Dad gave in, now we have chicks!

silvertitan

Hatching
5 Years
Sep 21, 2014
5
0
7
So my kids pleaded their case to dad and dad gave in, now we are the owners of 6 baby chicks! My 3 kids did all the work at the local farm store from finding out what they would need to get setup, how much it would all cost and the upkeep and paid for it with their own money. We have 2 golden sex links, 2 black sex links, 1 silver Wyandotte and 1 Ameraucana. I have to admit I am not a bird lover but these little chicks are cute and my kids are beyond happy.

Since I never expected to own these little chicks I know nothing! We have them setup in my front room. They are in an enclosure with a light, food and water, and we put some bedding pellets on the ground and mixed it with the shavings from the box we brought them home in. It didn't occur to me to ask how old they are, dang it. With that being said, here are my questions:

~ Is it normal for them to peck at the pellets and shavings and/or eat them?
~ Do they sleep at night or whenever they want, like a newborn?
~ A gold one appears to be bullying the others, as in she pecks and pulls feathers from the others. What do I do?
~ What do I need to be watching for or is there any advice you all can give me?

Thanks in advance for your help!
 

iwiw60

Crowing
5 Years
Jan 27, 2014
5,291
660
336
Central Oregon
With that being said, here are my questions:

~ Is it normal for them to peck at the pellets and shavings and/or eat them?
~ Do they sleep at night or whenever they want, like a newborn?
~ A gold one appears to be bullying the others, as in she pecks and pulls feathers from the others. What do I do?
~ What do I need to be watching for or is there any advice you all can give me?
Welcome to the crazy world of chickens! Yes, it's very normal for your chicks to peck at the pellets/shavings...that's what chickens do...they peck at things! I highly doubt they are actually eating them.

They will sleep mostly at night time, but as newborns they will nap on and off during the day.

If you have a "bully" you need to watch carefully that it doesn't get out of hand. If the bully draws blood you will need to isolate it from the others because once it turns bloody it's downhill from there. You might do something like this:

This accomplishes two things...1) they can't hurt the others any longer, and 2) it teaches them a lesson..chicks hate(!) to be isolated from the others..they know they've been bad.

Really the most important thing to watch for is to make sure they have fresh food and water at all times, and keep a sharp eye on the temperature...you don't want to cook them! Hope this helps some, wishing you the best of luck!
frow.gif
 
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Wyandottes7

Crowing
6 Years
Jul 24, 2013
20,586
1,309
401
So my kids pleaded their case to dad and dad gave in, now we are the owners of 6 baby chicks! My 3 kids did all the work at the local farm store from finding out what they would need to get setup, how much it would all cost and the upkeep and paid for it with their own money. We have 2 golden sex links, 2 black sex links, 1 silver Wyandotte and 1 Ameraucana. I have to admit I am not a bird lover but these little chicks are cute and my kids are beyond happy.

Since I never expected to own these little chicks I know nothing! We have them setup in my front room. They are in an enclosure with a light, food and water, and we put some bedding pellets on the ground and mixed it with the shavings from the box we brought them home in. It didn't occur to me to ask how old they are, dang it. With that being said, here are my questions:

~ Is it normal for them to peck at the pellets and shavings and/or eat them?
Yup, this is quite normal. It isn't very good for them, but they do it a lot. This is why it's a good idea to use larger shavings instead of sawdust, as otherwise they can ingest too much bedding and not enough food.
~ Do they sleep at night or whenever they want, like a newborn?
Chicks will sleep whenever they want. They just flop down whenever they get tired or need a break.
~ A gold one appears to be bullying the others, as in she pecks and pulls feathers from the others. What do I do?
There will always be a bird highest in the pecking order. I wouldn't worry too much as long as she doesn't draw blood or seriously hurt the others.
~ What do I need to be watching for or is there any advice you all can give me?
Handle the chicks often! It makes them so much nicer and gentler when they grow up. Plus, they're so cute, it's hard to resist!

And, check out BackyardChicken's Learning Center:https://www.backyardchickens.com/atype/1/Learning_Center It has plenty of information on raising chicks.

Thanks in advance for your help!
Oh and when can I expect to see some eggs from any of them?
You should get your first eggs when they are between 5 and 7 months old.
 

TwoCrows

🌻🐣🌻
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Mar 21, 2011
47,951
107,189
1,712
New Mexico, USA
My Coop
My Coop
Hello there and welcome to BYC!
frow.gif


So glad you could join our community!

The first thing you need to do is lay some paper towels down under the feeder and sprinkle feed around on the towels so they can find the real food. They do not understand what is food at this age and will eat anything on the floor right now and could kill them. So cover the bedding for several days until they know what to eat and what not to eat and know where the food is kept. But sprinkle it all around the feeder so they get the hint. Also dip everybodies beak in the water so they know where that is too.

Keep the heat off to one side and the food and water on the other. You don't want the entire brooder to all be the same temp. You WANT cool spots in your brooder. Chicks can't yet regulate their internal temps and need to be able to cool off and heat back up. Keep a GOOD thermometer directly beneath the heat source on the floor of the brooder. Start your temp about 90 degrees. 1/2 to 1 square foot per bird brooder size. If they are fighting, they are either too hot or bored.

So on this note, give them something to do. I like to put branches in the brooder from trees outside for them to climb on and strengthen the legs. I work them up to a 2x2 for roosting so they know how to roost when they get to the coop. Put a low cut box in the brooder for something to play in. Chicks are playful and need things to do. You can put some crushed leaves, alfalfa leaves, chick starter, a sprinkling of sand in there as well...

So keeping your heat as low as they can tolerate, (this group here I had to start at 88 degrees to stop aggression) and giving them something to do will really make the brooder a nicer place....





You might want to stop by an article in our learning center on raising baby chicks for the first 60 days for some ideas as well....https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/...ks-the-first-60-days-of-raising-baby-chickens

Enjoy your new chicks and welcome to our flock!
 

Mountain Peeps

Jesus is my life
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Apr 23, 2014
28,457
6,075
677
Colorado
My Coop
My Coop
Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

The above posters have given you good advice.

~ Is it normal for them to peck at the pellets and shavings and/or eat them? Yes, it is very normal for chicks to peck at their bedding especally if it looks like their food. Make sure they have grit to break up things that are not food. This year I used shredded paper for the first week. The peices were too big for the babies to swallow so they learned that the only thing to eat was their feed.

Then they moved up to shavings

~ Do they sleep at night or whenever they want, like a newborn? They sleep whenever and wherever. They sometimes just fall over as if dead!
~ A gold one appears to be bullying the others, as in she pecks and pulls feathers from the others. What do I do?Iwiw has given you great advice on that.
~ What do I need to be watching for or is there any advice you all can give me? They grow super fast so just be ready to give them more room. Watch out for pasty butt.

Good luck!:)
 

drumstick diva

Still crazy after all these years.
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Aug 26, 2009
137,419
258,155
2,027
Out to pasture
Put a wire top on their brooder- to keep them inside , otherwise they will fly to the top and jump or fall over the side. A top also protects them from family dogs/cats
 

Kelsie2290

Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Feb 18, 2011
36,684
4,926
586
Ohio
Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! You've gotten some great suggestions and answers above. Good luck with your new chicks, if you post pictures of them, people may be able to tell you about how old they are also.
 

LIChickens

Chirping
5 Years
Jun 8, 2014
780
22
88
Long Island, NY
Welcome to BYC!

You will find a lot of good information here. Keep on asking questions and you will get many good answers.

You may also want to read the FAQ below.
 

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