Help with day old chicks, no idea what to do!!!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Littleturkey123, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. Littleturkey123

    Littleturkey123 Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 11, 2011
    Owen Sound, Canada
    Hi , I am planning to get chicks sometime soon and i was wondering what you should do in general for them? i am a total newbe at this and if anyone could give me a total,complete, detailed explanation of what to do that would be appreciated!!
  2. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    For a total, complete, detailed explanation, there are some really great books out there, lol. For an explanation of what *I* do, it's pretty simple:

    Plastic tub (like a Rubbermaid or Sterilite from Walmart--the bigger the better), with wood mulch or straw in the bottom. Cheap shop light from Walmart with a 100-watt bulb (or two with 40-watt bulbs, even better--if one burns out, the chicks don't get chilled). Small feeder and waterer from the feed store. Purina chick starter (feed store).

    If the chicks act cold (cheeping and climbing on top of each other trying to get warm), I lower the light to warm them. If they seem too warm or don't ever rest under the lamp, I raise it a bit. Keep water and food available at all times.

    Pretty straightforward. [​IMG] Good luck, and stick around--tons of good advice and answers here. [​IMG]
  3. maybejoey

    maybejoey got chickenidous?

    Give them electrolytes in there water. That will help prevent germs, i used medicated chick start. Keep them in a box with a heat lamp on them to keep the warm.(keep the heat lamp far enough away from them that if its to hot then they can hide). Keep them inside for atleast a month depending on weather outside then put them outside. If you have adult chickens seperate the adults from your chicks but make sure they can see eachother. After about 2 months take them off of chick starter and put them on growing feed until they are 4-6 months old then blend in layer pellets. In cold months give them scratch as well and keep them in a well insulated house to keep them warm. Enjoy them, they are really great.
  4. nurse_turtle

    nurse_turtle Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2011
    Foothills of NC
    Dear OP,

    Are you the same one who posted about trying to hatch eggs in secret from your Mom by using a lunch box cooler and a light bulb? You talked about hatching your egg in your locker at school? If you are serious about wanting how to care for chicks, there is loads of information in the Learning Center of this website. Click on the link. Read and learn.[​IMG]
  5. raymondjames

    raymondjames Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 18, 2011
    Quote:would smartwater work (or smartwater, as the company calls it) because it says it has electrolytes in it [​IMG]
    also is this just for newborns?
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2011
  6. Lothiriel

    Lothiriel Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Aug 30, 2007
    New York State
    My Coop
    I use a big cardboard box and line it with newspapers for the first few days, and then, after the chicks know where they eat, I add either wood shavings (not cedar -- it's toxic) or hay.

    So, big box, heat lamp and bulb, feeder and waterer, bedding/newspaper, and chick starter, either medicated or non-medicated. (I get the non-medicated because I am more into the natural/no chemical/hormones way of starting mine). Those are the essentials.

    When you get them home it's a good idea to dip each one's beak in the water so they know where it is. Some folks give them an electrolyte solution -- either homemade (sugar/salt in the water) or those Sav-a-chick packs in feed stores. It depends on how stressed the chicks have been (ie through the mail or just down to the feed store).

    The heat lamp you need to adjust according to how the chicks act. If they try to get as far away as possible, it's too hot for them. But if they are crowding right under the lamp, they're too cold.

    Hope this answers at least some of your questions! And good luck with your chicks! [​IMG]
  7. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

  8. wbruder17

    wbruder17 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2010
    Portland, OR
    Quote:would smartwater work (or smartwater, as the company calls it) because it says it has electrolytes in it [​IMG]
    also is this just for newborns?

    NO NO NO! You need to do some research. Chicks needs chick starter, first of all. Regular, clean water is really all they need, wiith the chick starter. You can give them scrambled eggs for added nutriients. They need a heat lamp. DO NOT, I rreppeat, DO NOT give them vitamin water from the store....or gatorade or anything like that.

    Please do some research before you do anything with chicks. They are live animals, that grow up to be live, biig chickens, which are farm animals with very specfic needs. If you are interested in chicks bbecause they are cute, you should try hammpsters or gerbils first, as chickens require a lot more to be happy and healthy. You can't just keep them in your pocket. They need air and room to run,scratch around.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2011
  9. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Quote:would smartwater work (or smartwater, as the company calls it) because it says it has electrolytes in it [​IMG]
    also is this just for newborns?

    It is best to buy the electrolytes at the farm store. They sell it in a bag. Gatorade and human drinks have sugar or artificial sweeteners which are not good for chickens (although sugar water in the correct concentration is ok for stressed chicks).

    In a pinch I'd buy plain pedialyte myself for a sick chicken, but would prefer something made for chickens.

    You can give electrolytes to adult chickens who have had diarrhea or who are sick, to help replace them. There are uses for adults, yes.

    So let me clarify: I only give my chicks water, but if you are adding vitamins and electrolytes as your choice (some do) then buy it at the feed store.

    I hope this helps.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2011
  10. Runningshooz

    Runningshooz New Egg

    Oct 16, 2011
    I am brand new, so please forgive me if I ask something redundant. I recently purchased some fertile eggs from the feed store and placed them under one of my hens. She would hardly ever leave the eggs laid by the other hens, so I figured she really wanted to be a mommy. Two of the other eggs did not make it (4 total), two were still under her. Tonight I went out to shut them in the coop and noticed that one of the eggs hatched and there is an adorable new chick. Now I am not sure what to do with it. Can I just leave it in the coop with the momma and she will take care of it? Or do I have to take it out and go through the whole heat lamp routine. Thanks for your feedback!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by