getting chicks in two weeks..advice?!

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

  1. amyunderwood307

    amyunderwood307 Out Of The Brooder

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    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. Wigggy

    Wigggy Out Of The Brooder

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    The chicks that you want to get will be fine in the same brooder together . I have a buff orp Plymouth rock easter egger and and wyndotte together at the moment and there fine :D and pine shavings are the best because there dirt cheap
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    *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?

    There are two ways to increase temperature, either get a higher watt bulb or move the heat lamp closer. I strongly suggest you just heat one area in the brooder to the correct temperature and don't worry about the rest. I keep my brooder in the coop and only heat one area. The rest cools down to ambient, whatever that might be depending on the time of the year. Last fall that was occasionally in the 40's at night. They find their own comfort zone. You'd be surprised how much time they spend playing in the cooler areas, just going back to the heat occasionally to warm up. I do have a good draft guard around it so direct breezed don't hit them.

    *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?

    You should avoid cedar shavings. The fumes can damage their respiratory system. Other than cedar, most shavings are either pine or aspen, which are OK.

    *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)

    It can vary a bit. In the heat of summer I've had a broody hen wean her chicks by three weeks, but that is rare. Usually it is closer to 4 weeks, but sometimes it is longer. I've seen a broody take her chicks to the roosts at 2 weeks, and not all could fit under her to stay warm, again in the heat of summer. I think weather has something to do with it, but there are other factors. Some just enjoy being mothers more than others. They are not consistent.

    When the chicks are feathered out, they can handle the temperatures. The trick is determining when they are feathered out for the conditions. I don't have a great answer for that, other than gaining experience by doing it a few times and observing them. Not much help to you right now, I know.

    I raise mine in the coop and let parts of the brooder really cool down. This way, they get acclimated. I think it does help them feather out and get used to different temperatures. I usually leave the heat on until they are 4 weeks old, but I have turned the heat off during daytime by 2-1/2 weeks and at night by 3-1/2 weeks in the heat of the summer, though 4 weeks is more normal. I watch their behavior. I usually take them out of the brooder between 4 and 5 weeks of age. Last fall I took them out at 5 weeks and put them in an unheated grow-out coop (with good draft protection). When they were 5-1/2 weeks old, the overnight low outside that grow-out coop was in the mid-20's. They were fine. There were 14 of them so they could help keep each other warm and they were in a draft-protected coop. The had been acclimated to cooler temperatures in the brooder. I think that all makes a difference.

    *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?

    They should be fine together. Breeds do have general tendencies, but each chicken is an individual. By breed tendencies the Wyandottes should be the dominant chickens, but there have been a whole lot of posts on here where a Buff Orp was the dominant hen. They are living animals. You can't tell exactly what any one individual will do.


    It can vary a bit. In the heat of summer I've had a broody hen wean her chicks by three weeks, but that is rare. Usually it is closer to 4 weeks, but sometimes it is longer. I've seen a broody take her chicks to the roosts at 2 weeks, and not all could fit under her to stay warm, again in the heat of summer. I think weather has something to do with it, but there are other factors. Some just enjoy being mothers more than others. They are not consistent.

    When the chicks are feathered out, they can handle the temperatures. The trick is determining when they are feathered out for the conditions. I don't have a great answer for that, oher than gaining experience by doing it a few times and observing them. Not much help to you right now, I know.

    I raise mine in the coop and let parts pf the brooder really cool down. This way, they get acclimated. I think it does help them feather out and get used to different temperatures. I usually leave the heat on until they are 4 weeks old, but I have turned the heat off during daytime by 2-1/2 weeks and at night by 3-1/2 weeks in the heat of the summer, though 4 weeks is more normal. I watch their behavior. I usually take them out of the brooder between 4 and 5 weeks of age. Last fall I took them out at 5 weeks and put them in an unheated grow-out coop (with good draft protection). When they were 5-1/2 weeks old, the overnight low outside that grow-out coop was in the mid-20's. They were fine. There were 14 of them so they could help keep each other warm and they were in a draft-protected coop. The had been acclimated to cooler temperatures in the brooder. I think that all makes a difference.

    *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?

    They should be fine together. Breeds do have general tendencies, but each chicken is an individual. By breed tendencies the Wyandottes should be the dominant chickens, but there have been a whole lot of posts on here where a Buff Orp was the dominant hen. They are living animals. You can't tell exactly what any one individual will do.
     
  4. BuffOrpington88

    BuffOrpington88 Non-Stop

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    -Yes, you need to get it a little warmer. The temperature should be 90 degrees the first week, and decreased by five degrees each week. You could place the lamp a little closer, or get a higher wattage bulb. You can measure the temperature with a thermometer for incubators.
    -Pine shavings have worked very well in my experience.
    -When the temperature in the brooder is about the same as the temperature outside, they can start going for outings in the coop. Wait until they have all of their flight feathers and a warm night to keep them outside permanently.
    -Definitely. Although some breeds are a little more aggressive than others, they will probably be fine. Just watch the Orpingtons for any signs of getting bullied, this may happen once in a while.
    -Get a couple waterers! They get them dirty very quickly, so when one is empty it is easier to just grab another one.
    -Also, check the water frequently and dump it out if it has shavings in it.
    -Read lots of books about raising chickens. It's fun and really helps.
    -If you want them to be friendly, handle them a lot as chicks.

    Good Luck! [​IMG]
     
  5. amyunderwood307

    amyunderwood307 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 31, 2012
    thank you everyone! this helped TONS! while i have read quiet a few books on chickens, its always nice getting striaght forward answers.
     

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