Have question about raising chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by fdehaven, Jan 4, 2010.

  1. fdehaven

    fdehaven Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok here are a few questions I have. Hope someone can answer them.

    I will be getting 6 chicks......
    1. When I first get my chicks I want to keep them in the house will they be noisey?
    2. Will I have to clean the box every day?
    3. At what point can I put them outside? (please don't say when they get feathers).
    4. At what point do I go from chick food to regular food?
    5. When I first get them will it be ok to leave the light on them all day and night to keep them warm?
    6. How big of a box should I keep them in until I move them outside to there pen?

    Sorry for the questions but I want them to be safe and happy.
     
  2. Sc00ter4900

    Sc00ter4900 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Hi I got 6 Last year for the first time.A little work was involved but well worth it. They were cherpy but not really loud. compared to my cockatoo . Yes you should clean then every day. I used newspaper. Found it a lot easier than shavings. I went a little over kill with my box 28"x48" 30" high I used rabbit wire for the bottom. then coverd with newspaper. When there about 4 month old I will put the paper under the hole box. The poop will fit thru the wire.I left the light on 24 7. They turned out all right LOL. As far as the feather thing goes i wait till 8 weeks old. They were flying in my wifes dining room. I love her deerly but she doese not have a sence of humor LOL. Hope this helps . If you look at my page you can see the box I built. Scotty
     
  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    1. When I first get my chicks I want to keep them in the house will they be noisey? They do peep quite often, so I'd keep them away from your bedroom if possible.
    2. Will I have to clean the box every day? Depends how big your brooder is, but no you shouldn't have to clean it every day. You might want to clean it a couple times a week after they are a week old. (chicken poo gets REALLY stinky)
    3. At what point can I put them outside? (please don't say when they get feathers). When they get feathers. [​IMG] It's about 6 weeks. You'll still want a heat lamp for them if it's really cold. I moved mine out at 6 weeks with a heat lamp, then at 8 weeks gave them a regular light bulb for a few days, then nothing. Just wean them off slowly.
    4. At what point do I go from chick food to regular food? Right around point of lay. With my first chicks I ran out of starter around 15-16 weeks and I switched them over then, since I knew they wouldn't go through an entire bag before they started laying.
    5. When I first get them will it be ok to leave the light on them all day and night to keep them warm? They really need dark at night, keeping a light on all the time disturbs their sleep pattern. You really don't need a light during the day (provided you have some sunlight to come in the coop through a window), unless you are trying to get them to lay more in winter. (when they naturally want to take a break)
    6. How big of a box should I keep them in until I move them outside to there pen? I used an extra large dog crate with the top taken off and taped (with duct tape so they wouldn't pinch their feet) opening to opening, to give them twice the space than if it was put on top of the bottom part. I put a piece of metal screening over the top to prevent escapees. By the time I moved them at 6 weeks, they were too tall for the screening.

    [​IMG] and have fun, chickens are really addicting!
     
  4. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Please don't use newspaper. It's slippery and can cause leg problems in chicks. (as can concrete) Plus, when it gets wet it's a gooey mess. Just use shavings.(with a paper towel on top for the first few days)
     
  5. Sir Birdaholic

    Sir Birdaholic Night Knight

    It's all good except the newspaper. They can't always get a foothold & can get splay legged. I've done this in the past with my phesants, & found straight shaveings works better.

    (sorry, slow typer!)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 4, 2010
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    It is hard to give very clear absolutely correct answers to many of these questions since our set-ups and conditiosn are all different. The chicks personalities are all differnet too. I'll try.

    1. When I first get my chicks I want to keep them in the house will they be noisey?

    Define noisy. By my standards, yes, but maybe not yours. Depends somewhat on your tolerance and somewhat on where you keep them.

    2. Will I have to clean the box every day?

    Depends. Size of box, how dry you keep it, where it is kept and again, your tolerance.

    3. At what point can I put them outside? (please don't say when they get feathers).

    Depends on the breed (different breeds feather out differently) and the accommodations you have for them. In Pennsylvania, (Thanks for including that info. It helps) it will be a few months before it is really warm. With most chicks, probably 8 weeks is a good safe time, but even then I'd want a draft-free coop with decent ventilation. If you have electricity to the coop, you can put a heat lamp out there to be even safer. It would also help to acclimate them gradually instead of throwing them straight from 80 degrees to 30 degrees. Toughen them up some by exposing them to colder weather.

    4. At what point do I go from chick food to regular food?

    Let me give you a link about that. There area few different options. In general, starter until 6 weeks old, grower until 20 weeks old, then layer. But you can get better details in the link.

    Oregon State Feeding Chickens
    http://extension.oregonstate.edu/catalog/html/pnw/pnw477/#anchor1132074

    5. When I first get them will it be ok to leave the light on them all day and night to keep them warm?

    Yes. I'd recommend a red heat lamp as red seems to calm them down. (Might keep them quieter) They need the temperature to be in their safe zone all the time, not just during the day time.

    6. How big of a box should I keep them in until I move them outside to there pen?

    They need about 1/2 square foot per chick for the first 3 to 4 weeks, then 1 square foot per chick until 8 weeks. Hopefully by then they will be outside. Be prepared for them to come over the top of the box at a surprisingly young age.
     
  7. Sc00ter4900

    Sc00ter4900 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Massachusetts
    OH well just tried to help. It worked for me. Good luck either way . Scotty
     
  8. PandoraTaylor

    PandoraTaylor RT Poultry n Things

    Jun 29, 2009
    Alaska
    [​IMG] from Alaska
     
  9. REINABUGY

    REINABUGY Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 15, 2009
    Upstate New York
    Quote:1. I recieved 50 chicks in Oct they were quiet I'm guessing because they were happy.
    2. I had them on papertowels the 1st few days and changes them every day.
    3. I moved mine to their own big coop at 7 1/2 weeks. Still with a heat lamp.
    4. Mine are now 10 weeks and are still on chick starter until the 1st egg then I plan on switching them to layer.
    5. mine had a heat lamp 24/7 and still do due to winter
    6. I read it should be 1square inch per chick
     
  10. KKatknap

    KKatknap Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Albany, OR
    Just to emphasize on question 5 - Yes they will need a heat lamp all day/night. I think there may have been a misunderstanding on just plain light vs heat lamp. Chicks will need the heat lamp 24/7. [​IMG]
     

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