For Those of You Newbies Getting Chicks for the First Time, Read PLZ

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by speckledhen, Apr 5, 2007.

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  1. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    I have seen so much lately about what to put in your chicks' water, how much, runny poop, etc., I think I need to interject something here. First of all, do you know what I put in my new baby chicks' waterer? WATER. That's it. Just fresh, clean water. Even if they have been shipped, unless they seem stressed, they really do not need anything in their water. Sure, you can put a small amount of plain sugar in it to give them a boost, however, if you put too much or continue it more than a day or so, you will cause them to have runny poop. That said, some runny poop is normal for tiny chicks. They have several types of poop and some of it is not solid.
    If you have a problem with pasty bums, do this: find organic apple cider vinegar, with the mother of vinegar. It has the sediment on the bottom of the bottle. Put maybe a tsp of that in a full, quart waterer. That will be all you need to do. DO NOT ADD ANTIBIOTICS to your chicks' water for any reason at this age unless someone knowledgable has properly diagnosed some bacterial infection, which would be very rare in a newly hatched chick from a hatchery. Antibiotics usually cause loose poop so that will not help and will start them on the road to antibiotic resistance.
    When I received my first chicks over a year ago, they got nothing in their water. Period. They ate only high quality chick starter for the first couple of months before receiving any treats at all. They did not get grit until such time. I have not lost one single bird. Not one. No illness. Nothing.
    So, please do not begin by medicating these tiny, tiny chicks indiscriminately. Just wanted to help you avoid causing them problems when I know you only want to help them get a good start.
  2. Llysse

    Llysse Songster

    Mar 11, 2007
    Say on, sistah!
  3. demonique

    demonique In the Brooder

    Mar 19, 2007
    Just out of curiosity... if one cannot find any organic apple cider vinegar with the sediment on the bottom.... because I'm almost positive that sort of thing isn't available in my area (organic? you'd think it was a foreign word in these parts!!) would not-so-organic regular apple cider vinegar do the trick?

    (I have not actually looked - I do not actually need anything at this time, just hoarding info in case it's needed!)
  4. AccidentalFarm

    AccidentalFarm Songster

    Mar 29, 2007
    regular apple cider vinegar is distilled and does not have the beneficial properties as organic
  5. cookinmom

    cookinmom Songster

    Mar 14, 2007
    Saint George GA
    There is a humongous thread about apple cider vinegar (acv) somewhere on here, and according to some very knowledgeable people, organic is best, but mostly you want unpasteurized, undistilled. It's at health food stores. The bragg brand is all that, plus organic.

    Just don't use the distilled kind from the grocery store, because the process takes out all the beneficial stuff.
  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    My local grocery store has it-Ingles. I live in a rural area myself so check the shelves in your regular grocery store. Most have health food sections as well. The distilled kind won't hurt them, but probably won't help like the natural type. However, if the chicks seem to be thriving, you do not HAVE to add anything to their water! Just be sure it's fresh and clean and not too cold.

    I want to add that I did not intend to hurt anyone's feelings by posting these informational paragraphs, but the same questions kept coming up over and over and I thought it best to just address this in one post since so many are getting their very first chicks now.
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2007
  7. AccidentalFarm

    AccidentalFarm Songster

    Mar 29, 2007
    SpeckledHen- I've read many of your posts and always find them to be caring and informative. I doubt you have hurt anyone's feelings. [​IMG] It's the many people here like you that are willing to share such great information that makes BYC so great.
    Keep it up!
  8. Jimagination

    Jimagination Songster

    Mar 17, 2007
    Lancaster, PA
    We all need educated.
    There is so much different literature out there. everyone has a different opinion and for us raised in a suburban area who always dreamed of owning a farm, we need to know as much as we can....Thanks.
  9. GoPups

    GoPups Songster

    Mar 27, 2007
    Memphis, TN
    Glad you wrote this. Since I've come to this site, I've seen a lot of elaborate remedies and ways to raise chicks that I'd never, ever seen or thought of before. When I was a kid, we ordered 25 chicks from McMurray, put them in a box with newspaper, some food, and some water. We cleaned their bedding out once a day. They all grew up to be perfectly normal. We never wormed our chickens or medicated them, ever. They free ranged within our backyard. We never had any diseases or issues. No hen was ever eggbound (nor had I heard of such a thing until recently). In my experience, chickens are pretty hardy little critters.
  10. girlsnboys

    girlsnboys In the Brooder

    Mar 30, 2007
    Whidbey Island, WA
    speckledhen, thanks for this thread. I am on my second batch of chicks--first ones were 2 years ago. I agree with everything you said. High quality, natural and simple are the keys. The little ones need to slowly build up immunity to all of the things they are going to deal with out in the real world. The only things I am putting in their food/water are ACV every few days and their real treat is some mash mixed with kefir. I am always getting compliments on the excellent condition my girls are in and I have confidence the same will be true with my new ones. The feed stores here don't even sell medicated feed. A friend asked for some for her chicks and was asked why in the world would she want to feed medicated food to her chicks.
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