First ever baby chicks: Six Days In. QUESTIONS and PICTURES

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by newchickenista, Mar 1, 2012.

  1. newchickenista

    newchickenista Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I got my very first batch of baby chickens on Friday, February 24th. I went and hand picked them from my local Orscheln store. I ended up with 6 Barred Plymouth Rock Pullets, 3 Rhode Island Red Pullets, and 3 Rhode Island Reds out of a bin marked "Fry Pan Special". (I will say we are fairly certain they are Rhode Island Reds, they could be Production Reds. Also my Barred Rocks may or may not all be Pullets, only time will tell.)

    They are growing like weeds, and seem very happy and healthy. We had a little issue with poo getting stuck to their little feathers around their vents. I don't think it was ever blocking their vents, but never the less, I went ahead and washed it off. I also noticed a bit of Diarhea, but I could never tell which chick it was. But it seems to have cleared up. I am feeding them medicated crumbles.

    My cheap-o thermometer bit it about one hour into my chicken raising adventure, so I am montitoring their temperature based solely on observation, but they seem fine. They move in and out of the warm zone freely. When I notice them shy-ing away from it (say like, today, when its 72 degrees outside and our projected high for today is 80 degrees) I prop it up a bit and aim it away from them, which seems to be working really well. I haven't turned the light off of them at all yet. I change their water a couple of times a day because of food and other unidentifiable things in their water. But I haven't yet noticed any poo in either their water or their food, so it seems that they are doing a good job pooping elsewhere.

    I did have a few questions: I have them on a grate with pine shavings under it, so they never actually touch the shavings. I am using a feeder and a waterer (the little round ones with about 8 holes that screws on to a standard Mason jar). For the last several days, I fill up the feeder in the morning, and when I get home at night, their feeder is nearly empty and there is a mound of feed under their feeder. Why are they doing this? Are they scratching out the feed? Are they dropping the feed on accident? Are they actually getting anything to eat? They are able to reach down and eat little bits of it fine, but its right where they are pooping to, and I don't want it to make them sick. Is there anything I can be doing different to prohibit this?

    At what point can I introduce treats? And Grit?

    Can I feed them flavored yogurt or must it be plain?

    Any other tidbits of info that through out your chicken keeping careers you have found usefull or necessary?

    Also is Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens the best book? Or are there others you would recommend ahead of that?

    Thank you all for all the help!!! Here are some pics from last weekend![​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    They're probably scratching out the feed, or billing it out. I'd put a sheet of plywood or cardboard or something under the feeder to catch most of what they bill out, because the will eat it off that. If they still have a little feed when you return, they should be getting enough -- but that might not be the case in a week or two. And sounds like you're doing just fine with temps. I personally think their behavior is a much better indicator of whether temps are OK than a thermometer is. A thermometer is great for setting up the brooder, before the chicks arrive, but that's about it.

    You can give some fine chick grit now and a few treats if you want; just keep the quantity small so you don't dilute their nutrition. It's usually recommended to use plain yogurt but I imagine lots of folks cheat and use flavored -- you're probably going to eat most of the carton yourself, and just give them a tsp or two.

    The fry pan special I suspect is roosters.
     
  3. NestingHillsSC

    NestingHillsSC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I too just got 6 reds. I watch them a lot. I have the 8 hole feeder. Just don't fill it up to the top. Then they have a hard time scratching it out. My are right on the pine shavings. There doing just fine. I have a heat lamp, used it for the first day like they say, but It was way to hot. Don't need it. It's 80 in this room. Once I turned it off they started acting like chicks. I agree, how they are acting is way more important than what the temp is. They will let you know if it is too hot or cold. They will bunch up when they dap. I don't feed them anything but the starter/grower feed. There growing fast. [​IMG]
     
  4. BantamoftheOpera

    BantamoftheOpera Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am slightly concerned about them being on the grate. I am worried about leg injuries occurring. If there is a way for you to keep them on the shavings they will be able to eat their spilled food and take dust baths.
     
  5. Sleepy71

    Sleepy71 Out Of The Brooder

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    Here is our first Silky chick. I figured there are enough "what do I do now" threads, so I decided to post it here. I'll commence to reading the other threads to find out what I need to do with this cute little thing. And, there may be others, as Snowball has been sitting on 6 other eggs. LOL

    [​IMG]
     
  6. newchickenista

    newchickenista Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is something I will consider and if anyone else has any insight as to whether or not keeping them on a grate will cause harm, please let me know. They have been on the grate for a week, and seem to be walking perfectly (no injuries that I can detect). Can injuries to their legs still be caused even though they are growing bigger by the day? The Orscheln store keeps their chicks on wire all the time, they have some that are a month old now that have been on wire their whole lives. The openings on the grate are smaller than the openings of the wire they were on in the store. I am looking for any insight to this that anyone can give me. I so appreciate all advice you all are giving me. And thank you so much for voicing your concerns. I don't know what I would do without all of you and without this website!
     
  7. BantamoftheOpera

    BantamoftheOpera Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm curious what others have to say about the grate as well. I don't know for sure that it would cause problems, but their feet are so small it seems like they could get caught easily. I do think that as they get bigger you will be fine with it.
     
  8. chickensinwasillaAK

    chickensinwasillaAK Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've got chicks on 1/4 square wire grating and they do fine. It allows the poo to fall to the catch tray below where it can be removed daily. You can view the setup at
    https://www.gqfmfg.com/store/comersus_viewItem.asp?idProduct=51 it's a commercial brooder setup. I've got two setups, one 4 high and one 5 high. Plenty of
    room for the chicks and they have no problem from day one walking on the grating.
     
  9. BantamoftheOpera

    BantamoftheOpera Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good to know!
     
  10. AmyLM

    AmyLM Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I used to breed/show/rescue rats for more than 24 years. I have seen so many injuries (some life ending) caused by wire grating that I refuse to put ANY animal in it. It just isn't safe!
     

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