Giving shipped chicks a great start

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Tracydr, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. Just got a batch of chicks in and wanted to give a few ideas for what I do to get them off to a strong start.
    I put vitamins and sugar into warmed water. One teaspoon per pint of water to start, taking that down to one teaspoon per quart after the first twelve hours. Discontinue the sugar after everyone appears strong, or after forty eight hours. Make sure each chick has their beak gently dipped in the water to figure out how to drink. Watch and make sure they are drinking. Sprinkle bits of food on the floor of the cage and they will start pecking and figure out how to eat.
    First meal is a spoonful of kefir, a spoonful of fine cornmeal and some hardboiled egg. You can also give some mashed tofu if you like.
    I like kefir better than yogurt, it adds more active, live cultures.this seems to energize them and get them off to a roaring start. Watch them fing the wet stuff around! I feed it off a shallow tray or Tupperware lid so they don't drown in the kefir.
    Start adding organic ACV to the water as soon as you know they are drinking well or the second time you fill the waterer. Make sure you're using a chick waterer so they can't get their body in the water and drown or get chilled.
    Make sure there is room in the brooder to move in and out of the light. If they are huddled in the light they are cold, if they are huddled away from the light, they are hot. Scattered all around is just right. I use a light that can be raised and lowered to adjust the temperature.
    I add sprouts AF various sorts on the second or third day. I like to add mung beans, mustard greens and fenugreek sprouts. Also, amaranth, quinoa, chia are really good. Sprouts are easy and great sources of vitamins, protein and energy, easy to digest. I add a tiny bit of chick grit or sand when I start feeding sprouts. I usually feed a little garlic chives and other fresh garden greens at this time.
    That's about it.
    For a brooder, I like a deep box or rubber made tote. I use a grate or screen for a lid on top. I like to start with puppy potty pee pads for the first day, then go to rice hulls for bedding. If you can't get rice hulls, pine shavings or shredded paper is fine.
  2. Avonlea22

    Avonlea22 Jessamine Cottage

    Aug 27, 2011
    Where do you buy Kefir? I've never heard of it before.
  3. AZBootsie

    AZBootsie Songster

    Nov 10, 2010
    Congress, AZ
    My Coop
    Great Advise and Congratulations!!

    I bet Mikey is on cloud 9 [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  4. Quote:It's best to find somebody local with the grains to get you started. Try your local BYC or Craigs List. Once you get the "grains" it's the easier fermented food to make.
    I also make sourdough bread, sauerkraut, pickles and yogurt. I'm going to try some homemade ACV, too.
  5. ajlynco

    ajlynco Chirping

    Sep 7, 2011
    Reno, NV.
    Could you help a newbie out Tracydr? What vitamins and how much do you add to the water? What is ACV and kefir and where can I get them? How do you feel about the addition of a regular light in the brooder being turned on in the morning and off at night to get the chicks used to the light cycle? I'm just getting started so I'm soaking up all the info I can get. Also, where do you get your chicks from? Thanks
  6. Quote:He's still at school. He won't be able to pick his up until tomorrow so I'm chick sitting.
    I'm adding some packing peanuts from Becky, too!
  7. Quote:The vitamins I order from the hatchery when I order chicks. They're cheap, about $3.00.
    Kefir, find someone locally through BYC or Craigs List with kefir "grains". Once you get the "grains" it's super easy to make a continuos supply of kefir for you and your chickens. Lots of great recipes for using it, too.
    ACV. Is organic apple cider vinegar with the "mother". Bragg's is the best known brand. I found another brand at our health food grocery called Fleischman's. Make sure it is "unpasturized" and with the mother. There are directions on BYC for making your own from apple cider to save money, using ACV to start it, if you do a search.
    I find that turning the room lights off and leaving the brooder light on is enough for the chicks to put themselves to bed each night.
    I'm experimenting with this batch and will be mixing my own feed, rather than using commercial feed. It won't be fully organic or soy free since I've had a hard time sourcing field peas but hopefully it will be fresher and healthier. Should be able to tell based on how the broilers perform.
  8. jmtcmkb

    jmtcmkb Songster

    Sep 2, 2011
    New Hampshire
    I am expecting chicks last week of Sept so I am particularly interested in your thoughts here! I just purchased a viatmin & Electrolytes mix at the feed store-what about the sugar is that the same formula? 1tsp per pint etc..

    A question on Kefir, it is widely avaialble here at our local grocery store and I buy it often, but the only ones available are fruit flavored will this be okay or should I opt for plain yogurt?

    thanks [​IMG]

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