Hi - a couple newbie questions for you

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by smnytx, Sep 9, 2007.

  1. smnytx

    smnytx In the Brooder

    Sep 9, 2007
    I am very glad to find this forum - I am on the verge of starting my suburban chicken adventure, and there is a wealth of knowledge here that I plan to take full advantage of.

    My poultry supplier is getting day-old chicks delivered this Thursday. I had some requests for the three chicks I'm getting, but he told me that at this time of year, he's sort of at the mercy of whatever his supplier has. So, I don't know exactly what I'll get, but it's likely to be a RIR (or a hybrid red), a barred Plymouth Rock, and (hopefully) an Ameraucana, (because I'd love to get those blue or green eggs!).

    I have two burning questions right now.

    First: how do I get the chicks home safely? Should I bring the brooder I cob up, and put them right in? Can they make it home without the heat lamp, or should I pull out my car adaptor and plug in the lamp for the ride? (OK, count all that as one question).

    Second: My plan is to put the brooder on a table on my screened porch. The main reason is heat - at this time of year in Texas, it's pretty much always warmer outside than inside, where the A/C is a constant companion. Average nighttime temperature here is about 72-73 degrees, and they will also have their heat lamp. The porch is big enough that I can put the brooder where it's virtually impossible for them to get wet if there's a storm. It isn't windy here (unless a hurricane is coming, which we hope it won't). The other bonus in having them there is that my two sons and husband are huge allergy sufferers (the reason we don't have any indoor pets), and I fear that the feathers/fuzz/dust might be difficult for them. After reading that others have their babies in the garage (which in some places may be either warmer or colder than the house), I think this is a workable plan. Am I making a huge mistake? Will the humidity be a problem for them?

    I appreciate any thoughts, ideas, and opinions from all of you veteran chicken people!

    BTW, I'm leaning towards naming them Shirley, Goodness, & Mercy - in hopes that "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow you for the rest of your days." [​IMG] I hope this will be fun adventure!

    Thanks -

    SE Texas
  2. FamilyOfChickens

    FamilyOfChickens Songster

    Mar 24, 2007
    Northwest Indiana
    First of all, welcome! [​IMG] I'm sure you're going to have A LOT of fun with your chickadees.

    Unless you have a very long drive home, the chicks will be just fine without a heat lamp. When you say poulty supplier, do you mean a breeder or a hatchery? Those are all great breeds; there's no guarantee that your Ameracauna will lay blue-green eggs. Blue is not very common. You may get green, blue, pink, tan, and white eggs. Unless you're buying from a breeder, your Ameracauna will almost definetely be an EE (Easter Egger). That means that, basically, it's a mutt chicken. In a good way, of course. They can be very pretty!

    They will also be fine on the porch. When we got our Ameracaunas in April, they were in a large brooder in the shed. The temperatures were down in the 30's, and it was about 50 degrees in the brooder at times, with TWO heat lamps. (We live in N. Indiana) They were all just fine. You'll find that chick/ens are some pretty tough critters. [​IMG]

    When they arrive, you HAVE to post some pics of the little fluffers. [​IMG]

    Good luck and have fun!
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2007
  3. smnytx

    smnytx In the Brooder

    Sep 9, 2007
    Thanks for the quick reply!

    I could drive a few hours up to the hatchery (Ideal Poultry), but this Feed/livestock store right in Houston gets their chicks from there once a month, and this Thursday's the day. I told him that if he gives me a rooster by mistake (he's all but promised they'll be pullets), I'm going to bring it back.

    I hope to pick them up Friday after work, so we can get them settled in nicely over the weekend. It will be hard to go back to work on Monday! Don't worry - I'll take pictures like crazy.

    Good to know about the temps. I was a little concerned when I saw all the pictures of babies in the house, because that's something we just can't do (older DS has severe allergies and asthma, though I hope the chickens won't set either one off).

    I forgot to mention that our screen porch is virtually pest-proof, but I still plan to have a secure cover on the brooder, with a wire mesh zip-tied on, to let the light/heat in and for ventilation. But I think they'll be as safe there as in the house, critter-wise.
  4. AtRendeAcres

    AtRendeAcres Songster

    May 23, 2007
    Clarion County
    a box with a lid ((they will be fine you just keep warm)

    your other question was confusing (((porch should be fine)))
  5. lurky

    lurky Songster

    Jun 4, 2007
    Western MA
    congrats on your up-coming chicks. It sounds like your going to be a great mom [​IMG]
  6. I think you should be fine and congrats on being a chicken mom. You will not regret it, be careful they are addicting though. I started with three in march and have 36 now.
  7. smnytx

    smnytx In the Brooder

    Sep 9, 2007
    LOL at the thought of me putting 36 chickens in my suburban backyard! I could probably get away with it until they build the house that will go in directly behind...

    I'm starting a few projects at once - two gardening beds - hopefully in time to get a fall crop in, the chickens, and a rainwater catchment system (we've got two 60 gallon barrels ready to install)... along with our two boys (who have school, scouts, karate, etc) and our two full-time jobs... I think three chickens will do it for us, for the foreseeable future!

    Thanks for the good wishes - I am sure this will be a ton of fun for us, and I am already drooling at the prospect of fresh eggs, even though I know they're several months off.

  8. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    The only way your porch won't be fine is if you have raccoons, possom, dogs, etc, that could tear through the screen and get the babies. I know someone on BYC who had a neighborhood boxer bust through his screen door and kill all the chicks in his indoor brooder.
  9. smnytx

    smnytx In the Brooder

    Sep 9, 2007
    How terrible!

    We have 6 foot fences all around the yard - no dog will get in. The next door neighbor has a mellow Mastiff (he's probably about 175 pounds) - I'm hoping his presence on the other side of the fence will make wild predators think twice. I'm not worried about him - he's kenneled in a chain link run on the other side of said fence.

    I do imagine that wild racoons, or feral cats could conceiveably get in the yard, but I think they'd have a tough time breaking into the screened porch. The first 1 foot of all walls/doors is metal, and the door latches are high. Yes, a determined one could probably tear the screen, but I think it's not likely. No way to dig in, as it's a brick on concrete patio floor. Additionally, the brooder will be elevated on a table.

    I plan to put motion detector lights out when the hens are in the coop outside - maybe I'll do that sooner. Would that help as a deterrant?

    I know there's no way to be totally predator=proof, though...
  10. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    Well, enjoy the new ones! We here love pictures, too.

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