First Timer questions

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by mommabearto5, Mar 9, 2013.

  1. mommabearto5

    mommabearto5 New Egg

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    Mar 9, 2013
    We've talked about raising chickens and done a *little* reading on it. Then my husband brought home 16 chicks today!!! Darn farm store!! :) he got 6 Rhode Island Reds and 10 Rock Hens. We want some chickens for meat and some to lay eggs. I don't know how old they are. The RIR's have quite a few feathers on their wings and tails. The Rock hens are barely starting to show feathers on their wings.
    Here's the questions---- hubby is building a box for them. He's put in a grated floor that we'll put shavings on. He was going to put a solid lid on top but I was reading somewhere on here that they need a lot of oxygen. Is the grated floor going to be enough ventilation?? Or should he put a mesh lid on it? If the mesh lid, do we need something more than the heat lamp to keep them warm? We still have a ton of snow on the ground so it's still cold here in Idaho!!
    Should we separate the two breeds? They seem to be doing fine together in the big Rubbermaid container they're waiting in.
    How do I know how old they are so I can adjust the heat appropriately? Or do I need to just watch them to see how they're acting to know if they need more or less heat?
    When do I need to put in a roost?
    I'm sure I'll have plenty of other questions this week as we begin our new adventure. The kids are so excited abut it!! Hehehehehe Just wait until I tell them to clean the coop!! I'll bet they won't be so excited for that!!
     
  2. fishermans wife

    fishermans wife Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 2, 2009
    Ventura County
    Welcome to the wonderful world of chickens! You will love it!

    I would do a mesh top so you can watch them, and monitor them. They are so fun to watch!

    Keep them together if they are getting along. Not having to integrate two flocks later will be so much better! I wouldn't worry about the heat issue to much - just put the heat lamp in one area where they can go to get warm, and if it is too warm, they can go to the other end of the box where they are more comfortable. They will pant, and put out their wings if they are too hot, and will pile on each other if too cold (no to mention chirp like crazy).

    Mine enjoy a little roost not to far up after they are a couple of weeks old. It takes them awhile to get used to it, and my chicks always sleep on the floor of the brooder until really they go into the big coop - then they enjoy roosting. When they sleep they look hilarious all stretched out on the floor.

    Keep the brooder clean and especially dry! The heat and bird poo can create bacteria very quickly. Food and water needs to be available all the time.

    Lots of great people to help you here, so ask questions!!

    Enjoy!
     
  3. fishermans wife

    fishermans wife Chillin' With My Peeps

    579
    13
    156
    Sep 2, 2009
    Ventura County
    AND [​IMG] !
     

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