Hatching and raising chicks in the house

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by jjdent, Dec 23, 2013.

  1. jjdent

    jjdent Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 20, 2013
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    It's my first time. I have some Black Australorp/Red Sex Link eggs I'm going to have a silky sit on. I would like to do it in the house. My question is: what do I do after the chicks are hatched to have the mama do her thing (training them and such) and to get them fed properly and healthy? Am I able to keep them in the house after they're hatched? I do have a greenhouse that I can heat if that would be a good transitional area after they're hatched. I also have a separate pen from the rest of the flock if that becomes needed. I would like to do as much in the house as possible, but I'm also wondering what is best for the chicks and mama. What would be the ideal situation for hatching and raising chicks in January in Virginia? The coldest it gets her is about 18 degrees at night and sometimes it is as warm as 60 degrees during the day. Because I do have various options and want to facilitate what would be best.
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    IMO, the ideal situation is to let her hatch and raise them outdoors, their natural place, where she can teach them to forage, and where she will have no trouble keeping them warm with her body heat. While she is setting on eggs, a place like your greenhouse might be idal, as what she needs when setting is not to be bothered by predators or other chickens. Once they are hatched, she will have no trouble keeping them warm with her body heat, and she will naturally take them out to learn to forage, while protecting them from other chickens and from getting too cold.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. gander007

    gander007 Chicken Obsessed

    I could not have said it better my self ... big X2 [​IMG]
    Happy hatching and good luck ...


    gander007 [​IMG]
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    St. Louis, MO
    A big X3. You took the words out of my mouth.
     
  5. CristinaB

    CristinaB Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Let them hatch and grow OUTSIDE!!! Chickens are not house pets and they will be much better off if you let them do what chickens do and grow up outside with their Silky mama. Your Silky with do a great job of taking care of those babies, let them do their job and keep them out of the house.

    If you hatch them out using an incubator you will want to put the chicks under a heat lamp for the first several weeks, then as they feather out you will start looking for a place for them to "grow out" until they are large enough to go outside with the big chickens. If you raise the chicks without the protection of a mother hen they will need much more work from you. Growing out to the size safe to expose them to the grown hens will take several months and frequent water, food and litter changes.

    Don't worry about the cold, chickens carry a nice fluffy warm down blanket with them at all times. If your silky is hatching them she will have a nice fluffy butt for them to snuggle under until they are big enough to stay warm on their own.
     
  6. jjdent

    jjdent Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 20, 2013
    Rustburg, VA
    Awesome, thanks all so much
     
  7. Stewarts

    Stewarts Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Contrary to popular belief, you can raise hatched chicks in the house quite easily and have a happy, healthy flock once they are coop bound. I raised my first flock in the house for 8 weeks, in a cardboard brooder until they were feathered out and ready for the coop. I have very healthy birds that had no trouble going into the coop when the time came. Regardless of what broody hen raises them.

    [​IMG]
    Brooder is built out of cardboard boxes that are held together with glue
    using a hot glue gun and blue twine. The floor is cardboard also. Add a
    heat lamp, dishes for feed, a waterier and a heat lamp - you are set to go.
    [​IMG]
    The brooder was large enough that I could sit in with my peeps
    quite comfortably! I got to know my flock very well and bonded
    with them.
    [​IMG]
    Once feathered completely, these little guy and gals are now in
    the coop, they are 9 months old on Christmas Day!!

    You CAN raise your birds in the house will NO negative effects on them, in fact they are the stronger for it because they are well cared for and get far more attention than having them do it on there own. As for having a broody hen 'teach' them - these birds have instinct enough to not have to be taught, they already know what to do. I raised my without a hen. I have not lost a single hatchling when I was told that its normal to lose a couple and I have a very strong relationship with them because I raised them indoors and spent lots of time with them. Its a very rewarding experience and I highly recommend it.

    Instead of spending a lot of money, a couple of boxes, a glue gun and glue, twine, a heat lamp
    and wood chips. Before the chips were added, I put my chicks in and sprinkled starter food on the floor for a day so they'd get used to what their food looked like. I mixed plain yogurt and their starter to make a mash and they went wild over it.

    Don't say it can't or shouldn't be done - it can and it can be done with amazing success. Good luck.
     
  8. jjdent

    jjdent Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 20, 2013
    Rustburg, VA
    Well thank you.
     
  9. jjdent

    jjdent Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 20, 2013
    Rustburg, VA
    What's the best way to feed chicks once they're hatched, if I'm having a broody mama raise them? I don't know anything, it's my first time with chickens. I have a free-ranging flock out back, with a pellet feeder.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2013
  10. CristinaB

    CristinaB Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Broody mama feeds and keeps them warm. Chicks are pretty resourceful from the start, within a couple days they will eat and drink on their own. All you need to do is provide a shallow waterer and feeder.
     

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