 5 Blue Silkies. They're arriving on the 29th or 30th. I know not much time left!!! I'm trying to gather my last minute information so I'll be good and ready!

    I have a big black plastic horse watered to keep the babies in which will be located in my bathroom. I have a long feeder and two waterers, the brooder light with a red bulb and medicated chick starter and grit. I think I'm all set for them but have a question or two.

    Can chicks and keets eat Milo and Black Sunflower Seeds? I can't find white millet except in Wild Bird Feed and it has millet, cracked corn, Milo, wheat and sunflower seeds.

    Should I put something on top of their bedding for the first few days? If so what?

    Are there any general things I've missed? Thanks for your advice!

  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Usually people feed starter feed to chicks, a complete food. I would check your temp in your brooder before the chicks arrive -- an inexpensive outdoor thermometer is fine -- I suspect you will find 250W in a bathroom is too much heat.
  3. turbodog

    turbodog Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2010
    Independence, La.
    Stick with just the chick starter for at least a couple of weeks. You don't need the grit when that's all they are eating. I don't think I'd feed em any BOSS till they get older.
  4. CYGChickies

    CYGChickies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 13, 2011
    Ok so no seed until they're older. Any other suggestions? What about the paper or whatever over their bedding for a few days? Is that necessary? I'm using pine shavings.
  5. kurt s

    kurt s Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 5, 2010
    Southern Maine
    I use a couple of inches of pine shavings. Its good for a week or so before changing. Have fun!!
  6. BoltonChicken

    BoltonChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2011
    Bolton, Mississippi
    Nope, no grain for a week or two and then only after they get some grit in their craw, but don't put out their grit until say the second week.
    +1 about checking the heat under the lamp. It runs like this: For the first week 90 degrees, for the second week 85 degrees, the third week 80 degrees and so on
    decreasing 5 degrees per week until the required temp reaches room temperature at which point no further heat is needed. I put mine outside at three weeks with
    temps going from a high of 85 to a low of 55 with no ill effects whatsoever. I think that the 250 watt light would be far too much heat, but like I said, check it.
    Also agree about the pine shavings. Only way to go, and I would sure look into nipple waterers for that many chicks. Lots of info on this forum about that, so
    do a search.

    Good Luck... Thats a big group!
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2011
  7. CYGChickies

    CYGChickies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 13, 2011
    I don't know what wattage the lightbulb is but I'll check it again. It's in the barn right now. I planned to run it for a day or two before arrival day. I didn't know 35 was a big group now I'm nervous! I've also been reading horror stories about guineas on this forum. I'm trying not to have a panic attack lol.

  8. N&MSchroeder

    N&MSchroeder Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 4, 2011
    SE Idaho
    Hi and [​IMG]! Everyone is nervous while waiting for their chicks to arrive.[​IMG] Keep reading on BYC and asking questions-you still have time. If your bulb is 250 watts and you want to use it, just secure it to something higher up and farther away from the chicks. 35 is a lot of chicks at one time, but others have certainly done that or more. [​IMG] They will need plenty of space and will probably make a mess of things, so clean up will be a little more intense with this many. You can use pine shavings or paper towels for the first week or so. Don't use newspaper because it is too slick. As others have said, stick to the commercial chick starter. It has everything they need in the proper balance. Good luck and be sure to post pictures when they arrive! [​IMG]
  9. Pele

    Pele Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2011
    Aw, you sound just like I did when I got my first babies! I researched like a crazy-woman and posted my worries constantly to the forum!

    Never fear, from what you've described, you're more ready than 90% of first-timers out there. Here are some suggestions I have:

    1.) As far as treats go, you may want to hold off until they're about 4 days old, so you're certain they're eating the starter feed (which is essential for them nutritionally). I started my babies on mealworms (which is mana from heaven to chickens). You must feed them grit when you are giving them treats, that is essential.

    2.) Your bedding concern is valid, many new chicks try to eat theirs. I like to put paper towels over the bedding for the first two days, while they are figuring out where the food is. No newspaper, or anything slick!

    3.) Your chicks will be super duper tiny for the first few weeks, and unable to handle large items such as sunflower seeds. Keep treats appropriately tiny so they don't get stuck in their crops.

    4.) love the heck out of them! They're so adorable at that age!
  10. CYGChickies

    CYGChickies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 13, 2011
    Ok so I got paper towels and a 100w bulb just in case. I'm hoping I'm not gonna have to buy a second brooder because I really want to raise the chickens and guineas together to try and avoid future aggression. The Australorps will probably be ok but guineas might beat up my five little silkies until I get a generation of Silkie-raised keets. Any suggestions on letting adult guineas out of a covered chicken yard without the chickens escaping too? [​IMG]


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