How do you personally raise your baby chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by nikischicks, Nov 19, 2010.

  1. nikischicks

    nikischicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    when starting out with a new flock. I guess the question for me is, I have some hens that are almost 2 years and I want to start off fresh with buckeyes and keep a rooster also. I want to be able to regenerate my own flock with them. How is your setup for when you have chicks, do you have a separate smaller coup you keep the youngins in until they are ready to mix with the older ones? I never looked in to this when we got the current flock and am confused as to how you go about the whole thing when you have your own chicks. I have one coup and a large run attached. They free range during the day when home and I intend to do it this way with the new flock also.
    I will be putting the elders in the freezer when we decide to get the new chicks. I also cant decide when the best time for this would be. Its approaching winter here in ohio and I would like to get the new chicks as soon as I can but cant figure when would be best. I dont want to be without egg layers for a long time but as of now I am only getting one every couple of days, and dont know how long they really will be laying anyways. I can put the chicks when we get them, in the house to keep them warm. This is how we did it with the girls we have now. Do you have a suggestion as to how I should go about getting this new flock as in the time line. Like get them in January, and keep the current girls until my new ones are ready to take over the coup outside?

    Thank you for any help, I know this was long if you need more info please let me know
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    No more chicks in the house for me, ever. Never mind odors, the dust in the air was intolerable. My recent rounds of chicks have been raised in the coop by a broody which hatched them. I do have a separate area in the coop for a broody hen and her chicks, maybe 4' X 5', but have yet to have any success in keeping the broody with eggs, or the broody with chicks, away from the flock. It does make a place where the chicks can escape if they want, when they are small. It wouldn't be hard to turn it into a brooder if I chose.
     
  3. Jessiewoodard57

    Jessiewoodard57 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a brooder hanging on the wall in one of the coops. I too will not raise chicks in the house.(my wife would shoot me). I have 90 eggs in the incubator and 25 dellie chicks coming in January. All of them will be in outside brooders.
     
  4. nikischicks

    nikischicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well as far as having them in the house, I meant for the new buckeyes until they have feathers. It was a mess but I have room in the basement where it could be done. I just didnt want to wait until it was warm to get chicks and then have to wait all summer for eggs.

    On the other note, I could for sure make a spot in my coup for a broody hen and some chicks. Do you ever have problems with them being around the other bigger hens as long as the can hide?
     
  5. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Depends on the chickens. A good broody mom will protect her chicks from the others, and sometimes the rooster helps. I've lost chicks doing this, but I want strong chickens with good instincts. I don't actually know that another hen got the chicks, either; at that size most anything can get them.
     
  6. mulewagon

    mulewagon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Well, with my last flock, I kept the mothers and babies in with the others. The big problem was that the tiny chicks couldn't use the same feeder and waterer as the grown hens. But when I set up the little chick feeder and waterer, all the grown chickens would rush over and eat and drink it all! I ended up feeding the chicks several times a day, putting their feeder in a corner and guarding it.

    Then, when I let them all out to free-range, something ate the chicks and the mother hens...

    So this time around, I'm building a separate broody pen where they can stay until they're big enough to cope (and not slow their mother down if they have to flee!)
     
  7. chickee

    chickee Chillin' With My Peeps

    I don't have room in my set-up to keep a broody and chicks. When I hatch eggs in the incubator I keep the chicks in a plastic storage container with a ceramic reptile heat lamp (for safety) in my house for a few days to make sure everyone is eating and drinking. Then I put them in a brooder box hanging on the wall in my chicken house with the same ceramic heat lamp until they are about 2+ weeks old. Then I put them in my chick house with the heat lamp and when the chicks get to be around 4 wks old I open the door (on sunny days) and they have access to a small yard next to the big chickens so they can see and get used to each other. I don't mix chicks and full grown chickens until they are 3+ months old. I put them in together for short periods of time, watching them carefully and repromanding the big chickens if they go after the little guys. I do this several times before putting the chicks in with full grown chickens full time.
    HAVE FUN RAISING YOUR NEW CHICKS! [​IMG]
     
  8. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Quote:Well, with my last flock, I kept the mothers and babies in with the others. The big problem was that the tiny chicks couldn't use the same feeder and waterer as the grown hens. But when I set up the little chick feeder and waterer, all the grown chickens would rush over and eat and drink it all! I ended up feeding the chicks several times a day, putting their feeder in a corner and guarding it.

    Then, when I let them all out to free-range, something ate the chicks and the mother hens...

    So this time around, I'm building a separate broody pen where they can stay until they're big enough to cope (and not slow their mother down if they have to flee!)

    Sorry you lost your chickens -- but there's a much simpler solution to the feeding problem: feed everyone starter-grower, at whatever height is needed, and put out some oyster shell separately for the babies. They may peck at it a bit but they won't eat any amount of it, certainly not enough to hurt them. The only differences are, grower has less calcium and more protein. I figure if the hens want it, maybe they need the protein, and anyway it's not enough to overtax their systems, for sure. I left the hanging feeders and added a concrete block as a step, at some point, so the young ones could reach them.
     
  9. Pastor Mike

    Pastor Mike Out Of The Brooder

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    We received 8 chicks about 3 weeks ago and they are in my house. I constructed a cardboard brooder with plastic windows for them to watch us during the day I placed hardware cloth over the top with a bathroom exhaust fan on top of a hepa filter to collect the dust. We have zero dust problems doing this and we all get entertained watching them watch us as we work in the kitchen. Better than watching TV.
     
  10. nikischicks

    nikischicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry about your chicks mulewagon, thats a heartbreaker.
    Chickee- how big is your chick house?? I was thinking if I have to construct another place for them to be that wouldnt be a problem at all I just dont want it to have to be as big a production as the main house. I also could do the container in the house thing, that would work fine.
    I go to a vet who has tons of acres and tons of birds all over the place and it would be awesome to have that, the mothers run around with babies following and theres multiple houses and barns for them. Alas, I only have 2 acres (that I am super thankful for) and I cant have them running all over the place. My ladies now dont venture outside of our property very often I am hoping that the new flock will be the same.
    Also, how long do you guys leave the mother with the chicks before you put her back in gen-pop, if you go that route. I dont really want to get an incubator at this point and would like to see if I would end up with a broody so she could do the work.
     

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