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Getting started next week....

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by musikfan6, Mar 2, 2012.

  1. musikfan6

    musikfan6 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 16, 2012
    Lititz, PA
    Greetings everyone.

    I'm getting ready to gear up for the very first time - getting my 5 peeps on the 12th of March. I've never done this before. So, quick questions for you all:

    1. Is it OK to keep my peeps in my garage with a heat lamp, or should they be in the house somewhere??
    2. What's the best way to enclose them?
    3. What should I put down on the floor of the garage? Hay, newspaper, etc? Do they need a covered area to go inside of?
    4. How long will they be there until I can move them to the coop?

    OK. That's pretty much what I need to know at this point. I'm laughing to myself because I really have no idea what I'm doing. I'm just going on my "common sense" and a little bit of what I've read. The sight is so huge, so please forgive me for asking questions that are common knowledge to most of you out there. Thanks!!
     
  2. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    My Coop
    1. Garage will be fine, I brooded my first chicks in my garage. The dust they create may not make your husband happy though.
    2. You can use a cardboard box, kiddie pool, dog crate, playpen, wooden box, etc to hold the chicks. Make sure you have some sort of screening to put over the top. By 1 week, they can usually get to the edge of the enclosure.
    3. Pine shavings are the most absorbent. Newspaper is too slick and can cause leg problems in chicks. You can cover the shavings with paper towels for the first few days until they get used to where the food is.
    4. They will need a heat source until they are completely feathered, usually at 6 weeks.

    Make sure your heat source is secured REALLY well. Secure it in 2-3 different ways. I use a chain and several zip ties as back ups in case one fails.
     
  3. Bart1

    Bart1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 13, 2010
    connecticut
    have fun , I am exspecting my first chicks this monday. i have my brooder in my furnace room. I was going to keep them in my garage but i couldnt get the temp in the brooder warm enough. good luck..
     
  4. musikfan6

    musikfan6 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 16, 2012
    Lititz, PA
    I AM the husband, so I won't mind my garage getting a little dusty and smelly :)

    So, where do you get pine shavings?

    Also, how big should the box be, and will I have to keep moving them to bigger containers until they are ready for the coop?

    Thanks for your information. It was very helpful!
     
  5. Bart1

    Bart1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 13, 2010
    connecticut
    Hi I am also new to the baby chick stage. i have had chickens for a few years now but they were always atleast 6 months old. Being that it is cold you may want to get your brooder ready early so that you can exsperiment with the temp. I was goin to keep my chicks in the garage(mine are coming the 5th of march).But i realized that the garage was way to hard to keep the temp in the brooder to the recommendation of 95-100 degrees for the chicks.so now i put my brooder in my furnace room and i feel that my temp will be much easier to regulate.good luck and have fun.
     
  6. Bart1

    Bart1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 13, 2010
    connecticut
    you can get pine shaving at your local feed and grain store. you will be able to get your pine shaving, grain for the chicks as well. Place paper towels on top of the pine shaving for the first couple days. It makes it gentler to there fragile little legs. If you had your chicks vaccinated make you sure you get medicated free feed otherwise it will cancel out your vaccinations.
     
  7. mikecnorthwest

    mikecnorthwest Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 27, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    My Coop
    I started just like you 3 years ago... 5 hens in a brooder in the garage. I used a large rubbermaid container with a lid made of wire mesh. If you look at my BYC page using the link below you'll see pictures of it. I used bedding pellets from the feed store instead of pine shavings. They're absorbent and easier to deal with. As long as you have a chick feeder and waterer, and a heat lamp, you'll be good to go.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/mikecnorthwests-chicken-coop
     
  8. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    Make sure to ask at the counter, bulk items are usually stored in back. The small bags of shavings and chick starter offered in front of store are expensive. Buy the large bags, pine shavings in 3.5 cubic ft compressed bag. Get a #50 bag of starter. It will get used up and doesn't break the bank that way.

    Use a thermometer to monitor your heat at chick level. Start out at 95F and work down 5 degrees a week by raising light or lowering the wattage of bulb. I brood indoors in plastic tote so use a 100 watt then down to 60w second week then they are in unheated back room in dog kennel so back up to 100 watt bulb. Make sure the light is to one side so there is a cooler side to brooder for them to regulate themselves if they get over heated. They really let you know by huddling under lamp or away from it if your temp is too low or too high.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2012
  9. musikfan6

    musikfan6 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 16, 2012
    Lititz, PA
    This is great advice, friends. I'm very glad for the information.

    My only concern is my garage temps. I'm wondering if I'll be able to maintain those needed temps. I'm still trying to decide what to brood them in. I'm concerned that the plastic container will not be big enough after a couple weeks..... How big should it be until they move to the coop??
     
  10. mikecnorthwest

    mikecnorthwest Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 27, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    My Coop
    I move mine to the coop at about 6 weeks of age. At that point they've about maxed out in the rubbermaid container.
     

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