Getting chicks Friday, have a few questions

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by abcn123s, Mar 7, 2017.

  1. abcn123s

    abcn123s Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    Hi all,
    We are finishing up the coop and built in brooder for 2 of our 19 new arrivals this Friday.. another 10 will join the following Friday. The rest will be here early April.
    1st question: how tall is a day old baby chick? Our feed store says about 5" (seems kinda tall, but I'm not an expert yet).
    2nd question: it has been cold in our coop, not drafty, just cold; testing out MHP nighttime temps with our weather station thermometer we are getting readings anywhere from 53-66 degrees at night and 68-78 during the daytime. Will I need to supplement heat? We have seedling grow mats that stay at a constant 85 degree (I think). I can implement those into the scenario if needed. Really want to stay away from a light bulb heating source, if possible.
    3rd question: we are planning to put sand in the brooder. Will we need to cover it for the first few days until chicks know food from bedding? Will sand be ok for their little legs? I have read about leg distortion and certainly don't want that!

    I think that is all for now! Thank you all in advance for your helpfulness :)
     
  2. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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    Lol they are definitely not 5" tall. I haven't measured them but LF are 3" tall at most, I suspect, probably less.

    They get the heat from pressing against it. My chicks turned two weeks old today. They have been out in the outdoor brooder since a day or two after they arrived. This past weekend it was in the teens at night and the heating pad was on medium (oops) and they survived just fine. I do load it up with straw for insulation. Our day time temps keep shifting from high 30s to the 60s. I think that would be the only down side to sand unless you don't mind sifting the straw out or have another way that you plan to insulate it. I like the straw better than a towel or such since it forms pockets of warm air.

    Question 3 I can't help with! I am a deep litter fan. Usually in my brooder I use shavings but I am using straw right now because I keep forgetting to buy some lol
     
  3. ChxLadyCass

    ChxLadyCass Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Great advice! We would like to avoid using the heat lamp as well. SO much electricity for those! I think I will use my heating pad with some straw on top. Never heard of using sand!
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2017
  4. abcn123s

    abcn123s Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    Would you use straw over pine shavings for insulation then? I am more concerned with these 2 babies, then with the 10 due to the body heat in numbers. I don't mind getting rid of either medium from the sand since it is temporary.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I use a tote lid for feed and water the first week or so no matter what the bedding.
    .....and an upside down crate tray for under the MHP for easy cleaning and leg stability.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. ChxLadyCass

    ChxLadyCass Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I can't wait to borrow these ideas for new babies next week! Thank you!

    While we are on the topic of babies, I have 20% protein Ranch-Way Poultry granules layer feed. Would that work ok for my chicks? I brew my own kombucha and was thinking of putting a SCOBY in their water for probitics.Thoughts?
     
  7. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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    Layer is too high in calcium, which can be bad for the chicks. You need a starter or flock raiser type feed.

    ETA I just checked the brand's website and if its the pullet start n grow then that's fine but if it's the 20% lay feed, that isn't.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2017
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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  9. ChxLadyCass

    ChxLadyCass Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you! I will get some starter feed and look into fermented feed! I need to see where to get some oyster shells and it sounds like I need some chick grit too.
     
  10. ChxLadyCass

    ChxLadyCass Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for all of your help across the forums! I am going to stop into the feed store and get prepped for my babies today! My mom has a sandbox at her house for my nephew. Can you use that for grit? Do I only need grit once I start feeding them treats? I am definitely going to start some fermented feed so they have it day 1. Will any type of feed do? Granules, pellets, scratch (for the older hens)? I see a lot of grain feeds used in fermenting. THANK YOU!
     

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