First Time Chick Owner

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by LittleGirlBlue, Jan 1, 2016.

  1. LittleGirlBlue

    LittleGirlBlue Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 19, 2015
    Kentucky
    We are first time "parents" of 15 chicks that we brought home from our preschool incubation project. My daughter and I have had chickens in the past although she received them in April as older laying hens.

    Our chicks are now going on 4 weeks old and live in two seperate troughs within our garage. I feel as if they are running out of room already in their living quarters. I've looked through SO many of the ideas in this forum for brooder although most photos are of newly hatched babies. Being that Kentucky's winter weather is slowly arriving in the next few weeks, I am worried that they need to stay within the garage for a longer period. It would be SO helpful to find more ideas in containing these babies for a few weeks longer.



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  2. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    Congrats on the babies!

    I really like simple plastic storage bins for brooders. Easy, cheap, efficient. Buy a small roll of 1/4 inch chicken wire or hardware wire and use a razor knife to cut out a decent sized area of the lid, then cover it over with wire - you can attach it by poking little holes in the edges of the plastic and running zip ties through them. I like to use the clear plastic bins so that they can see around them (provided it's a calm environment - a very busy room, they would be better in a opaque bin).
     
  3. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Awww, such sweet chicks!
    They do grown quickly. They look like they are feathering out nicely. Do you still provide supplemental heat for them in the brooders you have them in now? What temp is your garage? You will want to start weaning them off of any heat if you haven't done so and start introducing them to cooler temps, if not they will have a hard time adjusting from a warm garage to a cold coop. Do you have a coop ready for them to move into, if it is empty (no other older chickens to have to introduce them to), you might want to actually turn that into your "brooder". The whole coop does not need to be heated. You can provide supplemental heat in one end and let the rest be cool/cold, that way they can adjust to the cold, but can get some heat if they need it. As far as giving them more space in the garage, if thats what you decide to do, you may want to find some large cardboard like appliances come in to help corral them, they will be flying all over the place if you don't put some type of netting on it.
    Here's a good article about brooding outside in the coop:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/yes-you-certainly-can-brood-chicks-outdoors
    A couple more creative ways to brood without heat lamps:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/956958/mama-heating-pad-in-the-brooder-picture-heavy-update
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/pseudo-brooder-heater-plate
     
  4. LittleGirlBlue

    LittleGirlBlue Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 19, 2015
    Kentucky
    Yes, we do have a coop in place and ready for them.

    We took them off of the lamp last week because our temps in southern Kentucky hit around 70, and it was very warm in the garage. I decided then to leave them off to see how they adjusted. I believe I worry more about them, than they are actually cool. They seem to be completely okay during the day (highs around 40-50 this week) although at night when lights in the garage go off they do still huddle.

    I honestly overly worried myself tonight and tried putting them all together to turn the lamp back on. Haha, that was NOT a good idea.
     
  5. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    I understand the worrying, I have been there[​IMG] (not sure if it ever really goes away). They will huddle for a good while longer, its for comfort, companionship and warmth. They will just make a pile on the floor (so cute). If they aren't showing signs of distress (peeping loudly ~ you will know) then they are good. I had mine in summer, but the still huddled when it was dark until they started roosting at about 7wks. If you can expose them to the cooler temps that will help their transition to the coop. If you can maybe open the garage and let it get cooler and IF needed provide one warm corner they can go to.
    Post pics of your coop/run, would love to see it.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. LittleGirlBlue

    LittleGirlBlue Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 19, 2015
    Kentucky
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    These photos are from April at my daughter's ninth birthday when she received her first hens. They were such beautiful and fun hens to have although all 8 quit laying between July to September, so they are graciously "living happily" with their new Amish families nearby.

    We have room for 8-10, so we plan to only keep the hens from these chicks. The coop is an old large dog shed that was to be used for my Husband's police k9 partner although, he's always lived inside with us.

    I am already starting to tell which chicks are roos, by their appearance and of course their attitude. The only one we will keep if it is a roo is the baby that is asleep in my scarf. He/She is still the sweetest chick at almost four weeks old. Her name is dolly and she's quiet the character :)

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  7. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Great pics! Looks like a nice coop and ample room to roam. Her "first flock" is quite lovely and I'm sure they went to a good home. I'm sure she is having fun and learning a lot by having "babies" to watch grow up. Enjoy them when they are little, it is amazing how fast they grown and develop. I got mine as day olds only 24wks ago and 2 are already laying.
    Wishing you the best.
     
  8. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Long Beach, WA
    Jut FYI, it's normal for adult hens to stop laying as fall/winter approaches. It's time for their bodies to molt, replacing last year's feathers with new, and to recover from producing eggs all spring and summer. Just because they stop laying for a few months does not mean that they are done with laying eggs for the rest of their lives. Having that break from production is actually healthy for them. And when they start back up laying, their eggs will be even bigger than before.
     
  9. Excogitate

    Excogitate Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 2, 2016
    Apache Junction, AZ
    My broader, just large tote cut out lid and added wire like queen Misha said. [​IMG]
     
  10. LittleGirlBlue

    LittleGirlBlue Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 19, 2015
    Kentucky
    Thank you for letting me know that although our previous girls were old and after speaking with their original owners we decided it was best to not have them right now.
     

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