First Time Chick Parents, Spring 2016

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

  1. MedSchlFarmers

    MedSchlFarmers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 5, 2016
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    Have you tried dipping their beak into the water to ensure they know where it is and how to drink from it?
     
  2. Sells

    Sells Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 17, 2016
    Kernersville, NC
    Yes, but what do you do when they will not eat or drink?
     
  3. jonnygiant

    jonnygiant Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 21, 2016
    Cape may county, NJ

    Wow their travel time was really long. Hope they are doing better this morning. You can try making chic food mash mix some food up and water and make it soft you may be able to put that thru your drooper to get some food in them. And really keep an eye on their vents for pasty butt I'm sure all them will have alittle case of that. Also you can give them honey. Good luck. After a week you will be out of the woods hopefully and they will be running around like crazy.
     
  4. jonnygiant

    jonnygiant Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 21, 2016
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    What kind of medication? If they are healthy nothing. Unless you're talking about chic feed medicated in which did you have them vaccinated? If so then your shouldn't give medicated feed. There are a bunch of better post on this topic I was just giving a brief answer.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2016
  5. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

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    to be more specific if you had a coccidosis vaccine you wouldn't want to use medicated feed. otherwise, medicated feed helps fight against coccidosis. I use it on my chicks. I recommend first time owners use it as a extra help insurance..of course they can still get cocci but it does help. although I've had chickens for some years now I still like to use the medicated feed. the feed has small amounts of Amprolium to help fight onset of coccidosis.
     
  6. kana9

    kana9 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sells:
    I had a chick that did not seem to eat or drink the first day. She was very lethargic and did not move. I went back to the farm store and got some electrolytes the next day. The chick was able to drink some of that and became more active and survived. You can get either a combination of vitamins, electrolytes and probiotics (ChickBoost is one brand), or separate packets of each (such as Save A Chick brand). I have also read here that Pultry NutriDrench is excellent because it gets absorbed better so even if they are not eating or drinking at first, you can put a drop in their beak. I have not tried that but found in on Amazon and TSC online and will be ordering that before the arrival of my second batch of chicks in April.

    montanaskd:
    I agree that overheating is a concern. When I first brought my first chicks home from the farm store last year, I had them in a small plastic tote/storage bin. This was theoretically large enough for the eight chicks. However, I realized the heat lamp was making the sides of the container very hot. The next day I got a stock trough and put the chicks in that. There was much more space for them to get to a cooler area and away from the heat lamp. I was worried about three of my chicks the first day because two of the Buff Orpingtons and one of the Partridge Plymouth Rocks were lethargic and sprawled out with their wings spread out. I read in Storeys Guide to Keeping Poultry that if the chicks are spread out in the brooder when awake the temperature is just right, but when they sleep they should be close to each other sleeping side-by-side (but not huddled on top of each other). Once I moved mine to the larger brooder that is how they were. Also, I seem to remember from the same book that the temperature should be measured 2 inches above the floor of the brooder.
     
  7. kimmahoney

    kimmahoney Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 25, 2016

    I got them from TSC, so I don't think they came vaccinated. This is my first time with babies, so I am not sure about how to vaccinate. I will try the medicated feed. They seem to be doing well and growing well. I have them on starter feed and plain water.
     
  8. kimmahoney

    kimmahoney Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 25, 2016

    I have not vaccinated them. Wasn't sure at what age you do that. Thanks for your advice.
     
  9. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    My Coop
    If they aren't running around much, or are way spread out and panting, they are too warm. Before too long you'll be able to tell by their sounds and what they're doing what they need. I know, I didn't believe it either at first, and I hovered over them. "Is this normal?" "Should she be doing that?" I was convinced I was doing everything wrong. The only thing I was doing wrong was cooking them, as it turned out. Grrrrr

    As for mail order chicks, I always order from My Pet Chicken. The first year I ordered chicks I ordered 15. I was so green I didn't realize I could place an order as early as November and schedule delivery for as late as I needed to for my climate. So Dumb Diane ordered chicks the very same day we decided to raise chickens to be delivered the next week. Yeah, I know. They were shipped on Monday, scheduled for delivery on Wednesday, and tracking for Wednesday showed they'd been delivered. But they hadn't. Our postmistress in town tracked them down to the loading dock in Casper, Wyoming. They wouldn't even be put on the truck until late that night, and then had a 6 hour drive in that weather. Temps? How about a balmy -21. Our postmistress told the Casper office to put a note on the box telling the driver to put them in the cab. He did, bless his heart. The next morning at 6:00am, Ken and I went to pick them up. It was warmer here than in Casper - it was 17 below zero. We lost a couple of chicks, and you could tell that they hadn't been dead long, so if not for the USPS delay, I think all 15 would have made it. Hey, it just dawned on me - I need to make a birthday cake! My girls are 2 years old today!! Whoopie!!!!! Last year I again ordered from MyPetChicken. I wisely scheduled delivery for late March. Ordered 8 Buff Brahma pullets, got 8 healthy Buff Brahma Pullets. They will soon be a year old. You also have to remember that some chicks just plain fail to thrive. It can happen under a broody hen that hatches and raises them too. Remember too that feed stores and the like have their chicks shipped in as well. The difference is that by the time you go to pick some out, the weak ones have either recovered or died and those dead ones plus any that arrived dead have been disposed of. So you never see that.

    As for water, You might try picking up some vertical nipples. You just screw them into the bottom of an ice cream bucket or the like, then show them how to click the little red thingy to get water. Mine took to it immediately. Water is always clean, no worries about them drowning, and best of all you don't even have to be in the room to know they are drinking - the little clicking sound is a dead giveaway. They seem to take to the position of standing upright and having the water drip into their mouths so much faster than using an open waterer! This is shot of mine their first day here.

    [​IMG]

    You sound so much like me! I love it!! Those little stick things are called "roosts" and they don't need one for a couple of weeks yet, so you have time! Heat lamps scare the pee-wadding out of me. I quit using them after our first batch of chicks in 2014. I said, "NEVER AGAIN!" and stuck to it. Now I brood with a heating pad, a wire frame, and a towel for their first 24 hours, then outside they go, once I know they know where the heat, the food and the water are. In their outside brooder I add straw under it, packed around it, and packed on top of it. They love it! I love it because there is no risk of fire, the heat is steady and in only one spot, just like with a Mama Hen, and they control their heat needs.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/956958/mama-heating-pad-in-the-brooder-picture-heavy-update

    Edited to add: The brooder you have looks fine for now, but by next week or early the week after, you're going to find that they are already outgrowing it! I do not vaccinate here, but I do have chicks I've ordered vaccinated at the hatchery for Marek's. Other than that, I just throw a clump of sod in their brooder. They love attacking it, eating the small grit that's in it, and it gives their immune systems a boost with whatever will be living in their environment when they start going out.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2016
  10. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

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    Jan 17, 2013
    California

    The coccidosis vaccine is given at hatch, I've never gotten it. however i ALWAYS TRY to get the Mareks vaccine because I feel it is EXTREMELY important. it is also given at hatch. it helps fight Mareks disease. a disease that is extremely prevalent and can travel in the wind. once it's on your land it's almost impossible to rid. The disease causes paralysis, and tumors and wasting in birds. it can come I a few forms. a lot like a highly contagious cancer. not all Mareks positive birds display symptoms. But will transfer the disease to other birds. the vaccine is given at hatch because later than hatch they figure the bird has likely been exposed to the disease already. Hope this helps. Mareks is the only vaccine I give my birds.
     

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