Few questions from a newbie I haven't found answers for yet.

Jrobinsonmtplus3

Chirping
May 20, 2017
78
14
51
My girls are scheduled to arrive by wednesday.

Do I need to find a grit for them right away or when will they start needing it? What kind of grit should I look for? And what about a dusting box while they're in the brooder?(which is in our screened in porch in sc) is that a necessity? And how often does the brooder litter need changing?
I've read to put paper towels down over the pine for the first week or so, is this necessary?
What kinds of things are recommended to prevent boredom in the brooder?
 

PD-Riverman

Crowing
8 Years
Jan 14, 2012
5,007
1,302
406
Conway SC
Everyone has their way of doing things, all I can tell you is how I do it and My results. I have hatched and brooded around 10,000 in a little over 3 years, running 20+ brooders at times. I do not put paper towels over the bedding. In my non-wire floor brooders I use "flake" pine shavings. I do not put a dusting box in, You will know when its time to change the bedding. Mine do not get bored in the brooder. I do lightly sprinkle a little sand on their food after the first couple days. I have very few chicks die in the brooders. I make sure the temp is correct on one end of the brooder and not heated on the other end which is where the food and water is. I Do NOT use a red heat lamp, never have----I use incandescent bulbs usually in the 25 to 60 watt range according to how I drop the light inside the tote to get the temp around 95 the first week and drop it 5 or so degree's lower per week(a little faster in the summer). To much Heat is a Killer!! Good Luck
 

barred2rock

Crowing
Mar 4, 2017
1,140
1,076
257
San De Cristo Range - Colorado Rockies
Typically it's suggested to provide chick grit free choice at about a week old. You can provide dirt for dust baths on day one, but they likely will take a few days to use it. Cleaning out tge brooder will depend on how many chicks you have & the size of the brooder. I used a space of about 35 sqft for five chicks and just replenished the bedding once or so a week, not actually removing the old bedding (their setup made it too difficult).
 

Loudawg11

Chirping
Apr 29, 2017
68
19
51
Andover MA
My Coop
My Coop
I have 5 beautiful 2 month old buff Orpingtons and there my first. I got them when they were 2 weeks old but I didn't even put grit in there brooder because I didn't know you needed it. Now I have grit in there coop and they won't touch it so that's a mistake on my part and so I would put grit in there brooder from the get-go and also make a climbing ladder out of small sticks so they don't get bored. A dusting box in my personal opinion (opinions vary on this topic) is not needed unless you are unable to or to lazy to clean there brooder. I don't want to get into an all out chicken war over this so you can just ignore my opinion of it gets insane on here. However you should be cleaning your brooder at least 1-5 times a day depending on how much poop builds up in it. I also don't know where you could have read to put paper towels over your pine shavings but if anything the chicks would just eat it. Hope this was helpful and welcome to BYC!!! :welcome
 

PD-Riverman

Crowing
8 Years
Jan 14, 2012
5,007
1,302
406
Conway SC
. I also don't know where you could have read to put paper towels over your pine shavings but if anything the chicks would just eat it. Hope this was helpful and welcome to BYC!!! :welcome

A lot of people on here Highly suggest it. No roll of paper towels in my brooder house, but they can have A roll in theirs!.
 

Jrobinsonmtplus3

Chirping
May 20, 2017
78
14
51
So I'm testing the red heat lamp currently and it's almost 10pm here in sc and 70* and the temp in the brooder with the lamp all the way up on the brooder lamp stand and it is registering 110 :/
I'm gonna have to figure out a way to put it up higher...
 

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