How much attention?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by odysseychicken, Sep 28, 2015.

  1. odysseychicken

    odysseychicken Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 21, 2015
    We were going to start with pullets but can't find any locally (in a variety that we want). I found a source for some chicks. We decided to go for it and raise them from fluff balls. I have been reading a lot about how to do it. One thing I read that worries me a bit is that someone should always be home with them. Is this really true? My wife and I both work. Her schedule is consistent 8-4:40. Mine is retail and changes. Most days someone is home but their are days when nobody is home for 7 or 8 hours. Oh, and we have a crafts fair this weekend that will keep us out from 8:30am - 6pm one day. We plan on using the heating pad cave set up for warmth so there won't be a heat lamp to worry about.

    The place where we are getting them will raise them for a month for us (for a fee) if we want but we thought it would be nice to get them as chicks.

    Should we not consider chicks if we can not be home constantly?


    I forgot to say, we are looking to get five chicks.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2015
  2. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Don't worry. Chicks do not need round the clock attention. You'll want to observe them closely for the first 24 hours following their arrival, but you certainly will be able to go off and leave them, or get your eight hours of required sleep.

    You've chosen the heating pad system wisely. It'll enable you to have much more peace of mind than a heat lamp would. The chicks will be able to regulate their heat needs much better and more safely, resulting in less problems arising during that first week.
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Spring Dreaming Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    I keep chickens because I don't have to constantly there, I am always disappointed after getting my chicks how little they need me and how little there is to do with them, just look at them occasionally and fill waterers and feeders, they really need minimum care compared to other animals.
  4. odysseychicken

    odysseychicken Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 21, 2015
    Well, this is good to hear. I guess the people over at MyPetChicken are exaggerating a bit when they sate:

    "Clearing Your Schedule
    Baby chicks require constant care and monitoring, so make sure your schedule is clear for the first 4 weeks! Don't plan on vacations or even day trips unless you have a seasoned baby chick pro on standby. Make sure you or a member of your family are available to check on them at least 5 times a day."

    This makes me feel a little better about getting them.

  5. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Spring Dreaming Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Funny, yeah, once you're confident in your set up there's not much else except adjusting heat, looking at butts, feeding, I don't bother with handling too much either, chicks are either healthy or not, some don't make it once in a while but looking at them doesn't help, I actually go through MPC. Guess they are just being cautious.
  6. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    Mine are brooded outside in a pen in the run, and I am just not out there 24 hours a day. I also have a sweet little disabled granddaughter that I take care of full time, and that includes seeing to it that she gets her physical therapy and medical needs met before I can even think about chicks. So setting them up with Mama Heating Pad, providing them with a waterer that has nipples on it so they can't dump it or foul it, and being able to make sure their feeder is full is the best that I can do. And they thrive. I guess we all want to think our little Divas are different and extra special, but in the overall scheme of things they take care of themselves pretty doggone well. We even left town for 2 days when our chicks were little, so I think that like most hatcheries, MPC is just covering their backsides a bit so customers can't come back later and say, "You never told me that!" [​IMG]

    Good luck with your chicks. Pay us a visit over at the Mama Heating Pad in the Brooder thread and post some pictures of your Littles when you get them!
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I brood in a predator safe barn. I use a heating pad (now, love it!) and have one each waterer and feeder. When the babies are under a week, I usually check on them 3 times a day or so, but after that, it's usually once a day. If I hear chirping, I go check. Yes, sometimes they can knock the water over, etc, but they can go several hours without water. I've had some thirsty chicks, but no dead chicks. I don't mean to sound like I neglect them, I just feel I have a good system in place and they're secure and don't really need my presence.

    Sheesh, were I a chick newbie, that statement from MPC would freak me out and put me off buying chicks entirely!
  8. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    As long as you make sure they have food and water, they won't need much after their first couple days. It's the first 24 to 48 hours after being moved to a new place that is the most critical, and it's mostly just adjusting the brooder temp and checking their buts for pasting two or three times a day. The more time you spend with them and handle them in the first couple weeks, the more friendly and comfortable they will be with you, as adults.
  9. Peeps61

    Peeps61 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2014
    NW Florida
    I agree with everything posted here! I work 1 and 1/2 jobs, so I stay very busy with those in addition to my other animals and my family. I love chickens because I can check on them once or twice a day and make sure they have food/water and access to their nesting boxes and all is good. I let them out in the morning and lock them up at night after they've gone to roost. When they were chicks, they were brooded in my outside chicken tractor and they did just fine. They don't need constant supervision - you'll figure out good times in your schedule to check on them and take care of them. Chicks are fun to watch grow and develop. Mine are around 13-14 weeks old now and come running when they see me! My older hens look in the back glass door to see if anyone is coming to feed them treats!
  10. garden peeps

    garden peeps New Egg

    Sep 22, 2015
    Love all this info, My new chicks are 2 weeks old today, the first few days I checked them really often, they didn't need it, I was just mothering them. I have a brinsea chick warmer and they love it and I do too. I'm trying to hold them often and when they settle down they fall asleep in my hand. So cleaning the chick box every morning and making sure they're safe and I'm off to work. No worries.

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