Ho-lee Carp, babies in less than a week!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by HennaRose, Jan 30, 2015.

  1. HennaRose

    HennaRose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hatch day is supposed to be Monday and chicks are supposed to arrive between Tuesday and Thursday. I have all my supplies, I think. Feeders, waterers, heat lamps, bedding, safe and draft-free space, electrolyte packets recommended by the lady at Tractor Supply. How soon do I put the bedding in the brooder and turn on the heat lamps? Do I *need* the electrolyte solution (MPC says no, other chicken-keepers say yes) and if so, when do I mix that up?

    Also, I split an order with a friend. She wants to sort the chicks at the post office and take them straight home, but I think we should bring them all to my house (I live closer to the post office) and let them eat and drink before she takes her six home. Opinions?
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    I like your plan. Take them to a central location for 2 reasons. The shipment are keeping each other warm with their numbers. Shipped chicks need food and water sooner than later.
    I understand her impatience as well.
    Chicks are best on something like paper towels for a day or two till they know what food is. They'll eat whatever is at their feet so that will keep them from eating shavings.
    I put vitamins/electrolytes, probiotic powder and an energy source (like a bit of agave nectar) in their first water. This is expecially true for shipped chicks that haven't had anything for 2 or 3 days since hatch.
    You can mix those things right before you give it. Use lukewarm water for the first couple days. Pull one chick at a time and dip their beak in the water till you know they're drinking. No hurry now, better to know they're all drinking than hurry.
     
  3. HennaRose

    HennaRose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So paper towels for a few days, then remove chicks and food/water, put down bedding, return chicks and food/water?

    Turns out her car isn't working, so she's asked me to take her birdies home and put them with mine, and she'll come get them that evening when her husband gets home from work.
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    brooding depends on the size of your brooder

    If brooding a handful of chicks, I may use a Rubbermaid tub and paper towels only till they move outside, which is usually within a week. If I have many and start them in the brooder house, I put down the shavings, cover that with burlap and then paper towels. Sprinkle feed on the paper towels and put a feeder in. Once a roll of cheap paper towels are gone, they are on the burlap a few more days. Then the burlap comes up and they have nice clean shavings so it may be a month to three before I have to renew shavings depending on stocking density.


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  5. HennaRose

    HennaRose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've got 9 chicks staying here - a flock of 4 that's mine and a separate flock of 5 that's my aunt's, brooding here till her coop is ready. Different brooders in an attempt to reduce the stress of the move when it's time for Aunt's babies to go home. Friend's babies will only be here a few hours.

    I'd planned on keeping them inside till they're fully feathered because we haven't hit our frosts here yet (we normally have one by now, but January's been really strange here). Outside trips after a couple weeks once the run is finished, but they'll be living indoors a while.
     
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Keeping them inside is an option but the dust is daunting.
    The picture above is the inside of the unheated coop when the outside looked like this.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2015
  7. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    The dust will be killer, even with just a few chicks. And it'll get all over everything, so if you do keep them inside, you'll want to put them in a room that doesn't see much use (or you'll be constantly cleaning).
    I brood outside, in a hutch my DH built me a looong time ago. They do just fine running between the heat lamp and ambient temps in the brooder (last night we got down to 21F, but its been colder).

    They really aren't as delicate as everyone makes them out to be. All they need is a draft free, predator proof place to live and some food and water.
     
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  8. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Chicks from healthy breeders are tough as nails.
     
  9. losttexan

    losttexan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I always have a few packets of both the electrolyte and probiotics on hand. It's a good idea to give the chicks electrolytes when they first arrive to help with the stress of shipping, and the nice thing is both products can be mixed together. Most folks recommend providing access to clean water as well, but I have found chicks often prefer the mix - perhaps it tastes better? Just be sure to stay away from Gatorade and other human-formulas - the salt content can be way too high.

    Choice of bedding in brooders/coops can be a touchy subject. Everyone has their preferences, and disagreements are often considered "fighting words" much like Coke vs. Pepsi, Microsoft vs. Apple, or Patriots vs. Seahawks. [​IMG]

    Just about everyone, however, can agree on two things: day-old chicks need cushion and they need good traction. Providing both things helps to prevent spraddle-leg, slipped tendons, and a whole host of other maladies.

    Folks differ on how they provide this. I myself use a bed of 4-6" of pine shavings with cut open feed sacks to cover the shavings (because some chicks will eat them). The feed sacks by themselves are much too slippery, so I cover them with a layer of (like you mentioned) paper towels. The towels provide traction and are easy to roll up and change when the chicks dirty them (and dirty them they will). The shavings provide cushion until they are old enough to not eat shavings, get their food from a feeder (as opposed to me having to sprinkle it on the paper towels), and be producing too much waste/mess for paper towels to handle.
     
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  10. HennaRose

    HennaRose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't have an easy/safe way to run electricity outside to where the coop will be, though; I feel better about letting them brood in a pen in the garage than I do about running cords out to the coop area for the dogs/wildlife to mess with.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2015

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