First time with chickens

Novafrk

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 1, 2013
31
2
26
Indianapolis
Hello all,

This is my fist time with chickens. I have 13 Ameraucana chicks. That are about a week old, give or take a day. Here is how they are sleeping tonight:


I use an infrared thermometer to take surface reading of the litter and the chicks. I've kept them at 95 all week. Does this sleep pile look like my temp is ok? I had a small thermometer stuck to the wall but they just pecked at it till it fell down then they pooped all over it... :)

Also I don't remember where I read to use skewers to make a guard to keep the chicks from fowling the water ;-), but you sir or ma'am are a gosh darned genius! The little blighters do like to kick the wood chips around though. That was after only 3 hours. Still better than the 30 seconds it took for them to ruin the water without them.

Thanks!
Eric in Indy
 

junebuggena

Crowing
Apr 17, 2015
23,102
8,201
491
Long Beach, WA
Looks like it's time for a bigger brooder. There should be enough room for each chick to run around a bit and stretch out. Looks like a few are holding their wings out, might be a bit too warm. I raise the heat lamp a little bit every couple of days after the first week. If they all cluster together in a tight group, they are too cold. I go by what my chicks are telling me they need, not what a general guideline might be.
 

Novafrk

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 1, 2013
31
2
26
Indianapolis
Tonight is the last night for this brooder. I've got a bigger one waiting for them. They grew faster than I expected. :) Thanks for the advice!
 

Novafrk

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 1, 2013
31
2
26
Indianapolis
So, week number 2 has come to an end. The little so and so's are already outgrowing the new brooder I think. This was taken at the end of week one. There is a lot less real-estate at the end of week two.


Live and learn, fewer chicks or bigger brooder. I will be adding several sqft of room to it this weekend. I'll also be starting on the coop / run.

Krusty, the bird with what had looked like an eye infection has recovered nicely. Feathering out, is fearless and the first one to check out anything new. When we hand feed the birds he's (I call him a he but really hope he's a she) always the first one to come check it out. If I put my hand in there empty he just climbs up in it and we go for a walk and will sit and watch TV for awhile. He sleeps usually, I watch TV.




Sunday we had one give up the ghost. No signs of distress or illness, one sec was eating and peeping and walking around and the next, thud. Happened to my wife while she was watching "Chicken TV". I told her I always thought she was drop dead gorgeous, this just proved it... It didn't seem to help console her much. :) It was the runtiest one we had and I just figure something wasn't right.

Sunday afternoon we took the flock out for its first venture outside. They loved it. They fought over an ant hill and clean clock on ants. Some of the most entertaining live entertainment we've ever seen.

Chicken TV on location is even more entertaining than when filmed in studio. ;-)
All in all things are going well I think.

Eric
 

CrazyChickLady7

Songster
May 18, 2015
876
94
103
Hello all, This is my fist time with chickens. I have 13 Ameraucana chicks. That are about a week old, give or take a day. Here is how they are sleeping tonight: I use an infrared thermometer to take surface reading of the litter and the chicks. I've kept them at 95 all week. Does this sleep pile look like my temp is ok? I had a small thermometer stuck to the wall but they just pecked at it till it fell down then they pooped all over it... :) Also I don't remember where I read to use skewers to make a guard to keep the chicks from fowling the water ;-), but you sir or ma'am are a gosh darned genius! The little blighters do like to kick the wood chips around though. That was after only 3 hours. Still better than the 30 seconds it took for them to ruin the water without them. Thanks! Eric in Indy
Haha the way they are laying they look like baby pekin ducks!!!
 

junebuggena

Crowing
Apr 17, 2015
23,102
8,201
491
Long Beach, WA
That's probably the number one thing people don't realize when they get chicks. They don't anticipate just how fast they grow in the first month. Make sure that you make the coop and run big enough. Keep in mind that those adorable little fuzzballs will grow to be at least 5 lbs. or more. And in the winter, they might be spending a lot of time in the coop.
 

junebuggena

Crowing
Apr 17, 2015
23,102
8,201
491
Long Beach, WA
All chicks go through several molts for the first few months of life. Some breeds feather in one color and stay that way. Since Rhode Island Reds are genetically red based columbian (a variation of partridge), they get a specific juvenile pattern, and then go red. Your Ameraucana are starting to look like Easter Eggers. Easter Eggers can change colors a lot.
 

Novafrk

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 1, 2013
31
2
26
Indianapolis
They came from an ABC breeder so sure hope not! lol (I'm sure they're not. Love the birds so far Duane.)

I am shooting for a flock of 4-6 hens. I was hoping that by covering most of the run with clear plastic the hens could still get plenty of outside time. A good point to think about though. Thank you.
 
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