Getting Ready for First Chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by paceysgl5, Feb 3, 2011.

  1. paceysgl5

    paceysgl5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So I *think* I'm ready for our first chicks that come next Friday (or so). Plan to take the day off. Brooder will be up to temperature (going to get it set up Wednesday in case they come early on Thursday instead - have 1 250W red bulb that we've tested and it brings the brooder to 95 deg easily, and will be on a dimmer so we can really secure it in place). Have the feed and will have a little warmed sugar water in there for the first day. Also will have a bowl of warm water ready for any pasty butts that come (they are coming from Ideal). I keep reading about hard boiled eggs so I plan to do that too and have some on hand - but can anyone tell me what to use them for??

    As for the bottom of the brooder (which we are using a giant metal dog crate - about 3x4'x3' high) - we're using puppy pads the first few days, then will switch to pine shavings. also, have 18" high cardboard lining the sides to help keep in heat.

    I picked out 4 stuffed animals from my childhood stuffed animal bins and disinfected them.

    We don't yet have roosts, bc I think they're too young to use them right away? Or should we put some in low to start out anyway? I was going to add them at 1-2 weeks.

    Also picked up chick grit, but i'm seeing that wasn't really necessary as they'll be on a medicated chick starter and we won't give them any treats until they are older (except the egg...).

    Can you tell me what we're missing? And what about the egg? Thanks! [​IMG]
     
  2. justin24

    justin24 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    one to two weeks is to young for theem wait about 6months
     
  3. blefky

    blefky life in the yard

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    Hard boiled eggs aren't a necessity for chicks, though if you end up with any that are weak, or in some manner not doing well after their trip the eggs are an easily digestible, nutritionally dense addition to their diet to give them a boost. I haven't needed to do that, but would if there was a problem. As far as the stuffed animals, personally I wouldn't put them in unless there was a lone chick, if there are multiple chicks they keep each other company. Anything you put in with the chicks will become soiled pretty quickly - they are pooping machines! I always put a roost in with my chicks right from the start. Just a couple inches off the ground (the one I am currently using is an old parrot perch that I screwed to the top two children's wood blocks, you can use anything that they can climb up on). I find that the chicks start trying to "roost" after just a couple of days. The ones I have in the brooder right now are10 days old and they're already old pros at it. And two days ago a couple of them were caught roosting on the edge of the brooder (18 inches) - had to find the roll of chicken wire. [​IMG] Good luck, have fun with your chicks. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2011
  4. paceysgl5

    paceysgl5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Thanks for the tips. I'll have a couple hard boiled eggs ready then just in case, and will plan to put some little roosts in when we set up the brooder. I'd have the brooder set up already, but it's the only thing keeping our chihuahua from peeing all over the house when we're at work (grr) so I want to delay the transition as long as possible hahah. (he doesn't go in the crate, thankfully).
     
  5. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

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    You're going to put stuffed toys in the brooder with the chicks?

    You won't need the warm water for pasty butt until after you've had the chicks for a day or two. It takes a bit of time for that to show up.

    I don't feed anything but chick starter in the beginning but I do sprinkle rolled oats over the top every time I refill for the first several days. They seem to be more attractive and palatable than the chick feed and it seems to help with the pasty butt. These are the old-fashioned rolled oats.

    I don't start giving them chick grit until I begin feeding green feed at about five to seven days.

    Have you got their water set up in a manner that they can't easily scratch shavings into it and it can't get their bedding wet? You want to avoid wet bedding for the plague that it is.
     
  6. paceysgl5

    paceysgl5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A.T. Hagan :

    You're going to put stuffed toys in the brooder with the chicks?

    You won't need the warm water for pasty butt until after you've had the chicks for a day or two. It takes a bit of time for that to show up.

    I don't feed anything but chick starter in the beginning but I do sprinkle rolled oats over the top every time I refill for the first several days. They seem to be more attractive and palatable than the chick feed and it seems to help with the pasty butt. These are the old-fashioned rolled oats.

    I don't start giving them chick grit until I begin feeding green feed at about five to seven days.

    Have you got their water set up in a manner that they can't easily scratch shavings into it and it can't get their bedding wet? You want to avoid wet bedding for the plague that it is.

    Hadn't thought about rolled oats? They don't need grit to eat that? I'll look into adding some. Yes I keep seeing pictures with the baby chicks curled up next to stuffed animals so i thought that'd be a nice thing for them to curl up with AND to climb around (don't worry, i can throw these toys out when they get pooped on). Bad idea?

    Oh, good point. I was going to put a approx 1x1' plywood piece on top of the pine shavings and put their waterers and food on that - trying to keep it away from pine shavings and hopefully keep them from pooping in it too. Sound good? Have a better idea??

    Thanks [​IMG]

    PS Regarding pasty butt, every hatchery pamphlet I've read is to check the bums for pasty butt as you're putting them in the brooder, as it's a common condition of babies after travelling for 2 days...so that's why i was going to have warmed water ready for when we transfer them.​
     
  7. dianaross77

    dianaross77 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 10, 2010
    Grand Blanc, MI
    Well I have 2 chicks that sleep in a cookie tin lined with fur so I think stuffed animals are fine. I just shake the poo off every morning. I've heard people say they put the water up on a brick or 2x4 to keep shavings out. I'm using a caged bird type waterer attached to the side since I only have 2 babies. And since I'm using pine pellets, it stays pretty clean. You might want to have a blanket handy to wrap around the cage to help hold in some heat on the end and prevent drafts, just in case. Have fun with them and I hope they all arrive safe and sound.
     
  8. obaan1

    obaan1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How many chicks are on order and where did you set up the pen? (location - garage, house, basement, barn, etc.) Be prepared for lots of chick dust if they are in the house.
     
  9. KimM

    KimM Out Of The Brooder

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    We put the water on a scrap of wood to keep it raised up a bit and keep the bedding dry, worked fine. Depending on where your setup is going to be, you might lose a lot of heat through the sides of the kennel. We had ours in a large rubbermaid tote and we had to block up most of the top to keep the temp. up high enough those first couple of weeks. And that was with it being in the house. We just used a bunch of scrap wood, which made it easy to add/remove pieces as needed.

    Good luck!
     
  10. avidgriller5000

    avidgriller5000 New Egg

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    Quote:They do produce a lot of dust in the house... we tried it a couple of times before we built a spot for them in the barn.
     

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