First Time Chick Parents, Spring 2016

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by feetkissearth, Feb 18, 2016.

  1. arconfederate

    arconfederate Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What would be a sign of them chilling outside since they have been under a heat lamp (temp about 85)? I guess seeing them huddle together?
     
  2. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    Well, that can be one tell tale sign, but remember that the big outdoors is new and scary, and all they've had for security is each other. So it's not uncommon at all for them to huddle together in one spot as if they were frozen in place as they try to take it all in. Watch for distressed cheeping, (and you'll know THAT sound when you hear it), or sometimes even shivering. But at least give them a little time, right in the bright sun if you can, and let them relax a bit. If one or two venture away from the others and start exploring a bit, then you know they were huddling in confusion, not cold.

    I was a bad chicken mama with my first batch. I couldn't stand them in the house one more minute, so on April 1st, at 5.5 weeks old, I evicted them to the coop. It wasn't even finished yet! Temps were still pretty cold but I put a heat lamp out there for them. The first night I was up constantly, checking them. They were huddled beak to tail in a ball in front of the pop door, nowhere near the heat lamp. I had one of those wireless thermometers out there with the receiver next to my bed and I watched as it dropped down into the 20s, and I was out of bed more than I was in it that first night. Second night, same story, but I only got up to check on them once, and again they were huddled together sleeping soundly on the opposite end of the coop from the heat lamp. So that next morning it came out. They weren't using it, and I wasn't risking it. That night it snowed. And we kept getting snow until June 6th. They thrived. That's when I decided that all that stuff about exactly 95 the first week and dropping it by 5 degrees weekly was a lot of hooey - at least to me - and I started looking for a better, more natural way to raise chicks. I haven't looked back.

    The point of all that is to reassure you that yes, they need care and owners need to provide that. But they are chickens, not little Divas and when we raise them as Divas they have a harder time adapting to the great outdoors where they'll spend the majority of their lives. So put them out, make sure they aren't shivering, but let them figure it out. They will.
     
  3. arconfederate

    arconfederate Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 19, 2016
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    Great advice. Yep, I know the distress peep pretty well already. Thanks!
     
  4. montanaskd

    montanaskd New Egg

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    Feb 27, 2016
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    I'm pretty excited. My chicks all seem to be doing great. I have an Ancona, an Andalusian, a barred rock, and I think my banty is a golden seabright. My only disappointment is that my city will only allow me to have 5 hens! [​IMG]
     
  5. mamatoes

    mamatoes Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 29, 2016
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    My hatch date is March 13th! 2 buff orpingtons and 2 ameraucana! Can't wait. Then 2 barred rock on the 29th!!
     
  6. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

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    Congratulations!! I still have some waiting to do for mine, although I pre ordered in January..Sigh...On April 11th mine hatch/Ship. After a few add one here and there :) my final count is 7 female Barred Rocks, 1 female production layer Suprise Breed, and 1 Female Golden Cuckoo Maran. so my total is 9. I've been counting the days since January!!!! They actually go into the incubator in two weeks!!!! Finally getting somewhere pretty soon! I've waited soooo long I pray that they arrive healthy and happy!
     
  7. gmow2087

    gmow2087 Just Hatched

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    My girls are 19 days old and I put them in their coop for the first time today to stretch their wings on the beautiful day. They are loving it, Diana even caught her first worm![​IMG]
     
  8. Jensownzoo

    Jensownzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 7, 2016
    Saint Louis, MO
    My chicks will be 7 weeks old in two days and have started flying to perch on the edges of their 3ft tall brooder! I really wish I hadn't been sick those first three weeks...coop is not done. I should have all the walls framed and up tomorrow. Maybe I can even get some rafters up and some boards on the walls. But then it's supposed to rain all week...grrr!
     
  9. mamatoes

    mamatoes Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's what I'm worried about! I gotta get this husband working ASAP because I'm scared these chicks are going to grow faster then we expect! We're only in the design phase and chicks come in 2 weeks!
     
  10. gmsmith1980

    gmsmith1980 Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm also new to chicks. My daughter's class hatched some eggs. They had 7 hatch, not sure how many were in the incubator, but some of the eggs didnt hatch. The kifds were allowed to choose to bring some home from this hatching or wait until the next hatching, they put more eggs in last Thursday. My daughter wanted the 2 black chicks. We don't know what they are yet, but hope to know soon. It been a fun experience for the kids.
     

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