First time chick owner!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by krista22, May 23, 2016.

  1. krista22

    krista22 New Egg

    May 23, 2016
    I have 5 two day old chicks. I'm not sure exactly the breed but I know they are mixed with several breeds. I joined so I could ask for advise on how to provide these babies with the best care. They are all doing okayy at the moment. I have them in a plastic tote with chicken wire on top with a heat lamp. They have water and feed in there with them. Some seem interest others not. I think I will introduce them to it this morning so everybody's on the same page. They're in my room for now. I just got them last night and hadn't really thought it out yet. They are very noisy lol. They didn't sleep much last night and neither did I. I have heard that if you switch to a darker bulb at night they will calm down more or a heat pad under the tote. They're so little that I rather not keep them where I can see them because I do have cats and dogs. Any advise would be appreciated thanks! :)
  2. Chicken Girl1

    Chicken Girl1 Queen of the Coop

    Mar 3, 2015
  3. BusyBearMama

    BusyBearMama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2014
    New York State
    Keep them secure so other animals don't hurt them
    Monitor their temp and behaviour in relation to the temp - they should act comfortable and be able to move away from the heat through sort of a range there. 100 degrees lowered by 5 degrees every week.
    Make sure they have fresh water always - I do two brooder temp waterers one with vitamins and probiotics
    and clean bedding I use paper towels for the first month and then wood chips
    A couple little perch things are good so their feet form right but bit mandatory
    Feed is important medicated crumbles is what I start them on and it works well.
    There's not too much to worry about as long as they're safe and healthy and clean
  4. azygous

    azygous Flock Master

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    It sounds like you are very concerned about the best way to keep your new chicks safe and provide a good environment for them. Probably the safest place for your chicks is not in your house where you have other pets that may put them at risk, but out in their coop from the very start.

    I raise my chicks right outside in the sand run alongside my big chickens using the heating pad system, which is proving to be far superior to plastic totes with heat lamps. I can still spend hours in their pen with them, playing with them and enjoying them. Yesterday, they are two weeks old now, I sat with all four on my lap and we all had us a nice little afternoon nap.

    It also sounds like your chicks may have not all learned to drink water yet. Try dipping each beak in water until you see them drink and tip their heads back to swallow. Also, examine your feeders to make sure the short little baby beaks can reach the food. They may be making so much noise because they are dehydrated and hungry.
  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    100 degrees is way too warm for chicks. Better to aim for 90 - 95 for a day or two and then start decreasing the temp. It's so very easy to over heat them, especially when they are in a plastic tote. They need to be able to get away from the heat (should be able to get to 70 degrees at other end of their brooder.) Far more chicks are killed by too much heat than by being too cold.

    You might want to look at brooding them with a heating pad: check out this article: This allows the chicks to self regulate, helps them to feather out faster, gives them natural sleep/wake rhythms, and over all produces chicks that are much more confident and better adjusted. It also allows natural weaning from heat, or hardening off to outside temps so that won't be an issue when it's time to turn off the heat for good.
    1 person likes this.
  6. BusyBearMama

    BusyBearMama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2014
    New York State
    Oh you're right! 100 would be too high for a bin like that, sorry yes I use a method with a ton of space and I don't even use a thermometer anymore I just go by behaviour but you are correct, thanks for correcting :) really their behaviour is the best indicator of their well being ;)
  7. AC77

    AC77 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 19, 2012
    Bucks County, PA
    Personally, I'm not a huge fan of the plastic tote set-up, sounds a little too much like an oven with the heat lamp right over it. Not much air circulation. The starting temp should be around 90 degrees, and there should always be room to get away from the heat, maybe the heat lamp could be over to one side. I've used wire-sided rodent cages and extremely large cardboard boxes (i've taped several together to make a really big one). Then reduce your temp by 5 degrees each week, and watch your chicks' behavior to see if they seem too hot. And make sure they are drinking! They should be drinking a lot. You can get little packets of powder called Save-a-Chick that has some vitamins and electrolytes and stuff to help them out if they are struggling and add it to their water. Clean the poop frequently and you can look at a poop chart to make sure their droppings are normal. Food should be chick STARTER. Good luck with the babies :) !

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