getting chicks in two weeks..advice?!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by amyunderwood307, Mar 31, 2012.

  1. amyunderwood307

    amyunderwood307 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 31, 2012
    hello everyone! im getting six chicks in about two weeks. they will be about 2-3 days old. heres a few questions i have, if you could help me out, id be exremely gratefull!

    *i have made my brooding box already, but i can only get the heat up to about 85 degrees. i worried about them getting to cold. would you suggest getting a higher watt bulb?

    *what kind of shaving should i use? while reading books, some authors say dont use certain kinds because the chicks lungs cant handle it. is pine shavings the best?

    *how can you tell when there ready to be moved out to the outside coop? ( right now its almost april, and its only about 60 degrees outside, but will get much hotter in may and those months)

    *is it ok to get a few breeds of chickens at once? i really like americaunas (spelling?), Buff Orpingtons, and i love the wyandottes. would these three breeds be ok together?

    *Any other tips would be great!
  2. bawkbawkbawk

    bawkbawkbawk Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've heard not to use pine shavings for the first week because the chicks may inadvertently eat it until they figure out the difference between what is and is not food. I think you're just supposed to use newspapers for the first week or so.

    Generally you will hear 4- 6 weeks before moving them outside.

    Any breeds will be fine together, especially if they are all large fowl like you've mentioned.

    Not sure about the 85 degrees. Seems to me that would be warm enough but I'm not an expert on temperature. If they're cold, they'll huddle directly under the lamp. If they're hot they'll move away from it. You can pretty much tell from their behavior what they need in terms of temperature.

    Have fun with them! And make sure you check for pasty butt during the first few weeks.
  3. amyunderwood307

    amyunderwood307 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 31, 2012
    thank you! im just wondering do you shred the newspaper or use full sheets of it?
  4. felidaet

    felidaet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 10, 2008
    Vancouver, Wa.
    Newspaper is not good to use. It is slippery and can cause leg problems. You can find lots of threads saying not to use it.

    The shavings that you DON'T want to use is Ceder.

    Many people use pine shavings right away. Other people cover them for about a week with a couple of layers of paper towels.

    I personally use pine bedding pellets. I like them much better than pine shavings. I do cover them with paper towels for a few days but I am not sure that it is necessary. I just do it out of habit from when I used pine shavings in the past.

    I feel 85 degrees is too cool. I would get a stronger bulb. They should be closer to 95 degrees the first week. Do you have the top of your brooder covered or is it open. Covering part or most of it can bring the temperature up quite a bit. When I setup my brooder this morning I first tested it with only hardware cloth on it. (There are no chicks yet. I am getting them on Friday). It was about 82 degrees. Then I covered most of it with scraps of plywood. The temperature climbed to 102. I then covered it the way I wanted it anyway, which was about 1/2 hardware cloth and 1/2 plywood scraps. I then adjusted the height of the heat lamp a couple of times and finally got the temperature stable at 94.6 degrees. I left the heat lamp on for a few hours to make sure the temperature held steady, which it did. I am now all set to get the chicks in a few days.

    I save many different breeds of large fowl chickens in my flock. (Look at my signature line) I like seeing a colorful flock. I also like the variety of eggs. I am going to get 20 chicks over the next couple of weeks. They will likely be 7 or 8 different breeds. And some of them will be different than what is in my current flock.

    I move my chicks from the brooder to the coop at about 5 weeks. For the first week the will be locked in the coop the entire week. Then I gradually start letting them into the run. I setup a heat lamp in one corner of the coop and will leave it there for 2 - 3 weeks, depending upon outside temperatures.
  5. bj taylor

    bj taylor Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 28, 2011
    North Central Texas
    i used paper towels over the pine shavings @ first. that worked ok for the first few days. then i switched to puppy pads over the shavings until they were about two weeks. i changed them out frequently. then i went directly to the pine shavings. that all worked pretty good for me.
    i think 85 is too cool @ first. i think you need to shoot for between 90 - 95. but you will have to back off of that pretty quick. the heat source needs to be directed to one corner or section so they can move away when they want. put the water & food away from the heat. if you put the water up on a small platform like a flat rock or 2x6 it helps keep the litter out of the water - just make sure it's not too much of a reach for them.
    i got four breeds of same age...wyandotte, buff orp, barred rock, & australorp. the only time i had an issue was when my brooder was getting too small for them & the buff orp were the target of picking.
    they are all 7 wks old now & are one big happy family.
    good luck. it is so much fun having chickens. i had no idea how great it is.
  6. Fierlin1182

    Fierlin1182 powered-flight

    Aug 26, 2011
    I have used newspaper with paper towel on top, which has worked fine, also grass clippings. Wood shavings are still the best though, pine should be okay. It's fine to mix chicks of different breeds together as long as they're more or less the same age, a few weeks age difference max, otherwise you might get some picking.
    as for moving chickens outside, you're best to wait till they're mostly feathered, as it's not yet that warm. We put the chickens outside at about four or five weeks in age, but it was quite hot by that time.

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