How to care for 3 day old chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Motherknowsbest, Feb 15, 2015.

  1. Motherknowsbest

    Motherknowsbest New Egg

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    Hello everyone - I am new both to this site and caring/loving chicks. 6 days ago 3 of 4 of my beautiful Pekin's were killed by a fox, I've had them 18 months, they were 10 months when I got them. I adore/adored them. They have a secure house and run but they were free-ranging at the time of mister fox's arrival, I was with them and it was broad daylight! I am completely devastated...My question is this, can I introduce new chicks to the lonely hen? I have just been given two 3 day old chickens today. They are in my kitchen keeping warm, I am feeding them Dodson & Horrell chick crumbs and water, there is a heat source. I realise I know nothing about this and am desperate for advice. Am I feeding often enough? Are they warm enough? When can I introduce them to the lonely chicken? Will she hurt them? Am I now their protector? I realise I must seem like such a muppet - please advise me...
     
  2. Kadu

    Kadu Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would not introduce them yet. Keep the chicks under a heat lamp and make sure to have chick starter feed and water available at all times. Not sure where you live, but especially if its cold outside, don't put the chicks in the coop for another 3-4 weeks, or until they are fully feathered.
    The heat in the brooder need to be 90F for the first week and reduce by 5 degrees every week until you get to 70F.
    and,
    [​IMG]

    Good Luck!
     
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  3. justplainbatty

    justplainbatty Chillin' With My Peeps

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  4. Motherknowsbest

    Motherknowsbest New Egg

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    Brilliant advice and link thank you. okay, from reading that, I've got the right food, permanently available, and water permanently available, I realise now that the heat source is insufficient they are huddled together and cheep loudly and consistently - tomorrow is the earliest I can remedy this so I've just put them down my top next to my chest! Warmer for them and now silence! I do have a heat blanket which I shall put under the box. Oh and I just realised the box I so painstakingly cleaned is not high enough - they are so inquisitive and climbing out! Arghh, my life, what a worry, its too early to say if I'm good enough for the task dropped in my lap but with your advise and my determination to get it right - lets hope.
     
  5. justplainbatty

    justplainbatty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's good, keep reading and learning and asking. You'll do fine! We were all new chicken parents once.[​IMG]
     
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  6. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Good thinking to pop them into your top and let your body heat them. That's precisely the right temp for newbies!

    As you've already learned, they will chirp madly when they need something, just like human babies. A cardboard appliance box makes an excellent brooder. But place it on a table, not the floor, and cut a neat fold down door into it so you can slide your hands in sideways to handle the chicks. If you have some cheese cloth,you can stretch it over the top to keep the chicks from getting out.

    The most important things to know about chicks is that they're deathly afraid of things from the sky, and hands grabbing them from a box on a floor is the same to them as a hawk attack. Chicks approached in this manner become more afraid of hands every day until they're running away from you every time you need to handle them.

    Handle them a lot and they'll be tame and wonderful pets.
     
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  7. Motherknowsbest

    Motherknowsbest New Egg

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    That's such good and helpful advise - thank you. Yes, they do dart here and there when I approach from above, hmmm..slide hands in side ways, you are a veteran, I can tell! And the cheesecloth, goodness me, yes! Honestly, I have not been living under a rock hahaha, I never intended to be a chicken keeper they just fascinate me, I just want to do the right thing, I want to give these little gems the best possible start and I want to bestow so much love on them, I love how the girls 'talk' to me, really they do but I guess anyone on byc already knows that x By the way, someone asked where I live, (a temperature point), I live in middle England and whilst our weather differs I am finding the best and most interesting subject matter here with you guys..
     
  8. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    The most endearing thing that I find with baby chicks, and it lasts even after they get their "grown-up" voices, is when they trill to each other and to you when they are getting ready to group together to go to sleep at night. It's almost the sound that tree frogs make when they sing at night. If you haven't keyed into that sound, listen to them carefully tonight as they get ready to sleep.

    By the way, lots of people don't think to do this while they need a heat lamp, but having a light on 24/7 is stressful, even a red light. So I take a dark cloth and drape it over the brooder, to shade the light at nightfall. It gives them a break from the light, but it also gives them the opportunity to get their bodies into a day/night rhythm. It will also prevent them from being afraid of the dark once they no longer need the light.

    When you pull the shade cloth over the brooder, listen for the trilling. It's the sweetest sound!
     
  9. Motherknowsbest

    Motherknowsbest New Egg

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    Sweetness, I do hear it and I did wonder about night and day. Last night before the infrared I took them to bed with me, I was so scared they would be cold, I prepared 4 cushions to surround them, silly I may be, but at least I could not squash them, they could not jump out, I slept upright with the side light on, I set the alarm for every two hours - shattered I was today! But it did enter my head, wont they want darkness - I sure do, You guys are amazing, its those little snippets of advice, you maybe are so experienced you forget about them yet still they mean so much to a newby. I really hope they surive, they have half the world looking out for them. Dark cloth tonight xxx
     

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