first time for chokes need advice.

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by baemiller, Mar 4, 2015.

  1. baemiller

    baemiller Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 4, 2015
    Okay so I am new to this. I did what all the books said to do picked a breed, got supplies, got chicks, I knew some had a small chance of dying but man first day home. I don't know if I am doing this right. is this gonna be like bringing a new puppy home? If so I am game I will do what's necessary I just don't want to mess this up. Any advice on what to expect the first week. Can I leave home for a few hours? That sort of thing.
    thanks guys for any advice.
    tawnie
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Your best bet is to go to the learning center. Read all you can about raising chicks, then, if you have specific questions, you can come back and ask them. Yes, once they're settled, eating well, and you're sure they're secure in your brooder, and you have a breatheable cover to keep them from flying out, and the temp is adjusted so that they will have 90 - 95* under the lamp (for the first few days, then decrease the temp 5*/week), and an other area in the brooder that is MUCH cooler (I like to see it around 70, or even lower) Then, you can leave them.
     
  3. baemiller

    baemiller Out Of The Brooder

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    I found this DIY brooder made from a rubber made bin thought great will work perfect since I have a big one. Now not so sure. It keeps the whole container toaster warm.? I have 8 chicks so I am guessing I an area in my garage is in the near future?
     
  4. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    I love being able to give advice to someone who is raising chicks for the first time. By the way, welcome to BYC! You'll have fun here.

    The piece of advice I most wish I had received when I got my first batch of chicks is not to handle them from overhead. They freak out when you dive into an open top brooder with your hands. And they get more scared each day, running away from you, getting harder and harder to catch.

    So, by the time I got chicks again, I discovered that a brooder placed on a table with an access cut into the side is the ideal brooder if you want tame, calm chicks that are easy to pick up.

    The next most important advice I wish I had was not to worry endlessly about the heat. It's important, but you have much more latitude than most people think, and even chicks can prefer it warmer or cooler than what is generally recommended. So the best thing is to observe the chicks.

    Before you bring the chicks home, hang the heat lamp and test the temp directly underneath. It's at about the correct height for two-day old chicks if it reads 90-95F or 35C. But it should be cooler than that around the edges of the brooder. If you watch your babies, they should be all over the place, not all huddled under the light and not all lying around the edges. To make it warmer, lower the lamp, cooler, raise it. Each week you'll want to raise the lamp a bit to make it cooler, to slowly wean the chicks away from needing heat, until they feather out around four or five weeks.

    Chicks need a good, non-skid surface to learn to walk on, so I like puppy training pads laid over wood shavings for the first few days until the chicks learn to eat their feed and not everything else. Then you can remove the puppy pads. I like them because they lay flatter than paper towels and chicks won't eat them.

    They need warm water the first couple days. If you slip a stick through some slots cut into the cardboard sides, if using a cardboard box, you can hang the water bottle and avoid spills or wood shavings clogging the water basin.

    I like to slip a dark cloth over the brooder at night to simulate night so the chicks get into a day/night rhythm, and it also encourages them to sleep all night rather than being up and stressed and getting into mischief when you want to be getting your rest.

    That's enough from me. I'm sure others will have more useful things to tell you. You're in for a lot of fun.
     
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  5. baemiller

    baemiller Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you for your post. It was a tremendous help.I fell like not so grassed lol. One last question lol. If one looks like it might die should I remove it from the others?
     
  6. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Actually, no, I don't recommend removing chicks that are struggling to survive. Most likely cause of death in the first couple days is chilling or injury during shipment. Chicks are shipped by the 100 count in large boxes and if it's during severe weather, those on the outer edges of the box can get chilled.

    They will act lethargic, dopey, be off balance, not feel like eating or running around. That's when you make sure the chick has access to warm sugar water and electrolytes and warm-water moistened crumbles. I place these items where all the chicks can access them and it's far more likely the sick chick will be motivated by the others to eat and drink.

    When you first install them in the brooder, dip each beak carefully in the water until they drink on their own. After that, they know what to do.

    If you do end up with a dead chick, most suppliers will replace it or give you a refund.
     

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